The GenesisCare Foundation launches an Indigenous Cardiology Access Program to build trust, better care, and positive health outcomes for local remote communities

The GenesisCare Foundation has launched an Indigenous Access Program to improve the cardiovascular health of indigenous communities within remote areas of Australia.

It is an unfortunate reality that on average, Australia’s indigenous people have a life expectancy of  seven to eight years shorter than non-indigenous people, and are at significantly higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes at a young age.1 With heart disease being the leading cause of death among indigenous Australians (causing one in 10 deaths) the program is focused on a standardised, national approach towards the improved management of heart disease among indigenous Australians.

The initial pilot program will take place within the Pilbara community, in Western Australia. It will work to improve cardiovascular health by building a sustainable model of increased access to quality medical treatment by launching locally-based cardiology testing services. The pilot program also aims to deliver training and upskilling opportunities to local staff in regional and remote communities, generating more long-term benefits for the overall community. The learnings gathered will then allow to rapidly scale the program to other already identified regions of need across Australia.

David O’Donnell, GenesisCare Executive Manager (Cardiology, Sleep and Respiratory Medicine) shares his excitement:

“GenesisCare is proud to have been able to provide cardiology services to our Indigenous communities for several years. We know that GenesisCare patients have world-leading outcomes and we see an opportunity and an obligation to develop the reach of our expertise and resources to  our remote Indigenous communities. We are honoured to be working with the GenesisCare Foundation to optimise heart health and do all that is possible to close the gap of health outcomes for our Indigenous population”.

The benefits of having a culturally sensitive, and standardised approach to managing cardiovascular disease within Indigenous communities, may improve outcomes by reduced hospitalisation and better engagement with lifestyle measures may in turn reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.2

It is through programs like this, that we will be able to work towards closing our healthcare gap for indigenous communities. Through building trust and sharing knowledge we can ensure that better care is accessible, regardless of a patient’s location or cultural heritage.

The GenesisCare Foundation is an independent health promotion charity born from the philanthropic vision of GenesisCare. Our mission is to seek out and support life-changing improvements in cancer and cardiac care, to create profound impact for both individuals and communities. We do this by investing in research that has the power to radically improve patient outcomes, and by enabling access to innovative care. Our partnerships with community, advocacy, government and world-leading research organisations helps challenge us to find new and better ways to treat disease. Chaired by Dan Collins, Founder and CEO of GenesisCare, the board which governs the foundation is comprised of experts in their field who share a passion for improving the health landscape for years to come.

For more information, visit: genesiscarefoundation.org

1,2 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/indigenous-health-welfare/indigenous-health-welfare-2015/contents/life-expectancy-and-mortality-key-points

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