Jessica Hardt1, Miss Diana Grace Simon1
1Good Start Program | Children’s Health Queensland, South Brisbane, Australia
The global burden of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) represents one of the most significant public health crises of the 21st century. The failure to attend appointment rate is 4-fold higher among the Māori & Pacific Islander population, attributable to a lack of easily accessible and culturally tailored health services. Chronic poor control of T2D is one of the leading causes of blindness, kidney and cardiovascular disease, associated with premature morbidity and mortality and costing the Australian economy $1.5 billion per year. Additionally, children diagnosed with T2D are predicted to experience a 15-year reduction in life expectancy compared to their unaffected peers.
A sustainable, integrated, multidisciplinary, family-centred, community-based and culturally tailored service was implemented for children experiencing high rates of vulnerability with T2D in the greater Brisbane area. A multidisciplinary team including a Multicultural Health Worker, Dietitian, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Diabetes Educator, Endocrinologist and Physiotherapist collaborate to deliver holistic and tailored care aligning with paediatric T2D evidence-based guidelines. Practical strategies including home visits, cooking sessions and family workouts address effective T2D management regarding medication, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, screen time and family-connectedness.
Results and Conclusion
Bridging the gap between tertiary and community-based services significantly reduces health services access barriers and increases frequency of follow up. Patients are empowered to manage T2D effectively, promoting positive health behaviours and reducing the risk of T2D related comorbidities and premature mortality. Ultimately, the prevalence of chronic disease will decrease among Queensland’s most vulnerable population groups, significantly tackling health inequity for future generations.
Jessica graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Master of Dietetics Studies. Jessica holds a great passion for giving children the healthiest start to life, instilling her desire to work in the paediatric field. Jessica is currently a Research Dietitian at Children’s Health Queensland, with her main role evaluating programs delivered by the Good Start Program. Jessica manages research processes and evaluates the effectiveness of culturally tailored programs to reduce the high prevalence of overweight and obesity among Maori and Pacific Islander children and families living in Brisbane. Jessica is also responsible for the facilitation of grants relating to paediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes across Children’s Health Queensland. Jessica strives to optimise research outputs to strengthen program outcomes, aiming to tackle the prevalence of health inequity in the future. Developing both research and clinical skills early in her career, Jessica also practices clinically within the paediatric weight management field.
Diana Simon is a dietitian from the Good Start Program, a Queensland Health Initiative which aims to lower the levels of chronic disease and obesity by working with families to build their knowledge, skills and confidence about healthy eating, physical activity and lifestyle practices. Diana leads the Healthy Kids Club, who are a passionate and creative multidisciplinary team, helping Logan families make healthier choices together. Diana has worked in tertiary care, multicultural health services and led a private practice. Her interests include obesity management, family-centred care and psychology around behaviour change. Diana has hopes for more community-based services, to increase access to care for our vulnerable populations.