Attending a community workshop in Ulverstone are (from left): Judi Walker (community project lead), Miriam Vandenberg (ISC), Flora Dean (Principal Project Officer, Anticipatory Care, Department of Health), Susan Banks (Institute for the Study of Social Change), Holly Stubbs (Ulverstone project support officer), Hannah Tait (The Sax Institute) and Robin Krabbe (ISC).

Joining forces to combat chronic disease



Helping Tasmanians of all ages to prevent chronic disease is the focus of a collaboration called the Anticipatory Care Project.

The Institute for the Study for Social Change (ISC) is working with a range of partners and four Tasmanian communities to develop strategies to prevent chronic disease and promote healthy living.

University of Tasmania Senior Research Fellow with the ISC Susan Banks, said anticipatory care is a population approach to health care.

“It identifies and supports people who are at risk of developing chronic conditions with the aim of preventing or slowing down ill-health,” Dr Banks said.

“Anticipatory care can take many forms and targets very different parts of the population, from newborns to the elderly.

“And the Anticipatory Care project is finding out about the role different systems, like infrastructure, data, and attitudes, play in supporting health for diverse populations.”

The four Tasmanian community projects are:

  • Help to Health: Clarence – led by Clarence City Council.
  • Our Community Our Care: Northern suburbs of Launceston – led by Starting Point Neighbourhood House and the Northern Suburbs Community Centre (NSCC).
  • Connecting Care: Ulverstone – led by the Patrick Street Clinic, and
  • Our Health Our Future: Flinders Island – led by Flinders Island Aboriginal Association (FIAAI) together with the Flinders Island Health Co-ordination Group.

Dr Banks said the project’s first phase focussed on mapping anticipatory care in each community, including identifying barriers and enablers to good health. This has been a joint effort between community-based project officers, and the ISC team (Dr Banks, Dr Robin Krabbe, Therese Murray, Eli Preston and Miriam Vandenberg).

She said project leaders are now working with lead organisations to share maps with community members and check they are building an accurate picture.

“Working with the communities has reinforced the fact that some of those people who are at greatest risk of developing a chronic illness are also hardest to reach,” Dr Banks said.

“For this reason, as well as conducting ‘community conversations’, the project’s team has been using novel approaches, including social media, to connect.

“The project, and local initiatives, have also received media attention on ABC Radio and in The Examiner.”

Dr Banks said the project’s next phase will see each community use the maps of anticipatory care to develop activities that build on local anticipatory care strengths, addressing some of the barriers to health that have been identified.

For more information contact:

Susan Banks
Senior Research Fellow
University of Tasmania
p: 6324 3236
e: susan.banks@utas.edu.au

Flora Dean
Principal Project Officer
Department of Health
p: 6777 4276
e: flora.dean@health.tas.gov.au

Caption: Attending a community workshop in Ulverstone are (from left): Judi Walker (community project lead), Miriam Vandenberg (ISC), Flora Dean (Principal Project Officer, Anticipatory Care, Department of Health), Susan Banks (Institute for the Study of Social Change), Holly Stubbs (Ulverstone project support officer), Hannah Tait (The Sax Institute) and Robin Krabbe (ISC).




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