Moree Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service celebrates 20 years

CELEBRATING: (Back) Tahlee Sabine (Community Health Nurse Unit Manager), Sharlene Williams (Aboriginal Health education officer), Denise Haines (Violence Prevention Aboriginal Health worker), Kelly Lawton (AMIHS Aboriginal Health practitioner), Debbie Key (AMIHS midwife), Lee Clissold (Community Health Service manager), (front) Michelle Saunders (one of the first AMIHS clients), Tarlie Saunders (first baby born into the service in 1999), Sue Jenkins (health worker - Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service).
CELEBRATING: (Back) Tahlee Sabine (Community Health Nurse Unit Manager), Sharlene Williams (Aboriginal Health education officer), Denise Haines (Violence Prevention Aboriginal Health worker), Kelly Lawton (AMIHS Aboriginal Health practitioner), Debbie Key (AMIHS midwife), Lee Clissold (Community Health Service manager), (front) Michelle Saunders (one of the first AMIHS clients), Tarlie Saunders (first baby born into the service in 1999), Sue Jenkins (health worker - Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service).

Staff and patients at Moree Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service (AMIHS) are celebrating 20 years of improved health outcomes and culturally appropriate maternity care for Aboriginal mothers and their babies.

The service began in 1999 and supports women to address smoking and dietary issues throughout pregnancy.

In the past two decades, there's been a substantial increase in pregnant Aboriginal women booking into the Moree maternity unit.

"Through the service, women are offered clinic or home visits during their pregnancy and after the birth of their babies," Boggabilla and Mungindi Community Health Service manager Lee Clissold said.

"Antenatal support and education can be delivered in a setting of the client's choice.

"The service aims to improve access to GP and obstetric care, both in the community and through Moree District Health Service. Offering transport when needed also helps to improve access. We have been servicing Mungindi for 20 years and started outreaching to Collarenebri in 2014."

A morning tea was held to mark the significant milestone, with special guests Michelle Saunders and her daughter Tarlie, the first baby born at the service.

Michelle Saunders and her daughter Tarlie Saunders cut the anniversary cake. Tarlie was the first official baby born into the AMIHS in 1999.

Michelle Saunders and her daughter Tarlie Saunders cut the anniversary cake. Tarlie was the first official baby born into the AMIHS in 1999.

The service was part of seven AMIHS programs funded in 1999 by NSW Health aimed at delivering culturally appropriate maternity care and improving health outcomes for Aboriginal mothers and babies and their families. There are now more than 40 AMIHS sites delivering services to Aboriginal families in 80 locations across NSW.

The current Moree AMIHS team includes Registered Midwife Debbie Key and Aboriginal Health Practitioner Kelly Lawton.

Any woman who is having a baby who identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is eligible to access the service. For further information, people can contact Moree Community Health Reception on (02) 6757 0200.