Tweed joint pain project the bee’s knees at NSW Health Awards

Tweed joint pain project the bee’s knees at NSW Health Awards

An initiative that helps patients reduce knee and hip joint pain, while removing the need for surgery in the majority of cases, has won the inaugural Secretary’s Award for Value Based Healthcare at the 2019 NSW Health Awards.

The ‘My Aching Joints’ initiative, led by Chris Hanna, Dr Jason Tsung, Dr Brett Lynam, Luke Schultz and Evan Bryant, provides timely and seamless access to care and improves osteoarthritis joint pain and function in two out of three patients.

The project was developed in collaboration with North Coast Primary Health Network and uses evidence based intervention to target a patient’s modifiable health and lifestyle factors, like weight-loss and physical activity to reduce joint pain while improving function.

Participating patients self-manage their physical activity program and are kept informed on their treatment through a single point of contact between their physiotherapists, GPs, and orthopedic surgeons.

Project leader Chris Hanna said he and the team were thrilled to have received statewide recognition.

“This project has been a huge success in the Tweed Valley, so to receive this award at a state level is a huge bonus for us,” Mr Hanna said.

“It also gives us an even better foundation for rolling out this program statewide in the future.

“We emphasize patient empowerment through helping them to better understand joint pain. This, combined with ongoing support from clinicians reduces the need for surgery in most cases,” he said.

In this year’s NSW Health Awards, there were 37 finalists competing for 12 award categories.

In 2019–20 the NSW Government is investing a record $26.7 billion on health and infrastructure, including a $24 billion recurrent budget and $2.7 billion capital budget.

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