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AUSTRALIA Key projects in 2007 Title: Development and launch of online Arthritis Health Services Guide (AHSG) BJD ANNUAL WORLD NETWORK CONFERENCE Action Summary: Develop a series of web pages containing details and contact information for services and organisations aimed at assisting October 13-14, 2007, GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA people with arthritis to lead as full and active a life as possible. Interested organisations submitted their details via an online form. There are currently 75 organisations listed in the AHSG and the guide itself can be viewed via region (state) or organisation type. Users can also view all entries in the AHSG if they are unsure of what might be suitable for them. Being an online guide, the AHSG can be accessed by patients, support organisations, and health professionals who have access to the internet. It can also be quickly updated to ensure it’s ongoing relevance and accuracy. Impact: Since it’s completion at the end of May 2007 (and up to the 16th August 2007), there have been 296 hits on the main (starting) page of the AHSG. Of these, 121 have viewed all the entries in the AHSG and there have been more than 100 hits on each of the pages showing all “National” entries, all entries for NSW, all Arthritis Foundation listings, and all allied health professional entries. Future Development: The AHSG will be continually updated with details of newly submitted entries or changes to existing entries as they occur. Key patients group activities and outcome The Australian NAN participated in several seminars, conferences, and workshops throughout 2007. These were open either to patients and/or health professionals working in the area of arthritis, musculoskeletal conditions, or medicine in general. Examples of these meetings included the Pain Day Symposium in Adelaide in April, the Australian Rheumatology Conference in Sydney in May, and the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine’s Arthritis Workshop in July. All of these meetings enabled the Australian NAN to promote the work of the BJD and get our key messages out to both patients and those providing their health care. Key interactions with ISC, other NANs, regional groups, governments As a result of extensive lobbying and promotion of the BJD, particularly with Arthritis Australia and Osteoporosis Australia, the Australian NAN successfully secured a partnership with the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aging. This partnership included a grant worth $100,000 to enable the hosting of the 2007 BJD World Network Conference and Patient Advocacy Meeting. Senior staff from the Department have also agreed to provide presentations during both the Patient Advocacy and the NAN Network meetings. In 2007, the Australian NAN secured funding through Rotary International to bring two suitable young adults living with arthritis to Australia to attend the week long camp’s for children with arthritis held in NSW and WA in October. The main aim of this project was to train the successful candidates in all aspects of organising and running such a camp so that they can establish similar camps in their home countries with the assistance of Rotary International and camp leaders from Australia. As part of the 2007 BJD World Network Conference and to mark World Arthritis Day 2007. the Australian NAN, in collaboration with the Gold Coast City Council and the Australian Rheumatology Association, has organised a public walk on the Gold Coast on Friday, 12th October. This walk will culminate in a outdoor concert headlined by a leading Australian entertainer who has personal experience with the impact of osteoarthritis. Key development plan for 2008 The NAN will continue to develop relationships with partner organisations such as the Arthritis Australia, Osteoporosis Australia, the Australian Orthopedic Association , the Australian Rheumatology Association and other professional groups to maximise the increased investment in musculoskeletal conditions by the Federal government. We will also be developing links with industry to further the aims of the BJD particularly in the area of patient advocacy. Partnerships with Universities will be enhanced by projects such as the development of a core musculoskeletal curriculum for health professionals . Finally the NAN is working with partners to ensure a continuing agenda for musculoskeletal conditions after 2010.
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