Doors Open at the Coen Apunipima Health Care Centre

Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s newest Primary Health Care Centre is in Coen and doors open to the community on Monday April 3rd.

The Coen Apunipima Health Care Centre is Apunipima’s fifth independent Primary Health Care Centre, all of which are community driven and community led facilities on Cape York.

Staff will spend the first week of opening becoming familiar with the new work environment. Coen residents will be welcome to drop by for a look and a BBQ in the second week of opening.

The Apunipima Healthcare Centre in Coen will offer culturally appropriate primary health care services including GP/Nurse Practitioner services, Maternal and Child Health services, Social Emotional Wellbeing services, as well as Allied Healthcare services which include Podiatry, Diabetes Education, Dietetics, and Tackling Indigenous Smoking.

Louise Pratt, an Umpilawoman who grew up in Coen, is the Primary Healthcare Manager who will be running both new Centres in Coen. Louise has been with Apunipima for over 7 years, before which she worked as a Health Worker for Queensland Health. She has over eleven years’ experience working in Health which has provided her with a firm grasp on healthcare needs in Coen.

Louise said “this has been nearly ten years in the making and I just want to acknowledge all people from the staff to the CEO who have put in the hard work to make it happen. I especially want to acknowledge Verna Singleton who was the health worker in Coen before me. She was the first ever Indigenous Health Worker in Coen. She played an important part in getting Apunipima off the ground here, connecting community with healthcare.”

Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan said, “The opening of the Coen Health Care Centre is crucial to Apunipima’s commitment towards closing the gap in health for the people of Cape York. As stated before, there is incontrovertible evidence that community driven, community led, culturally appropriate primary health care is key to improving health outcomes amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Apunipima will be working with Queensland Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to ensure that we are collectively able to meet the health needs of Coen people. ”

The new centre will work closely with Coen Health Action Team and community leaders to ensure services reflect and respond to the health needs of the local community.

The Department of Health provided funding to Apunipima to build new primary health care centres and accommodation in Coen.

An official opening for the new Coen Primary Health Care Centre is yet to be scheduled.