MND Victoria’s Education and Client Support Team
Olivia Verschuur and Ruby Nunan-Jackson have joined the organisation in recent months and, together with Janette McDonald, who moved across from our Advisor team, complete the awesome threesome making up this newly formed team.
Pictured above (Left to Right): Olivia Verschuur, Ruby Nunan-Jackson and Janette McDonald
Olivia is the Team Leader - she is an Occupational Therapist and has extensive experience working with people with progressive neurological conditions, having moved to MND Victoria from Multiple Sclerosis Limited. Ruby is our new Administrative Officer. She has experience in Health Promotion and has joined us from the Cancer Council. Janette, our Education and Client Support Coordinator (also an Occupational Therapist!) has been with the organisation for over 20 years.
The team's focus for the next 12 months is on building our support and education programs and resources for people with MND, their carers and the Allied Health Professionals who support them. We do all of this currently, but want to expand the programs and resources that we offer! This team is generally the Association’s first point of contact for anyone in Victoria and Tasmania who has been recently diagnosed – they will continue to be the friendly voice at the end of the phone or email and provide information in advance of an MND Advisor being in touch.
The team has coordinated the Annual Client survey which was sent out in October. We hope there may be suggestions that arise from the survey on additional program areas that may benefit people impacted by MND. Thanks to all of you who have participated in the survey – like the American election, we have had a record number of respondents! In 2019, we had a 20.9% response rate, this year it's 42%. I will provide a summary of the survey outcomes in the next edition!
Keeping Connected Program
MND Victoria’s successful application for additional Government funding has enabled us to expand our Keeping Connected Program. As a result, we have increased Advisor support from 1 day a fortnight to 3 days a week.
Our Keeping Connected Program works with people in Victoria and Tasmania with Motor Neurone Disease or Kennedy’s Disease who are over 65 years of age, and who either have a slower disease progression or have a stable support network and environment. These people still benefit from regular contact from a qualified MND Advisor (Keeping Connected Advisor) to provide them with information and link them into appropriate services as and when their needs may change.
The Keeping Connected Advisor works collaboratively with the broader MND Advisor team, and service users may move between teams as their needs change and if more intensive support is required.
Janet Cowling has joined the team as our new Keeping Connected Advisor.
Janet is an Occupational Therapist who has significant experience and skill in working with people with progressive neurological conditions. Isabelle Lloyd, who has been the face of the program over recent years, still works for the Association but in a different capacity.
Equipment Reference Group
We have set up a reference group with Allied Health professionals who specialise in supporting people with MND, to review the type of equipment we have in our equipment library and to make sure we keep as current as possible.
Expression of Interest: If you are interested in joining the reference group, please email or call me for further information and tell me why you are interested in joining the group. Meetings will be held over Zoom, so you can live anywhere in the state (as long as you have an internet connection!). Initially, meetings will be held at six-weekly intervals, eventually transitioning to quarterly.
We will be commencing a monthly client e-newsletter with more detailed and up to date information about supports and services in 2021. To ensure you receive these important e- newsletters, please make sure your email address that we have on record is up to date.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any feedback about any of our Support Services.
Jo Whitehouse, Manager Support Services
0402 183 140