The Men's Health Educational Rural Van will be in Banora Point this weekend.
The Men's Health Educational Rural Van will be in Banora Point this weekend.

Rural health on agenda

HEALTH professionals from across the state will gather in Lismore tomorrow for the eighth annual Rural Health and Research Congress.

The conference will be held across three days this week, from tomorrow until Friday, with a range of topics being discussed, including presentations on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, laughter as therapy, the power of conversation, the future of bio-banking and more.

A congress spokesman said the annual event has become a peak event on the health calendar attracting leading keynote speakers, academics, clinicians, researchers and health leaders for three days of thought-provoking discussion, insights and networking opportunities.

He said this year's theme "Connecting Communities” will be explored by an inspiring line-up of speakers.

Speakers include Indigenous Allied Health Australia board director Danielle Dries, Maranguka Community Hub director Alistair Ferguson, Central Coast Research Institute director Professor Nick Goodwin and Australian Health Services Research Institute director Professor Kathy Eagar.

Other speakers include NSW Brain Clot Bank founding director Associate Professor Murray Killingsworth, free mobile laundry service Orange Sky's Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, as well as comedian Mandy Nolan and Luke Escombe.

Health Education and Training Institute chief executive Professor Annette Solman said the annual congress supports continual improvement in health service delivery for rural patients, by providing a forum to present, workshop and network the latest research and trends in rural health and evidence to support best practice.

"In order to maintain and strengthen a world-class rural health system, we need to further understand the challenges health care professionals face,” Prof Solman said.

"We need to have those conversations about how we can continue to build upon the good work that is occurring to improve health outcomes and celebrate what is working well in rural communities.”

Prof Solman said the event provides a unique and crucial opportunity to explore the health requirements of people in rural and remote areas.

"I encourage all health staff and professionals to join us in this discussion,” she said.

The Rural Health and Research Congress is organised by the Health Education and Training Institute with support from the Northern NSW Local Health District.

For more information visit http://www.nswrhrc.com.au