Health check-up

June 08, 2017

Open wide: Adi checks the dental health of Lisa Howell as part of the Crossroads project.

Health researchers from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Rural Health are busy interviewing 300 households across Cobram to get a snapshot of the community’s health.

The information they gather will be used to better provide more of the health services the community needs and Cobram District Health is a partner in this project.

On May 26, researchers held the first of their in-depth health screening clinics where they took blood and tested their volunteers in every way possible.

From heart monitoring, testing for diabetes, hearing tests, free dental check or screening for cognitive decline to name a few, these volunteers gave their all.

One participant Bronwyn Lindsay is doing it all for the second time.

Fifteen years ago, when Crossroads first surveyed Cobram, Ms Lindsay was also randomly selected.

The data gathered at the screening clinic was very valuable to her and she kept it to refer back to for many years.

‘‘I’m really interested to see how I measure up this time,’’ she said.

Ron Campbell, a retired truck driver, said: ‘‘I wasn’t going to come today but I’m so glad I did. It was a great morning out.’’

Cobram District Health chief executive David Gullick said he was looking forward to the in-depth feedback this study would provide.

‘‘The more we know about the community’s experience, in detail, the better we are able to strengthen our service,’’ he said.

‘‘For example, when the same study happened 15 years ago, the information gathered about the dental health of Cobram enabled us to build a case to fund our dental service.

‘‘This has meant a whole new generation of Cobram kids have grown up with better dental health than they might have.

‘‘When we are able to provide a service locally it means people don’t have to travel so far and they are more likely to get that check-up that may make all the difference.’’

If the Crossroads researchers come knocking on your door in the next few months, project officials urge people to consider giving them a bit of time out of your day, as the community needs you to have your say about health.

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