Deakin's Regional Community Health Hub (REACH)
- Improves health in rural and regional Australia by addressing critical workforce shortages in primary health care.
- Delivers major social and economic benefits to Geelong and Western Victoria with 850 new jobs and $140 million per year.
- Increases higher education opportunities for regional areas and indigenous communities through stronger partnerships
The Deakin Regional Community Health Hub (REACH) responds to the critical health workforce shortages in rural and regional Australia by:
- introducing new teaching programs in clinical optometry and exercise and sports science
- enabling a community based program in sport to be offered to Indigenous students and
- offering an innovative e-learning service, 'Deakin Health Online', linking health services, practitioners and educational institutions for the clinical training of health professionals.
REACH led to the construction of a 6,800 sq m facility at Deakin University's Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds to accommodate 1500 students and 172 staff, and serve as a hub providing electronic outreach training support to partner agencies.
REMPLAN modelling shows that the influx of motivated and educated individuals and their families will provide a major boost to the economic sustainability of the region as well as broader social capital and cultural benefits.
Through an innovative e-learning service, 'Deakin Health Online', REACH provides new and enhanced opportunities for health students and practitioners in rural and regional areas to access Higher Education. It acts as an electronic hub connecting workplaces to provide remote clinical supervision, tele-teaching and professional development.
REACH provides improved opportunities for people in rural, regional and low SES communities to access Deakin's Higher Education Health programs - initially in Western Victoria and spreading throughout Australia. Through industry and education partnerships that share resources and utilise modern communications, REACH's engaged form of learning contributes to achieving the Government's access and attainment targets for higher education.
The new three level building is linked to adjoining medical research and teaching infrastructure and includes a 200 seat lecture theatre, tutorial and problem-based learning rooms, simulation centre, laboratories, offices and student facilities, all fully equipped with AV and ICT equipment.