Cobar Primary Health Care Centre’s (CPHCC) new staff member Dawn Howlett brings with her a wealth of knowledge after having worked in health care for more than 40 years.
Dawn recently moved to Cobar to join CPHCC’s allied health team as a full time Aboriginal Health Care Worker.
Previously the centre only had the services of a part time Aboriginal Health Care Worker who was based in Bourke.
“My job is all about introducing services to the community, seeing what the needs are and looking at what services we can provide,” Dawn told The Cobar Weekly.
She said she will be looking to see if any other services need to be brought in and identify any problems Aboriginal people have with accessing health services.
“It’s all about early intervention and preventative medicine.
“Whatever health issues or concerns people may have, they can come to me first if they need some advice,” she said.
Dawn is able to refer people to a variety of services and arrange Aboriginal health checks which is all part of the Closing The Gap program which aims to close the gap in health care between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.
Dawn commenced her training in Bourke in 1971 as an enrolled nurse and worked there for 19 years before moving to Lightning Ridge where she spent 16 years as an Aboriginal Health Care Worker.
“I actually pioneered aboriginal health care there and I brought in a lot of services,” she said.
Dawn moved on from Lightning Ridge to Tamworth where she worked for three and a half years helping to establish their first aboriginal medical service.
Prior to coming to Cobar Dawn had been working as a practice nurse with Bourke Aboriginal Health Care Service.
Dawn said part of her role involves her going out into the community and getting to know people which will help her to gauge what services the Aboriginal community requires.
She said she is keen to help local Aboriginal people, identify any problems they are having accessing medical services and, if need be, refer people to other services.
Appointments with Dawn can be made at the centre.