UQ partnership brings speech pathology clinic to rural families

16 Jul 2019

The University of Queensland (UQ), Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have joined forces to deliver a specialised speech pathology clinic to children in rural Queensland.

Supervised by clinical educators from UQ and SQRH, a team of 21 UQ and USQ speech pathology students travelled to Toowoomba to provide speech pathology services to Charleville Primary School students who are dealing with reading and writing difficulties.

SQRH is a University Department of Rural Health and is a collaboration between UQ, USQ, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and South West Hospital and Health Service.

SQRH aims to increase opportunities for nursing, midwifery and allied health students to participate in rural placements that provide rich learning experiences.

SQRH Director, Associate Professor Geoff Argus said the specialised clinic had previously been delivered in Brisbane, meaning parents had to make the 9-hour drive to attend.

“SQRH and UQ worked together to take the clinic to where it was needed, and provided accommodation for students, parents and educators.” Associate Professor Argus said.

The clinic was held at USQ’s Toowoomba campus and consisted of group therapy sessions as well as individual treatment strategies for each child.

“The treatment strategies are many and varied but include children gaining an understanding of sound sequencing, use of short and long vowels, consonant clusters and reading and writing skills,” Associate Professor Argus explained.

“The clinic is a real win for rural children and their families and has come to fruition due to the important collaboration between UQ, SQRH and USQ,” he said.

“We are delighted to provide support to rural families in this way and hope to bring the clinic even closer to the South West in future years.”

Ms Kelly Beak, Clinic Manager and Educator from UQ’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences said the partnership is a wonderful opportunity to make speech pathology services more accessible.

“We are very excited to be able to bring our clinic to rural families, and to provide invaluable experiences for our students to gain practical knowledge of clinical life in a regional context,” Ms Beak said.

“There are so many possibilities for this partnership going forward, this is just the beginning.”

Media: Sonia Wood, Southern Queensland Rural Health, sonia.wood@uq.edu.au, +61 7 4633 9797; Jo Hickman, UQ Communications, jo.hickman@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3037.