Program Manager - Projects

Ugari Nona

To oversee all aspects of the implementation of various health projects including the Integrated Team Care Project and Remote Community Connector Project within the NPA and Torres Strait.

NPAFCS operate a Home and Community based Case Management and Consultation Model of Palliative Care that is led by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker. The development of a Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) model of palliative care commenced following very generous, wise and knowledgeable specialist support from St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA). SVHA also provided financial support for on-the-ground development of this model, from July 2016 – end June 2019. Over the past 12 months, a model of care has been developed and endorsed by the Board of Directors.

The program provides end and quality of life planning and engagement with/ for people diagnosed with chronic disease or diagnosed with a terminal disease in the NPA as well as care coordination of people from the NPA who access services from multiple and geographically diverse services/organisation.

The Program has been supported by Reverse PEPA training from SVHA and Cairns and Hinterland HHS. Clinicians provided training to staff and community to provide a good understanding of the principles of palliative care as well as understanding the needs of patients and role in assisting them.

Over the past 12 months, current indications are that the number of patients requiring Palliative Care is steadily increasing especially those ranging from 35 to 55 years.

Some of the key achievements include

  • Implementing the NPAFACS Model of Palliative Care
  • Ensured consistent and regular case conferencing between NPA and TCHHHS
  • Increased community awareness, engagement and use of the palliative care program
  • Actively engaged with families in planning end of life
  • Actively provided support for families dealing with medical and health end of life tasks, including wills, Health Directives; EPOA; financial; identification. This required working across Births, Deaths and Marriages; police; HACC; Centrelink: Lawyers: Banks; NPARC
  • Established a presence at Medical case conferences across Queensland Health; TI; NPA
  • Presentation at Palliative Care conference: End of Life Statewide Forum in Brisbane
  • Presentation at the Parliamentary Inquiry into Aged Care
  • Together with Queensland Cancer, organized and co-facilitated palliative care training for Aboriginal and Torres Islander Health Workers for NPA and Torres
  • Organized PEPA training for all health staff in the NPA
  • Established a register of persons who are diagnosed with Chronic Disease or a terminal illness
  • Established a register of deceased persons together with cause of death and ages
  • Established an assets register

In December 2018, the program was awarded the 2018 Palliative Care in Queensland Award for Rural and Remote Palliative Care Team of the Year recognizing the good work done by the organization in this area.

As a result of this work, seventeen families have been worked with intensively over this period and Community is now proactive in seeking palliative care services. In addition, we have received further conference presentation invitations – Perth: Oceanic Palliative Care Conference Human Rights; & Sunshine Coast 2020.

The impact on the NPA is now all of the families and communities in the NPA now have a viable Palliative Care program in which they have confidence and actively use. Families engaged with this program state that they now feel more supported by GPs, Pharmacy, Queensland Health as a result of the active wrap around support they received through the case management component of this program.