Twenty years on and still going strong.
The Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN) today marked 20 years of leading rural health education and research with the launch of a new logo and website that showcases the breadth and diversity of work from its members, the University Departments of Rural Health.
University Departments of Rural Health, also known as UDRHs, are academic centres located in rural and remote regions. The UDRHs play a vital role in growing and supporting the rural and remote health workforce through the delivery of high-quality health education and research.
Each year, the UDRHs facilitate rural and remote training placements for thousands of nursing and allied health students as well as undertaking research into a wide range of rural and remote health issues. The UDRHs also work closely with their local health and human services to support the local health workforce with continuing professional development.
Since their inception, the UDRHS have also had a strong focus on population health and improving the health and wellbeing of people in their catchment areas. The UDRHS work closely with their community partners and local services to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.
In 2001, the original nine UDRHs from Broken Hill, Mt Isa, Whyalla, Launceston, Alice Springs, Geraldton, Shepparton, Warrnambool and Lismore decided to form ARHEN to provide a united and national voice on rural and remote health issues.
Since that time successive Australian Governments have continued to invest in the University Departments of Rural Health and the network has now grown to 16 centres around the country. There are now 19 Australian universities involved in the UDRH network representing nearly half of the higher education sector.