What the nomination was for:
Successful implementation of a student-led podiatry outreach clinic at Westside Community Centre, West Albury, NSW.
This team in partnership with Westside Community Centre developed a student-led podiatry service, which provides culturally responsive care for community members. Within three months of securing funding from Charles Sturt University Three Rivers Department of Rural Health, the team had undertaken a community needs analysis, developed an innovative service delivery model, equipped the clinic, promoted the service to the local community, and commenced podiatric services delivered by final year podiatry students. The launch of this new service on 12 July 2021 was supported by local council representatives and has assisted in strengthening plans for future government investment on the Westside site, which will enable additional health service provision at the heart of community.
Why is it Excellence Award worthy:
Since implementation, the clinic has provided podiatry care to 23 clients and valuable workplace learning experience for seven final year podiatry students. Client feedback demonstrates the value of local community-based primary healthcare: “Everyone was so friendly and professional and made me feel really good. I couldn’t really afford to go anywhere else and it’s a wonderful service. I really hope it keeps going”. Student feedback illustrates the power of situated learning for culturally safe care: “The Westside experience enabled me to put into practice the theory I had learnt in cultural competency across my course, particularly when engaging with Aboriginal people”. This initiative is delivering impactful benefits to the local community. Foot health is critical to enabling active participation in physical activity to reduce the burden of chronic disease. The podiatry clinic success has inspired healthcare partners to nominate future funding to ensure sustainability and enhanced the reputation of Charles Sturt in the wider community.