Doutta galla, north yarra and western region community health merger complete

Released on 1st May 2014

Three trusted community health organisations, providing services across ten Melbourne municipalities, have combined to form a new entity: cohealth.

With more than 30 sites in some of the city’s most disadvantaged and high-growth metropolitan communities, the merger of Doutta Galla Community Health, North Yarra Community Health and Western Region Health Centre will create a stronger network of local health services.

Chair of the cohealth Board, Kay Rundle, said it was an exciting milestone for staff and clients.

“These are three organisations with a proud history, one dating back to the 1860s, that have decided to come together to ensure that we can provide high quality local services that are accessible to all members of the community, for many years to come.”

With around 840 staff and a region encompassing Melbourne’s western, northwestern and inner northern suburbs, cohealth is one of Australia’s largest community health organisations. It provides a wide range of services including mental health, oral health, family violence, alcohol and other drugs, aged care, and medical and integrated health services.

Transitional CEO of cohealth, Lyn Morgain, said clients will not see any change in their services or staff. “We believe this merger gives us an opportunity to secure the funding and resources we need to remain a trusted, well-resourced service for local communities. And we have a new name and a new look. But nothing else changes.”

“Clients can expect us to stay true to our values. They will recognise in cohealth the objectives that all three founding organisations share – to partner with communities, to make a difference to people’s lives and wellbeing, and to empower those whose voices are seldom heard,” Ms Morgain said.

The CEOs of the three merging organsiations, Vera Boston, Nicole Kondogiannis and Nicole Bartholomeusz, welcomed the inception of cohealth.

“This merger was absolutely the right thing to do, at the right time,” Ms Boston said. “We have all worked hard for a long time to build the respect and trust of our communities. We believe that cohealth will honour that relationship, and build a stronger, more sustainable foundation for delivery of the comprehensive services that our communities expect from us.”

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