Boab Health Services is a not-for-profit Primary Health Care organisation servicing communities across the Kimberley region. Services provided include Allied Health, Mental Health, a ‘Closing the Gap’ team and a range of projects and health promotion programs.
The organisation was established in 1998 as The Kimberley Division of General Practice with 4 staff, which has grown into a team of 36 by 2015. In support of the Primary Health Care philosophy, a holistic approach to health care is promoted with a strong emphasis on health promotion, self-management and ensuring that all services and programs are culturally appropriate and sensitive.
Boab Health Services has two hubs, one based in Broome and the other in Kununurra, where clinicians deliver services and also outreach to remote communities and towns across the Kimberley. The clinical and program staff are supported by a corporate team including finance, payroll, HR, health administration and quality improvement staff.
The organisation is a proprietary limited company governed by a board of directors. Boab Health programs are funded by the Commonwealth through the Western Australia Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and through the Department of Health. Boab Health Services is accredited against the National Primary Health care standards and also against the National Mental Health Standards and has attained several awards in the last few years for excellence in service delivery.
Health and Wellbeing Achievements
Boab Health Services is committed to the health and wellbeing of their staff and has a Healthy Workplace Group that drives and monitors their workplace health and wellbeing program.They received recognition for having the following:
Healthy Workplace Policy which outlines their committment to creating a workplace culture that supports and encourages healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Healthy Catering guidelines which outline that they will ensure a variety of healthy foods and drinks are available at all internal and external meetings, functions and events organised by them.
Smoke-free workplace policy and reimburse costs for workers participating in recognised smoking cessation programs as determined by Quit Line. All new staff are informed that it is a smoke-free workplace at their induction and they also have smoke-free signgage displayed around both office locations.
A work/life balance allowance for staff entitling them to partial reimbursement on healthy lifestyle activities outside of work such as gym memberships, sports association fees or swimming passes. This is available annually and staff can be refunded up to $290 in one financial year.
Detailed action plan which outlines the strategies they are going to implement over the next 12 months and how they are going to do it.
Flexible working hours and provision of end of journey facilities; showers and lockers at both sites to encourage workers to be physically active before, during and after work.
Effective communication of workplace health initiatives and the benefits of healthy lifestyles through regular health email bulletins, posters and newsletters and discussion at team meetings.
Portable/communal standing desks for each office space and they send out email reminders about the risks associated with sitting for too long.
Incorporated standing breaks in to meeting agendas and encourage managers to conduct one on one walking meetings where possible.
Communicate strategies to staff about how they can break up their sitting time and have encouraged all staff to download "rest and stretch" break reminders on their computers.
Held a workplace pedometer challenge to encourage workers to be more physically active and reduce their sitting time. They sent out weekly emails acknowledging "top stepping" individuals and teams and most improved for the week to keep workers motivated.
Have four qualified dietitians on-site who deliver healthy eating education sessions to workers.
Regular healthy shared lunches where all staff are encouraged to bring a plate of food to share with their colleagues. This is organised by Boab's nutrition team so there is always plenty of advice regarding healthy recipes and choices.
A social calendar promoting fun and team building in a relaxing environment where drinking alcohol is not the primary focus. They also promote the Australian Alcohol Guidelines to all staff members.
Provide a free fruit bowl at both offices positioned alongside a monthly "Take a Pick" healthy lifestyle challenge. When staff take a piece of fruit they are encouraged to pick a challenge (a list is provided) that they aim to complete over the next month.
Promote and encourage workers to participate in Ride to Work Day.
Reimburse all workers the cost for Hepatitis A & B and yearly influenza vaccinations.
A Buddy program to support new employees in their early months of employment at Boab Health.
Ongoing evaluation of healthy workplace initiatives such as the fruit basket and pedometer challenges to identify how successful they have been and they regularly consult with staff for feedback and ideas.
"Boab Health Services recognises the importance of supporting workplace health and wellbeing initiatives to assist with promoting optimal physical and mental health in the work environment. As a primary health care organisation we have a strong focus on health promotion and chronic disease prevention for our clients and so it is logical to make this a priority in our own workplace. We are committed to creating a workplace culture that supports and encourages healthy lifestyles, supported by our enthusiastic healthy workplace group. I am looking forward to further developing our healthy workplace program!"