La Trobe University: New Rural Clinical Health School funded

The new Rural Clinical Health School, to be built at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton, will both improve health outcomes for people in regional Victoria and address the shortage of rural nurses midwives and allied health clinicians.

The University will commit $5 million towards the $26.5 million project, with Federal Government contributing $19.5 million, and the remainder provided by Goulburn Valley Health funds and land. The announcement means that La Trobe University and Goulburn Valley Health will now have a dedicated state-of-the-art facility to support student learning in the clinical setting, better preparing them for the transition to clinical practice and addressing the medium and long-term workforce needs of the region.

Professor John Dewar AO, Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University, said that the University is delighted to be collaborating with Goulburn Valley Health and the Government to establish a Rural Clinical Health School in Shepparton, which will substantially increase the number of nursing and midwifery and allied health students undertaking their studies and training in the region.

“The Clinical Health School will create career opportunities for the future health workforce through quality education and learning experiences, and develop the capability of existing clinicians through postgraduate study. This will support the retention of the local health care workforce and improve the health outcomes of regional communities in Northern Victoria,” Professor Dewar said.

Professor Jane Mills, Dean of La Trobe’s Rural Health School, said the announcement further confirms La Trobe University’s considerable strengths in rural health education and research.

“There is a critical shortage of health, aged and community care workforce across Northern Victoria which this new Clinical Health School will address,” Professor Mills said.

“The already established partnership between La Trobe University and Goulburn Valley Health and today’s significant funding commitment by the Federal Government recognise La Trobe’s considerable footprint in rural health across Victoria.”

Matt Sharp, Chief Executive Goulburn Valley Health, said that that the pressures of healthcare demand a workforce profile of clinicians who continually advance their knowledge and skills.

“The purpose-built Clinical Health School will enable us to offer flexible nursing, midwifery and allied health education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It will be delivered through a combination of on-site teaching, integrated learning experiences with expert clinicians and technologically enabled student experiences that simulate clinical environments reflective of contemporary practice,” he said.

“The Clinical Health School will enhance the strong collaboration already in place between La Trobe University and Goulburn Valley Health to provide increased opportunities for young people across the area to pursue a career in health and undertake the study locally.”

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