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COVID-19 Vaccine Update!

Details about receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccines are yet to be finalised or released. The Federal Government is in the process of ensuring every adult Australian will be offered free COVID vaccines in the coming year. At risk groups will be targeted initially and the vaccine release and availability will be controlled totally by the Federal Government. The usual annual influenza vaccine will also be offered and is recommended but will have to be spaced a fortnight before or after a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccine requires a booster between 3 weeks and 3 months after the initial administration.
Summerdale Medical Centre intends to offer to administer both vaccines and will post up to date information as it comes to hand. Further information about the COVID-19 vaccine program is available from: 
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2021 is going to be an exciting year for Summerdale Medical. We have been successful in attracting additional doctors to our practice which will allow us to optimise our year round 24/7 cover for patients of Summerdale Medical and continue our late night and weekend surgeries. As the main provider of medical services to northern residential aged care facilities the increased number of doctors will allow us to also optimise our essential in hours and out of hours cover to the residents whom we look after within those facilities.

We welcome back to join the long term Summerdale Medical team Drs Cameron McClure and Isobel Illingworth who both return to our Practice having completed their general practice training. We also welcome back to the team Dr Verity Foulkes-Taylor who is returning from maternity leave.

We welcome new to the Practice Drs Keira Nair and Madeline Comfort (both completing their general practice training) and Dr Sarah Nuttall (commencing general practice after some years as a hospital doctor).

We will be bidding farewell to Drs Sharon Fitzpatrick (training requirement), Dan Lack (training requirement ), Nicole Hutchens (relocating) and Natasha Vavrek (relocated).

Our management team is also changing in 2021. We sadly say goodbye but send with well wishes in to retirement, Ruth Filgate, our long serving practice manager of 23 years. We thank Ruth for her years of excellent leadership and will miss her knowledge and wonderful sense of humour.

Nicole Turner is our new practice manager. Nicole has been with Summerdale for 19 years, starting at 16 as a junior receptionist. Since then she has progressed to Office manager for 11 years and is now stepping in to her new role with us, bringing a wealth of practice knowledge with her.

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Retirement Announcement: Maxine

It is with regret we say goodbye to our very valued and popular nurse, Maxine. Maxine has been an integral part of the nursing team at Summerdale Medical for 22 years. She will be greatly missed by all our staff and by the many valued patients of our Practice who have experienced her care and nursing skills. Maxine is commencing her retirement and we wish her well in this next stage of life’s experiences.

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October is Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month">

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) with 1 in 8 Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in the lifetime. Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.

On average, 481 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every day. In 2018 alone, there were 3128 breast cancer-related deaths.

Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. Remember you don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts. Most changes aren’t due to breast cancer but it’s important to see your doctor without delay if you do notice any changes.

Changes to look for include:

  • a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
  • a change in the size or shape of your breast
  • a change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
  • a nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
  • a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
  • an unusual pain that doesn’t go away

Breast cancer is the most common cancer experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. Research shows that the survival rate is lower in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women diagnosed with breast cancer than in the general population.

Cancer Australia is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to provide women with important information about breast cancer awareness, early detection as well as breast cancer treatment and care.

For more information visit: Cancer Council Australia, Breast Cancer Network Australia or National Breast Cancer Foundation websites.

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VIDEO: Washing hands properly in times of COVID-19

Washing your hands effectively is essential in the times of COVID-19 to minimise your risk and reduce its spread amongst the community.

This instructional video below shows what effective handwashing involves – look what is required to cover the entire hands.

Regular hand hygiene is very simple and effective.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum (or sing out loud!) the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. It’s that simple!

And for a video showing how quickly a virus could spread without proper handwashing, see this Public Health advertisement from Israel that was released recently:

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