Supporting equal health in remote communities
Ngarrindjeri woman Dr Alanna Sandell has made it her life’s work to Close the Gap in Indigenous health in remote Australia.
During her medical training Alanna spent two-months at Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Medical Service in Katherine and travelled to remote communities with the Flying Doctor Service. She saw firsthand the inequalities in health care for remote Indigenous Australians and has been driven ever since to make a difference.
With the support of Australian Government funding through the Indigenous Employment Program, Alana has started a practice at Ngarda, an Indigenous mining and contracting company based in Perth.
“Working in partnership with Ngarda means I will have access to Indigenous communities associated with their project sites across Australia and at some of their training sites,” Alanna said.
Helping Indigenous people to be healthy and contribute to their communities is a priority for Alanna.
“What I really want to do is address the major health issues for Aboriginal people – diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
“If I can encourage people to prevent these threats from becoming serious health issues in their own lives, the chances of them becoming successfully employed are greater, and given the right support, the benefits of this will flow on to their families and communities.”
Alanna said her approach to health services is holistic and community focused.
“When I treat a person it isn’t just about fixing that problem, it is about looking at why they became unwell, what can be done about preventing or lessening the risk of it reoccurring, and how their health or work lifestyle is impacting their family, and their community,” she said.Tweet