Who we are
Community Health is a division of Benalla Health and was established in 1989 to provide community-based services to both the Benalla and Mansfield districts. Since its inception, the service has grown from a small team of employees offering three programs to a staff of over 66 encompassing a broad range of Community and Allied Health services.
From July 2015, Benalla Health ceased services to Mansfield with the funding directed to that community transferred to Mansfield District Hospital. With the Benalla services, funding is provided through State and Federal governments and through fees-for-service and some private philanthropy.
Services provided include:
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Generalist Podiatry
- High Risk Foot Clinic
- Community Health Nurse
- Diabetes Education
- Social Worker / Counseling
- Chronic Disease Programs
- Health Independence Program
- Sub-Acute Ambulatory Care Program (SACS)
- Hospital Admission Risk Program (HARP)
- Post Acute Program (PAC)
- District Nursing
- Palliative Care
- Health Promotion
Community Health in partnership with the Benalla Rural City has established the Benalla Community Care – Ray Sweeney Centre at 45 Coster Street, Benalla. The shared building provides a one stop shop approach to community-based services provided by a range of different agencies sharing the building.
In addition to the Community Health services, the Central Hume Dental Service is based in the Benalla office, and is managed in partnership with Northeast Health Wangaratta as well as a number of other services which provide a one-stop shop for all community-based health and community care service.
External services include:
- Centre Against Violence
- Drug and Alcohol Counselling (Gateway Health)
- Mental Health Services (Albury Wodonga Health)
- Hume Riverina Legal Service
- Breast Care Nurse (McGrath Foundation)
- Audiologist (Hearing Australia)
- Dental Technician
- Financial Counselling (Upper Murray Family Care)
Benalla Rural City provides the following services from the building:
- Aged Care Services (Home and Community Care)
- Family Services
- Maternal and Child Health
- Child Support
- Family Liaison
The Ray Sweeney Centre is open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Some after-hours services are provided based on demand and need.
Role of Community Health
The Department of Health specifies distinct roles for Community Health prioritising health services to the following population groups:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- People with an intellectual disability
- Refugees and people seeking asylum
- Homeless people and people at risk of homelessness
- People with a serious mental illness.
Funding is to be used flexibly to meet the needs of local populations.
To ensure services are targeted appropriately, the following factors should be considered when planning:
- Population health needs across different age groups and across the care continuum
- Gaps in services for specific population groups that experience inequity in access and/or health outcomes
- The development of service models that are appropriate for and accessible to local populations
- Complementary services offered by other service providers, and mechanisms for service coordination.
In addition to Service Delivery Goals, Community Health has a strong mandate to deliver preventative/health promotion strategies to the community.