Improving quality of life for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People is the vision of Wuchopperen Health Service, a community controlled organisation that endeavours to provide holistic health care.
Located in Cairns with a reach far across North Queensland, Wuchopperen delivers a wide range of programs that address prominent issues including – medical, social and emotional wellbeing of families and in addition provides child wellbeing services.
“A holistic approach to health considers not only the individual’s physical health, but also their social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing – we recognise that physical health does not exist in a vacuum, that these other areas impact on the wellness of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander individual, their families and community,” says Chief Executive Officer, Deb Malthouse.
Wuchopperen is governed with clear values of paramount importance including – culture, community, commitment, communication, honesty, trust and integrity, accountability and responsibility, leadership, respect, and service quality.
“As a primary health care organisation, our focus is on supporting those with chronic health conditions and undertaking activities that prevent or reduce the likelihood of the disease in clients who are at risk,” she says.
“We provide a suite of comprehensive primary health care services with a focus on the early intervention and prevention of chronic health conditions.
“We work with individuals, families and community to improve health and wellbeing through the promotion of healthy lifestyles; we look for opportunities to empower individuals and families to manage their health and wellbeing and engage with individuals, families and communities to promote health and wellbeing as the key to keeping our people strong.
“This approach aligns with our vision which is to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
One of the standout programs they offer is the Children and Family Centre program. It is aimed at improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with children from birth to eight years of age.
They do this through –
• Delivery of adjunct care for children where parents are engaged in Centre activities;
• Supporting access to early childhood education and care;
• Delivery of family support services; and
• Delivery of non-clinical child and maternal health services including referral to clinical services.
The organisation is directed by a 10 member board of directors that are elected by the services 622 members. They employ over 180 staff, 75% of which are Aboriginals and or Torres Strait Islanders and service between 250 and 300 people a day.
For more information on Wuchopperen visit http://www.wuchopperen.org.au/.