Program helps health professionals

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
OutLoud Speech Patholoist Bree Clarke and Occupational Therapist Amy Messer have received grant funding.
Camera IconOutLoud Speech Patholoist Bree Clarke and Occupational Therapist Amy Messer have received grant funding. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Two Bunbury health workers have praised the Health Workforce Scholarship Program for helping them up-skill and pass on their experience to co-workers.

OutLoud Development Services speech pathologist Bree Clark and occupational therapist Amy Messer said they both had used the program to attend training which had benefited their careers.

More than $1 million is available this financial year for health professionals looking to broaden the range of services they can provide to rural communities through the program.

Ms Clark said she first came across the program last year when a colleague applied to travel to a course in the Eastern States.

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“We received a reminder this year about applying for one so I decided to go for one,” she said.

“I used to attend a Sounds-Write phonics program in Perth at the Dyslexia-Speld foundation.

“Sounds-Write is a phonics-based program and it basically teaches children how to learn to read and spell.”

Ms Messer said she used the program to attend a course in Melbourne.

“Mine was a two-day course on sensory defensiveness and a treatment approach that has been created for that,” she said.

“It was developed a few years ago in the United States and it was the first time it had been in Australia.

“It is about a different way we can treat sensory defensiveness in kids.”

Ms Messer said she would recommend the program to people who are looking to continue their education.

“It is an amazing program which allows us to access courses that we might not necessarily be able to afford personally or through the small businesses that we are a part of,” she said.

“So it is just helping us serve the community and the community’s needs a bit more.”

Ms Clark said the program not only improved her health knowledge, but also that of her co-workers.

“We have had the opportunity to up-skill our colleagues in using these processes,” she said.

“We have also spoken to education assistants and teachers around town as well to use these techniques and treatment approaches in their every day work with the children.”

More than 20 medical and health professionals in the South West have received scholarships and bursaries valued at $128,000 from Rural Health West under the program during 2018.

Visit www.ruralhealthwest.com.au for more information.

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