Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program launches in Karratha!

May 25, 2015

The Heart Foundation and Chevron Australia are delighted to officially announce the development of an Aboriginal heart health program in the Pilbara after resounding support from the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and the broader community.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading contributor to the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Aboriginal people. As the leading organisation in the fight against heart disease the Heart Foundation has partnered with Chevron Australia to develop a heart health program open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living and working in the West Pilbara.

At an event on Tuesday 19 May, local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families, communities and local organisations were invited to celebrate the results of a 10 month consultation process to develop this unique Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program.

The event showcased for the first time, what the program will look like, what it will focus on, who will be running it and how individuals can continue to contribute to its development and growth in Roebourne, Onslow and Karratha.

“We have spent more than 10 months visiting the West Pilbara building genuine relationships with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and the broader community,” Ms Lyn Dimer, Aboriginal Health Manager, Heart Foundation WA, said.

“We sincerely thank everyone who has been involved, for welcoming us into their community and supporting us in the development of a program that can have such a positive impact across generations and communities.”

In keeping with the Heart Foundation and Chevron Australia’s determination for this program to be locally led, the program’s experienced local coordinator Sharon Compass was introduced to the community, at Tuesday’s event. Ms Compass will be based at the Pilbara Health Network offices in Karratha.

Sharon Compass, PAHHP coordinator

Chevron Australia General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Peter Fairclough, said Chevron is pleased to be working with the Heart Foundation on this comprehensive approach to health education, focusing on preventing heart disease in the community and supporting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with heart disease in the West Pilbara.

“Chevron is committed to building collaborative community partnerships and investing in programs aimed at improving access to healthcare in the communities where we operate. This partnership with the Heart Foundation aims to complement existing health services and provide additional support to increase access for remote communities, address chronic conditions and contribute to improved well- being.”

Crowd during talk by Danny Brown, IBA and Lyn Dimer, Heart FoundationDr Carlo Bellini, ChevronJessica, Maria, Lyn, Sharon (Heart Foundation) Carlo (Chevron) Trevor (Heart Foundation)

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