Media Releases

The true pain of Newstart: Australians economically blocked from essential healthcare suffer deteriorating health

10th October 2019

Victorian community health organisation cohealth has today warned about the true pain of Newstart. Nicole Bartholomeusz, cohealth Chief Executive, said many Australians who are forced to live below the poverty line on the Newstart Allowance are going without essential healthcare because they can’t afford it “We hear from people in the community whose health is deteriorating because they are unable to afford the cost of essential medications and health treatments.

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cohealth appoints new Chief Executive

12th September 2019

cohealth today announced the appointment of Nicole Bartholomeusz as its new Chief Executive (CE). Ms Bartholomeusz has been Interim CE following Lyn Morgain’s departure to Oxfam Australia and prior to this, held the Deputy CE role since 2014. Over the past five years Nicole has brought her pragmatic and values-based leadership approach to the oversight of the operations of cohealth, as well as to her role as a strategic partner and thought leader to the Chief Executive. Nicole said it was a privilege to be appointed as cohealth’s new CE.

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cohealth appoints Virginia Lewis as first Research Chair

1st July 2019

cohealth is pleased to announce the appointment of La Trobe University Professor Virginia Lewis as the inaugural cohealth Research Chair. Professor Lewis is a health services researcher and evaluator with more than 25 years of experience. Professor Lewis has worked over many years with the Victorian primary and community health sectors and has a particular interest in increasing access to community-based primary health care for vulnerable populations. “I am particularly excited about this opportunity because I have a long-standing interest in and commitment to demonstrating the value and sustaining the role of community health in the health system,” Professor Lewis said.

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Inaugural Media Diversity Australia Award at the Walkley Mid-Year Celebration awarded to ABC's 'You Can't Ask That'

27th June 2019

Inaugural Media Diversity Australia Award at the Walkley Mid-Year Celebration awarded to ABC's 'You Can't Ask That' for tackling uncomfortable issuesThe award honours journalists who are making an outstanding contribution through their reporting or coverage of diverse people or issues in Australia. The winning team includes Aaron Smith, Kirk Docker, Loni Cooper, Pauline Ernesto and Josh Schmidt, and they entered three episodes “You Can’t Ask That – Deaf, African Australians and Intersex”. The newest award at the Walkley Mid-Year Celebration far exceeded all expectations with 72 entries. It’s a response that shows how needed this award is.

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Budget neglect of community health will lead to more hospital admissions

27th May 2019

The absence of any new funding for community health services in this year’s budget will lead to increased burden on hospitals, particularly from vulnerable Victorians, says one of Victoria’s leading not-for-profit health providers. cohealth's Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain, said, “People on low incomes struggle to access the health care they need and their health problems snowball. Intervening early with properly funded community-based care can often prevent hospital admissions further down the track. “We are disappointed that this Budget again fails to respond to the important preventative role of community health.”

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increased community managed mental health funding a positive first step

17th September 2018

cohealth, one of Victoria’s leading community health providers, has today welcomed Minister Foley’s announcement of an additional $50 million in funding for community-based psychosocial support services as an important first step in repairing Victoria’s mental health system. Victoria’s community mental health services have long been the envy of other States and Territories, delivering psychosocial support and rehabilitation programs that enable those experiencing mental health difficulties to become and stay well. However the loss of many of these services in recent years as funding has transitioned into the NDIS has led to heartbreaking stories from former clients of declining mental health and increased pressure on their family and carers.

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cohealth welcomes establishment of community health expert taskforce

5th June 2018

cohealth, one of Victoria’s largest community health providers, has today welcomed Minister’s Hennessy’s announcement of the establishment of an Expert Taskforce to identify ways to strengthen Victoria’s community health sector. cohealth Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain said that “Victoria’s community health sector is unique in Australia, playing a critical role in ensuring that some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our community are able to access health and social support.” “We have a long history of working with the communities we serve to deliver effective services that are responsive to need – helping to keep people well, better manage chronic health conditions, and reduce health inequity.”

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significantly increased mental health investment welcome, but misdirected

1st May 2018

cohealth, one of Victoria’s leading community health providers, has today expressed profound dismay at the Andrews Government’s failure to provide any investment into community managed mental health services, with the now comprehensive loss of psychosocial support and rehabilitation programs certain to hurt individuals, families and communities across the State. cohealth’s Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain, said that “the 2018 Budget represented a critical moment for the future of mental health service delivery in Victoria. Consumers, service providers, and advocates, have loudly and at length urged the Government to invest the necessary money to save the State’s existing community mental health services, and restore those that have already been lost. With no new funding provided for community mental health, more services will be lost, and more people will suffer.”

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farewell and thanks to inaugural cohealth Chair, Kay Rundle

30th April 2018

Following almost five years of careful stewardship and experienced counsel, which included oversight of the successful merger of three community health organisations to form cohealth, the inaugural cohealth Chair, and Board Director, Kay Rundle is to step down on 3 May 2018.

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cohealth calls on government to evacuate men on Manus

2nd November 2017

ohealth is deeply concerned about the health & welfare of the refugees and asylum seeker men on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Given the escalating crisis situation on Manus Island, cohealth supports the calls from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) for assurances that the health and wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers will be protected by the Australian government.

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Supervised injecting centre is welcome first step to reduce drug related harm in Victoria

31st October 2017

cohealth, provider of community health and support services in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to trial a medically supervised injecting centre in Richmond, as a critical first step in reducing drug related harms. “We have evidence from more than 100 medically supervised injecting centres across the world which shows that not only have thousands of lives been saved, but that engagement with these kinds of services provides an opportunity for people using drugs to access medical help, ongoing support, and referral to counselling and treatment,” said cohealth Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain.

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