February 16, 2023

NEPHU: North Eastern Public Health Unit at Northern Health

Northern Health is part of the North Eastern Public Health Unit (NEPHU), led by Austin Health and working in collaboration with Eastern Health.

NEPHU is one of nine public health units across metropolitan and regional Victoria, representing 27 per cent of the Victorian community. It has the largest catchment size of the public health units and supports one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse communities.

The unit was originally established in late 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is funded by the Victorian Department of Health. Following the pandemic, NEPHU is focused on collaborating closely with various community organisations.

The NEPHU team at Northern Health works with the NEPHU teams at Eastern Health and Austin Health across four key areas of work:

  • Health Protection, which includes Public Health Officers, Infection Prevention Control, Clinical Nurse Consultants and Team Leaders, as well as Medical Leads.
  • Intelligence Systems and Digital Innovation, which includes Epidemiologists and Data Analysts.
  • Public Health Integrated Planning and Programs, which includes Public Health Coordinators.
  • Engagement, Communications and Capacity Development, which includes Community Engagement Officers, Learning and Development Leads and Communications and Design Coordinators.

Some of the key pieces of work underway in the Health Protection space will include managing communicable disease integrating over from the Department of Health and managing respiratory outbreaks in sensitive settings in the community.

“NEPHU’s vision for the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne is simple – active, connected and safe communities for all, with healthy places, healthy people and a healthier tomorrow,” said NEPHU@Northern Operations Lead, Asmara Jammali-Blasi.

NEPHU’s priority moving forward will be to support population health with strategies on how to improve sexual and reproductive health, increase active living, reduce alcohol and drug-related harm and encourage healthy eating.

“NEPHU@Northern has already achieved a lot, but in reality we are the new kids on the block!” said NEPHU@Northern Clinical Lead, Dr Christian McGrath.

“We still have a lot of growing to do together as we take on new roles protecting our community from communicable diseases and environmental threats and promoting healthy life choices to prevent disease.”

“The next few years we hope to really build and consolidate and work closely with our Northern colleagues to achieve this!” said NEPHU@Northern Clinical Lead, Dr Christian McGrath.

For more information, please visit the Northern Health intranet.