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Community Health

Community Health

2020 saw a restructuring of the Community Health Services. The programs are now delivered in two streams: Home Based Services, led by Home Based Services Manager Leanne McKenzie and Allied Health Services, led by Allied Health Manager, Marijs Last. The restructure recognises the increasingly complex administrative demands of the Home Based Services programs including: Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC PYP) and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The year has proven challenging with the impacts of the Gippsland Health Alliance (GHA) Cyber Security disruption (October 2019- December 2019), Bushfires impacting local area (November 2019 to February 2020) and COVID 19 impacting service provision (March 2020 to present).

The COVID 19 pandemic has considerably impacted Community Services including Home Based and Allied Health Services provision, with a range of directives from Commonwealth and State Government altering permitted activities. ODH have endeavoured to continue with all allowable program services, albeit with some modified parameters. It has been challenging to keep both staff and clients up to date with the changing environment. Every effort has been made to ensure direct care staff have been provided with the personal protective equipment and the information and training required to work safely.

Other staff members usually based at Omeo District Health have been required to work off site, including some work from home arrangements. Some programs have at times been prohibited to operate including Social Support Group, Men’s Shed, Youth activities, the Community Gyms and exercise classes.

With this year’s complications we have seen the need to change and adapt the way we deliver our services. We have developed new ways of delivering contactless services and thanks to funding through both Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC PYP) we were able to purchase a number of iPads. These iPads have been an integral part of our Speech Pathologist’ work with HACC PYP clients, the iPad allows the students to access an app which has extensive reading and spelling activities designed for students with Dyslexia. These activities are motivating for students; hence they are more likely to complete regular homework.

CHSP clients have been given the ability to FaceTime or Zoom appointments with both the Speech Pathologist and their Medical Specialists. Not to mention some seeing their interstate family and Grandchildren for the first time in a long time.

Health Promotion programs (when permitted to operate) including the Harvest Exchange and the Community Gymnasiums located at Omeo, Swifts Creek, and Benambra continue to provide positive preventative health activities for the wider community. The Health Promotion program has had an increased role in keeping the community informed and updated through a broader Facebook presence in 2020.

Results from the Victorian Health Experience Survey (VHES) carried out in 2019 showed consistent support and appreciation by consumers of the range of community based services available through Omeo District Health.

Funding Sources

Omeo District Health Home Based and Allied Health Services receive funding from several sources:


  • Gippsland Primary Health Network Place Based Flexible Funding program (Allied Health Services)
  • Department of Health for the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)


  • Department of Health and Human Services Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC PYP)


  • East Gippsland Shire Council supplements the Home and Community Care program

Services Provided

Allied Health

  • Allied Health Assistant
  • Health Promotion
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry/Foot Care
  • Social Work
  • Speech Pathology
  • Youth Services

Home Support Services

The Commonwealth Home Support Program provides a range of entry-level aged care services for older people who need assistance with daily tasks to continue keep living independently at home and in their community.

  • Domestic Assistance
  • Personal Care
  • Respite Care
  • Home Maintenance/Home Modification
  • Meals on Wheels and assistance with meal preparation
  • Social Support Group
  • Home Based Nursing

In order to support these services, Omeo District Health provides independent assessment for clients through the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

Other Services

  • Chronic Disease Management Nurse
  • Community Transport
  • High Country Mens Shed
  • Community Gyms – Omeo, Swifts Creek and Benambra

Omeo District Health hopes to have the opportunity to offer Kindy Gym again in Omeo, however this has presently been postponed until a dedicated space offered by Omeo Primary School is available to be used.


Omeo District Health has a small but dedicated pool of volunteers. The Commonwealth Home Support Program and the Home and Community Care Program provides coordination funding to enable volunteer support and assistance in the following areas:

  • Volunteer driving as part of the Community Transport program
  • Assistance to the residents Diversional Therapy program
  • Volunteer Supervisors for the Mens Shed program
  • Delivery of meals in the Meals on Wheels program

The contribution our volunteers make is greatly appreciated and significantly supports and extends access to programs in the community.


ODH Community Health Services has strong links with the east Gippsland Primary Care Partnership and East Gippsland Shire at a regional level, and at a local level works in collaboration with such organisations as Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre, Ensay Bush Nursing Centre, Community Centre Swifts Creek, Benambra Neighbourhood House, Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police and local schools and early childhood centres.

Outreach services including Physiotherapy and Footcare are provided out of the Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre on a regular basis.

Streamlined client care continues to be coordinated through fortnightly case conferencing meetings with input from Community Health management and direct care staff, ODH acute nursing staff and medical practitioners from Omeo Medical Centre. These meetings have led to improved referral processes and streamlined care coordination for community based clients.

Location Service Day Of Week Times Contact Details
Omeo District Health Community Health Services Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm 03 5159 0100