Improving the skills and knowledge of health graduates is a key focus of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed on Thursday 8 November between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD).
The MoU will forge closer ties between the two organisations, providing improved clinical placement opportunities for CSU students, professional development for CSU and MNCLHD staff, and the potential for joint research projects.
Executive Dean of CSU's Faculty of Science, Professor Heather Cavanagh, said both organisations share a vision for the provision of high quality health services by well prepared and qualified health professionals.
"This is exemplified in our common desire to address issues of staff training, recruitment and retention, relevant professional development of health disciplines, related research endeavours, and other activities that benefit our two organisations, specifically in rural and regional communities in Mid North Coast," Professor Cavanagh said.
"Through innovation, professional support and partnering opportunities, we seek to create opportunities for higher education, learning and employment which, in turn, build a more prosperous region."
CSU's Port Macquarie Campus Director, Dr Muyesser Durur, said a MoU is a monumental milestone for the Mid North Coast.
"In 2013 we are doubling our course offerings from four to eight and the UAC preferences for the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) and the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Medical Imaging) have proven very popular, with first and second preferences well over 330," Dr Durur said.
"It is an exciting journey and the support and collaboration between Charles Sturt University and MNCLHD will provide benefits to the community for years to come."
MNCLHD Chief Executive, Mr Stewart Dowrick, said the Local Health District is pleased to embark on this collaboration with CSU, which will provide more opportunities to strengthen the health workforce in what is a fast-growing region.
"The signing of this MoU enhances the strategic alliances that already exist between our organisations and provides a foundation to develop this important relationship in the future," Mr Dowrick said.
The MOU signing will enable the formation of a Collaborative Management Committee, which will consist of representatives from each organisation, and the establishment of two Working Committees focusing on Clinical Education and Research and Development.