St John of God Health Care launches its Innovate RAP 2024-2026

06 Jun 2024

By The Record

SJOG Reconciliation Action Plan 2024
Members of the Aboriginal Health Team at St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals provide culturally appropriate care to Aboriginal persons and their families in the Eastern suburbs of Perth. Photo: Supplied.

St John of God Health Care has outlined its intention to leverage its role as a major hospital and health care provider in Australia to help close the gap in Aboriginal health care as well as improving employment opportunities through its latest Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2024-2026.

The plan, which has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, is the national not-for-profit organisation’s third Reconciliation Action Plan and outlines its commitment to reconciliation with a focus on improving health outcomes and employment opportunities.

St John of God Health Care Group Chief Executive Officer Bryan Pyne said he was proud to launch the plan during National Reconciliation Week, with a number of activities underway across the organisation’s hospitals and services to recognise the week.

“Through our Innovate RAP 2024 – 2026 we want to demonstrate our leadership in health and community care service provision and use our influence to recognise our shared responsibility in closing the gap in Aboriginal health care,” he said.

“Through our reconciliation focus areas, in particular health outcomes and employment opportunities, we will celebrate First Nations peoples and cultures, and grow our community partnerships.

“That is why we have chosen to launch our Reconciliation Action Plan during this week and to start to build awareness of and engagement with our commitment to reconciliation through a range of activities being run within our hospitals and services and through our participation in community events.”

Mr Pyne said as a large Catholic hospital and health care provider, St John of God Health Care had a great opportunity to help address Closing the Gap targets by improving the health care outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“This is particularly so in our public hospital and services, such as through the integration of our Aboriginal Health Teams within the multi-disciplinary care team and facilitation of dedicated services,” he said.

“An example of this is the Moort Boodjari Mia antenatal and postnatal care program improving birth outcomes for Aboriginal babies at St John of God Midland Public Hospital.

“This is further enabled through partnerships with First Nations community and primary health care agencies to collaboratively address the health and social needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our care.”

The Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan sets out a series of actions and deliverables across four action areas, relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance, that will be delivered during the plan’s two-year implementation period and ongoing.

In addition to a focus on health care outcomes, St John of God Health Care has also identified an opportunity to increase employment opportunities and create culturally safe services and workplaces.

“The establishment of an Aboriginal Employment Framework is a key deliverable in this RAP and will be the foundation of increasing the employment opportunities for First Nations peoples within St John of God Health Care,” Mr Pyne said.

“We recognise that the cultures across Australia and within St John of God Health Care are diverse and we need to be responsive to the needs of our local communities, in everything we do and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this plan realised.”

The St John of God Health Care Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2024 to 2026 features artwork created by Aunty Neta (Janetia) Knapp, who is an Aboriginal Elder and artist from Gnowangerup, a small town in the South West of Western Australia. The artwork, Belia Koort, means “River Heart” and depicts the Noongar six seasons and acknowledges the location at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital which is located next to the river.

Click Here to read the St John of God Health Care Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2024 – 2026.