State award for local pediatric health initiative

Published on 30 November 2020

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The Wimmera Southern Mallee (WSM)’s ‘By Five’ Specialist Paediatric Support Partnership (SPSP) has been announced as a winner in the 2020 Victorian Early Years Awards. 

It received an accolade for Creating Collaborative Community Partnerships, a category that recognises initiatives promoting collaborative practices to support and demonstrate positive outcomes for children and families.  

‘By Five’ was developed as a response to the 2018 Australian Early Development Census that exposed a growing gap in the school-readiness of rural children compared with urban children. 

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Local Maternal Child Health providers and the Royal Children’s Hospital created the research-based, shared care initiative to successfully connect specialist expertise with local primary health providers via digital health. 

Many rural children were previously being referred to specialist services located in major cities for health and development issues that could be resolved locally. 

Now they can receive that expertise through local primary care services that they trust and use every day. 

‘By Five’ extends to over 50 health, education and family service providers working with children, as well as the Department of Education and Training, Department of Health and Human Services and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. 

In partnership with Yarriambiack Shire, West Wimmera Shire, Buloke Shire Council, Horsham Rural City Council, West Wimmera Health Service, Uniting Wimmera, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital. 

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