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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Five questions for Dr Elizabeth Justo

This month we spoke Dr Elizabeth Justo, UQ Health Care General Practitioner at Aveo Durack.

What inspired you to pursue a career?
I started off in paediatrics, but transitioned to general practice to fit with my growing family’s needs

What have been your highlights whilst working at AVEO Durack?
The relationships I have developed with patients, and their families, with co-workers in every capacity from nursing staff, carers, village staff, and my medical colleagues who continue to amaze and inspire me with their dedication and skill. I have learnt much of life from my relationships at Aveo.

What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day is a cup of coffee, a big breath, then running/juggling consulting room and treatment room and emergency walk-ins. I am often apologising for a long waiting time to a smiling patient and an overflowing waiting room. More coffee, biscuits dropped in from wonderful patients, computer paperwork and then house calls around the community for those too frail/unwell to come to the surgery.

What aspects of your role in providing health care for older people do you enjoy the most?
It is a privilege to do this work with the aged, to become involved in their lives, getting to know them as people not just their illnesses, to know their families, their contribution to Australia and their community, and to care for them professionally at this very vulnerable time of life. They are deserving of the very best of care and support. The wisdom, the humour, appreciation and love they give back is what it is all about.

What are your interests outside of work?
I have a very busy and dedicated husband and three gorgeous sons, as well as a very strong extended family. I love reading, walking, and our labrador and look forward to having more time one day to learn bridge and travel.



The GP service offering a lifeline to homeless men

Homelessness increased by 14 percent between the 2011 and 2016 censuses, with over 116,420 people now thought to have no permanent home in Australia.

The rate of homeless men increased from 54 to 58 per 10,000, according to the data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March this year.

There is considerable research to suggest an overlap between people experiencing precarious housing, and drug and alcohol misuse, that has created an increased need for a partnered approach to homelessness and addiction services.

UQ Health Care Clinical Lead in homelessness and addiction medicine, Dr Nancy Sturman, manages general practice support for the Ozcare Men’s Homeless Hostel and the Ozcare Integrated Drug Treatment Unit.

“I work in collaboration with Ozcare nurses, case workers, and other health professionals from Queensland Health, Mater Public Hospital and non-government organisations to provide general practice care.

“We provide care that addresses clients’ priorities, takes a trauma-informed approach, helps minimise the harms of substance use, links clients to other outreach supports, hospital-based treatment and counselling, and includes regular general practice care.”

Dr Sturman has 28 years experience as a general practitioner and a special interest in mental health issues and substance use disorders.

“My clients are often very generous with their thanks and positive feedback and appreciate the care.

“In times of trouble any success can be important, such as the clearance of Hepatitis C infection with treatment. These successes can increase self-belief and optimism about the future.

“I am often inspired by our clients, as many of the men I treat have a lot of resilience and courage despite years of experiencing accumulated trauma and pain, and significant mental health and health literacy issues.”

The Ozcare Integrated Drug Treatment Unit is a service that homeless men with alcohol or drugs problem can access and receive treatment via live-in detox programs and recovery services.

UQ Health Care Chief Executive Officer Darryl Grundy said the general practice support Dr Sturman delivers to homeless men is an important function of UQ Health Care.

“Dr Sturman and the team are highly regarded health professionals who play a significant role in supporting homeless men in Brisbane with their physical and mental health and addiction issues they face,” Mr Grundy said.

“These organisations are vital to provide health and social support to people experiencing homelessness.”

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