Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Integrating health and education: challenges and successes with Victoria’s School-Based Heal...


A- A+
Alt. Display

Workshop Abstracts

Integrating health and education: challenges and successes with Victoria’s School-Based Health Service program


Lena Sanci ,

University Of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, AU
X close

Bianca Forrester,

University Of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, AU
X close

Nicole Green,

North Western Melbourne PHN, Melbourne, VIC, AU
X close

Petrina O' Connor,

Department of Education and Training, Melbourne, VIC, AU
X close

Tina Doyle

North Geelong Secondary school, Geelong, VIC, AU
X close


Background: International interest is growing in the potential of educational settings to improve young people’s health and wellbeing. In this workshop we will explore the health-education nexus, drawing on the Victorian government’s Doctors in Secondary Schools Program (DiSS) which delivers primary care services in 100 disadvantaged secondary schools. Delegates will learn about the complexities of working across the health and education sectors, engage with the diversity of perspectives and experiences of those involved in the Victorian program, and see the benefits of empowering young people, schools and clinicians to work together.

Aims and Objectives: We will explore the key themes of implementation and complexity in the context of delivering best practice youth friendly care in a secondary school. Using an explicit framework of complex adaptive systems our group will outline the strategy of bringing Health and Education together at a policy and practice level. The panel will discuss key learnings on barriers and enablers to implementation drawing on concrete examples from the program and touching on the importance of continuous feedback loops, iterative improvement, stakeholder consultations, co-design and how to build success.

Target Audience: Educators, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, public health experts and consumers who are interested in learning more about how to implement youth friendly primary care in the school setting.

Learnings/Take away

• practical steps to implementing complex interventions in schools

• evidence-based elements of successful implementation

• transitioning from conceptualisation to operational guidelines, establishment and ongoing embedding

Format: The workshop panel will comprise key stakeholder representatives from the Victorian DiSS program: school staff, clinicians, policy makers, clinical governance and support, and researchers/academics. In the first part of the session, speakers will reflect on their experiences of designing, delivering, managing and participating in a school-based health service initiative across its first two years of operation. In the second part delegates will engage with panel members in discussion to further explore and workshop implementation of health-education initiatives.

Speakers: The panel brings together expertise in complex intervention design and implementation, educational policy, public health research, primary care, and student wellbeing. The panel will include:

• Lena Sanci (panel chair), Head of Department and co-lead of the Children and Young People’s

Research Stream in the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, and Medical Advisor to the DiSS.

• Bianca Forester, both an academic and a General Practitioner operating an in-school clinic as part of the SBHS

• Nicole Green, Primary Care in Schools Lead, North Western Melbourne PHN

• Petrina O’Connor, Project Director, Child & Youth Health Wellbeing, Health and Engagement Division, Victorian Department of Education and Training

• Christina Doyle, Team Leader Student Wellbeing, North Geelong Secondary school

How to Cite: Sanci L, Forrester B, Green N, O' Connor P, Doyle T. Integrating health and education: challenges and successes with Victoria’s School-Based Health Service program. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;20(S1):212. DOI:
Published on 26 Feb 2021.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)