Attract, Connect, Stay Rural Health Project Announcement

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) has successfully secured $140,179 funding for the Attract, Connect, Stay Project through the Enhancing Country Health Outcomes (ECHO) grant program managed by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

This 2-year project aims to improve health outcomes for people living in small rural communities (pop. less than 10,000) in NSW and Victoria.

The project will be led by SARRAH and Dr Cath Cosgrave (Cath Cosgrave Consulting) with the support of an expert research team in the rural health workforce including Dr Christina Malatzky, Dr Susan Waller, and Dr Rosalie Boyce as well as partner organisations NSW Rural Doctors Network, NSW Regional Health Partners, and New England Institute Healthcare Research, University of New England and various rural health services.

All stakeholders are strongly committed to supporting rural communities to thrive-in-place and understand the importance of a sustainable rural health workforce and are making significant in-kind contributions to the project (total budget $282,249).

The stakeholders are grateful to FRRR for enabling this important work, and for the support they provide to others in demonstrating what is possible in communities when they have a say in what can and will work for them. 

The full Press Release is attached here

Research Team

Dr Cath Cosgrave

Dr Cath Cosgrave is a leader in rural health workforce research. She is currently spearheading a new research agenda investigating the role belonging and place attachment play in attracting and retaining health professionals to work and live in rural places. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Churchill Fellowship to investigate community-led health workforce development approaches in Canada to support the personal and social needs of newcomer health workers and their families.  She believes that effective solutions must be place-based and has extensive experience working in partnership with health and community services/groups to develop person/community-centred, strength-based solutions using co-design approaches. 

Dr Christina Malatzky

Dr Christina Malatzky is a feminist sociologist and qualitative academic in the School of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and a Chief Investigator in QUT’s Centre for Justice. Her research investigates social and power relations in the fields of rural health, and gender and health. She is part of a leading research team developing new understanding of the social and place-based dimensions of rural health workforce retention. She is Co-Convenor of the Rural Issues thematic group of Australia’s national peak Association for Sociologists, The Australian Sociological Association, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Dr Rosalie Boyce

Dr Rosalie Boyce is an experienced health services researcher with an international reputation in the workforce, leadership and interprofessional education; particularly in regard to the allied health professions. Rural born and bred, Rosalie has been awarded more than $10M in research funding over her career much of it with a focus on building stronger rural and regional health services and teams. One of Rosalie's current roles includes working part-time with Victoria's Barwon Health and South West Health in a capacity-building position as an Allied Health Research & Translation Fellow.

Dr Susan Waller

Susan is an adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Monash Rural Health. Formally, a Senior Lecturer and Rural Nursing and Allied Health Lead at the Monash Rural Health- University Department of Rural Health (MRH-UDRH).  Susan is passionate about allied health workforce practice development and research, and is active in multiple interprofessional education and practice networks and has contributed nationally and internationally to dissemination of education and practice research in this area.

Please direct interviews and media enquiries to Catherine Maloney

Chief Executive Officer

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health sends e-mail)   0491 209 291