After 53 years of helping people with asthma to lead a better life, the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania has decided to hand over service delivery to health peak body Asthma Australia Ltd, announced today.
From 1st of March, Asthma Australia Ltd will commence delivery of all asthma services, programs and advocacy in the nation’s southernmost state.
Following a successful merger of five asthma entities in October 2017, CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman said they looked forward to responding to the needs of Tasmanians.
“We’re really looking forward to providing service delivery of essential support to Tasmanians living with asthma,” Ms Goldman said. “I’d like to acknowledge the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania for all they have achieved, and creating a strong legacy which we are committed to continuing.”
“We’ve worked closely with their Board and the State Government to ensure a smooth handover of services. The benefits will be felt by our united, national approach which is pushing asthma higher up the health agenda, and rightly so. Asthma Australia will seek to appoint a local Tasmanian to its Consumer Advisory Committee to ensure a local voice at the table,” she said.
With 66,000 Tasmanians affected by asthma, representing almost one in eight people, the health system sees over 1,500 people present to Tasmanian Emergency Departments each year leading to hundreds of hospitalisations.
General Manager of Asthma Foundation of Tasmania, Wendy Evans, said the handover will ensure continuity of services into the future.
“It’s been a pleasure to service the people of Tasmania. Over the Foundation’s tenure we’ve made significant progress for people with asthma, and much more work is needed to support current and future generations with asthma,” said Ms Evans.
“We’ve been observing the progress of Asthma Australia since their initial merger in 2017.
“Our Board is united in the view that Asthma Australia is well positioned to support our state now and into the future. We’re excited to welcome their service delivery approach into Tasmania,” she said.
Ms Goldman said with expanded funds, and a greater breadth of skills and capabilities, Asthma Australia is enabled to expand successful initiatives, pilot new and improved approaches, and influence policy to achieve system change.
“We have Asthma Educators around the nation that provide personalised telephone support to help people gain better control and understanding of their asthma,” Ms Goldman said.
”We will continue to have a local presence with a staff member based in Tasmania, co-located with our Heart Foundation colleagues,” she said.
The Tasmanian Department of Health’s Chronic Conditions Prevention manager Julie Williams said she welcomed the transition and Asthma Australia’s proactive approach to managing asthma services in Tasmania.
“We thank the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania for the work they’ve undertaken in supporting thousands of people with asthma, and delivering vital asthma education across our state,” Ms Williams said.
“We also applaud Asthma Foundation of Tasmania on their proactive decision to hand over operations to capitalise on the resources Asthma Australia can offer. We look forward to a strong working relationship with Asthma Australia where, collectively, we can continue to positively impact of the lives of Tasmanians with asthma,” Ms Williams said.
The existing contract with the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Health will be transitioned to Asthma Australia to support the delivery of much needed services to the people of Tasmania.
Asthma Australia Limited services populations in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. With 2.7 million Australians affected by asthma, the organisation delivers evidence-based preventative health strategies and provides support, training and resources to the primary health care sector.
The organisation funds vital basic science and population health research contributing to national and international understandings of asthma and how best to manage the disease.
For more information about programs and resources specific to Tasmania, people can visit asthma.org.au or phone 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) to speak to an Asthma Educator today.