Expanding support with our dedicated teleHealth Centre
Over the past 20 months we have been able to continue providing much needed services through the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and teleHealth has proved itself to be a significant asset throughout this difficult time. It has enabled us to continue providing services to children living in regional, rural and remote communities when face-to-face support has been impossible.
I wrote earlier in the year of our plans to convert one of the existing buildings at our Toowong site into a dedicated teleHealth centre, and I am delighted to inform you that this has now started to become a reality thanks to your generous donations and the support of the Queensland Government who contributed $481,090 to the cost of building the centre. Work began on the centre in September and we hope to have it up and running next year at an estimated total cost of just over $1 million.
The new centre will greatly improve our ability to support rural children, enabling us to provide a full range of support and therapy not readily available through our service centres. Four-year-old Noah from Hervey Bay is a case in point. He was referred to us in need of occupational therapy, a service we don’t currently have available in his local centre. Noah was unable to hold cutlery and feed himself which was very stressful for his family. Using teleHealth, our OT in Maroochydore has been working with Noah and his mum to provide exercises, craft tasks and fun play activities to strengthen Noah’s hand control and grip. Despite having never met our OT face-to-face, Noah is now able to feed himself using thick handled cutlery, making life much easier for his family who are really appreciative of the support we have been able to provide through teleHealth.
It’s always important to remember teleHealth doesn’t replace the need for our therapists in regional locations, but complements and extends their work. Our speech pathologist in Toowong has been working with two-year-old Ben and his family who live in Regional Queensland. When Ben was referred to BUSHkids he couldn’t speak; however, he has responded really well to the interactive games available as part of our teleHealth offering, and started putting together two word phrases to control his favourite cartoon characters on the screen, commands such as ‘Bluey Jump’. Ben has just turned three and is now producing complete sentences and after being diagnosed with level 2 ASD his family are working directly with our Early Childhood Early Intervention Team to develop an NDIS plan for ongoing therapy to help Ben to reach his full potential in life.
With a dedicated teleHealth centre we will be able to help more kids like Noah and Ben and we hope you can help us help them. Any gift of $2 or more which you can give is tax deductible and will enable us to finish building and fitting out the new teleHealth centre. To make donation easier, you can give online through our website; go to bushkids.org.au and click on the ‘Donate Now’ button.
Thank you again for your continued support during what has been a difficult time for us all, and I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
BUSHkids centres will be closed from 2.00pm on Friday 24 December and reopen for business on Monday 10 January 2022.
We look forward to continuing our services for children and families into 2022 with your support.
Chief Executive Officer
 While this is a real case, personal information about the children and family have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.