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  • Dr James Fitzpatrick: Paediatrician and Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia
  • Winthrop Professor Karen Edmond: School of Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Western Australia
  • Professor Jane Latimer:  Deputy Director Musculoskeletal Division, Head Paediatric Program Musculoskeletal Division, The George Institute for Global Health, The University of Sydney
  • Professor Branko Celler: Chief Scientist, CSIRO Computational Informatics in Australia
  • Dr Trevor Mazzuchelli: Clinical Psychologist, Curtin University
  • Mr Glenn Pearson: Manager Aboriginal Research Development, Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia
  • Associate Professor Jane Valentine: Paediatrician and Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia
  • Ms Edie Wright: Manager of Aboriginal Education, Department Education and Training in the Kimberley District Education Office
  • Dr Heather Carmichael Olsen: Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Washington
  • Dr Rochelle Watkins: Epidemiologist and Senior Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia
  • Professor John Boulton: Senior Regional Paediatrician Kimberley Health region, Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, The University of Newcastle
  • Ms Maureen Carter: CEO Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services

Approvals for the Project to proceed were secured in October 2012 and a period of consultation and planning is already underway. This Project is supported by WACHS (Kimberley), Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services, the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR), the Fitzroy Futures Forum Governing Committee, and the Kimberley Education Regional Office.

To meet the Project objectives, a child health team was formed with existing nursing, allied health and paediatric services, that currently operate relatively independently. Interagency planning and service delivery will be facilitated through synchronizing clinic schedules, participating in joint clinic intake planning, conducting clinical services in the same place and at the same time, and working together on treatment plans and follow-up. Clinicians will work in close partnership with schools and community members; and primary health services will better integrate with specialist outreach services.

This Project responded to high service needs identified in the Lililwan Project Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) research, which Dr James Fitzpatrick, is a Chief Investigator.

Development of the Marulu School Clinics will be conducted in two stages:

Stage 1: Delivering excellent health services:

  • This stage will inform the development and ongoing improvement of clinic design and processes, assessment tools and therapeutic programs.
  • The process of conducting Stage 1 will provide an evidence base for service design while engaging and empowering consumers in an innovative and integrated multidisciplinary child health care service.
  • Novel and cost effective strategies such as telehealth, remote monitoring and integration of primary, secondary and tertiary health care will be employed.
  • A partnership has been formed with the CSIRO to develop high-speed internet coverage in the Fitzroy Valley, through which telehealth capacity will be enhanced.

Stage 2: Improving outcomes for children with complex needs:

  • This stage will involve an intervention trial in which children assessed with neurodevelopmental or behavioural disorders in the multidisciplinary clinic will have therapeutic goals set for the home and school environment, using standardised goal setting and outcome measures including the Canadian Occupational Performance Measures (COPM) and Goal Attainment Scales (GAS).

For general queries or to find out more information about the Marulu School Clinics project, please contact Dr James Fitzpatrick.

Existing visiting child health services to remote communities will be coordinated into a multidisciplinary team whose clinical processes are informed by the community and education sector input.

This will foster efficient, coordinated and integrated health service delivery that focuses on health, development and educational goals.

Read more about Dr James Fitzpatrick's PATCHES Paediatrics service.