AMS of the Month
A team of dedicated staff are at the forefront of Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service in Griffith, NSW and are the reason why the cogs stay oiled and holistic, and culturally appropriate and safe healthcare is delivered throughout South Western NSW in Wiradjuri Country.
With aspirations of self-determination and self-management, Griffith AMS transitioned from a “Primary Health Post” to an AMS in 1999 and have provided the Aboriginal community with an array of health services for 15 years.
“It’s about providing a range of primary health care services to the Aboriginal communities of the Western Riverina from GP clinics to allied health services, and we also have a fully equipped gym,” says CEO, Stacey Meredith.
Servicing around 100 patients every day requires flexible staff and Griffith AMS has them in abundance. They employ 55 home-grown staff members across Griffith AMS and Murrin Bridge Aboriginal Health Service, which they auspice.
“Apart from our clinical team like the doctors and nurses, nearly all our staff is Aboriginal people. Being Aboriginal themselves, they’re sensitive to the needs of the Aboriginal community,” she says. “Our staff members are all totally dedicated to the cause of assisting and making a difference in the Aboriginal community.”
“I think we need to look at the individual needs of our community and then cater for those needs, and no one understands our community better than our community and that’s where all our workers come from.”
Griffith AMS has a vast range of allied health professionals including psychologists, podiatrists, and sexual health workers as well as their own child and maternal health worker, social and emotional health worker, dietician and many more but their reach stretches far beyond the Griffith Aboriginal community.
“Through our Tackling Tobacco and Healthy Lifestyle team we have Passport to Better Health which is run in communities over the entire Riverina area so it’s not just the Western area that’s serviced by our Drug and Alcohol team and our other programs within the service,” explains Stacey.
“They cover areas that are incorporated under other AMS’ and it’s very similar to the State Government’s One Deadly Step. So it’s a 10 Step Chronic Disease Awareness program that’s held and from that we pick up any issues that may exist in people that don’t go to the doctor very often – they may only go once a year.
“So we’re picking up those [health problems] through screenings then we’re referring on appropriately to a local service for follow up and treatment.”
Stacey hopes that Griffith AMS will continue to provide top of the line healthcare to Aboriginal communities well into the future. You can find out more about Griffith AMS by visiting www.griffithams.org.au.