Leading the way in quality maternity care for Aboriginal women in the Perth metropolitan area
Day two – Wednesday 20 November 2013
1.55pm – 2.55pm Concurrent session 6
Armadale Health Service continues to consolidate its commitment to the local Aboriginal community with the provision of holistic maternity care services provided through Boodjari Yorgas (Noongar for Pregnant Women) Family Care Program and the mainstream maternity unit. Provision of services, specifically for women having Aboriginal babies, officially commenced in April 2007 with the launch of the Boodjari Yorgas Clinic. However, outreach midwifery services were initiated years earlier at the local Aboriginal Health Service Derbarl Yerrigan in Maddington and continue to this day. With COAG funding contributing to the service, it grew into the Boodjari Yorgas Family Care Program as it is known today.
Boodjari Yorgas staff consists of midwives, an Aboriginal Health Officer and Grandmother Liaisons functioning as a tight knit team to provide consistent contact with their clients antenatally, in labour, on the postnatal ward, in special care nursery, the paediatric ward, in the emergency department and with home visits. Care has been provided in over 500 pregnancies over the past six years, with women coming from all over the metropolitan area, as well as rural areas, to access care at Armadale Health Service.
During this time there has been an increased profile within the community and across the country, with the team winning the 2012 Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Promoting culturally safe and respectful care is one of the main focuses of the team and the Armadale Health Service as a whole. Overall we are providing a holistic family approach to pregnancy and postnatal care. The numbers have grown from 40 accessing care in 2008 to over 160 in 2012. The greatest endorsement is families returning to have their second or third pregnancies cared for through Boodjari Yorgas Family Care Program.