Natalie Di Giacomo

Natalie Di Giacomo
  • Occupational Therapist & Director
    Optimise Health and Wellness


Natalie Giacomo is an Occupational Therapist and Director of Optimise Health and Wellness Pty Ltd. Natalie is an occupational therapist with public hospital and community experiences working in rural and remote areas.  Natalie enjoys working within rural communities and utilising generalist Occupational therapy skills to enhance patient journeys.

Session title

Allied health service provision in the primary health care context—an innovative approach
Presenting with Kara Schifilliti


Saturday 1 September  |  View program for more details


There is ongoing evidence that demonstrates value and importance of allied health intervention provided to our community within primary health care context. These savings are represented in efficiencies in the management of chronic conditions in dollar savings, reduction in hospital admission and admission durations and improved health outcomes and improved community productivity. Despite this ongoing evidence; primary health care models relating to allied health service provision and way in which we as clinicians engage within it collaboratively vary significantly across settings. There are a number of aspects attributing to this including:

  • the system itself and how allied health clinicians are paid to operate within it
  • challenges with feedback mechanisms
  • the understanding of allied health input and the value placed on such input and its benefit to patients
  • silo / segmentation of primary health care service providers and a perceived need to protection of our “turf”
  • perceived value of collaboration with multi disciplinary teams – time, money, and mechanism for communication
  • location and access to service providers in rural and remote areas.

In this presentation, Natalie and Kara from Optimise Health and Wellness (Ingham, North Queensland) plan to discuss their experience setting up and running a collaborative multi-disciplinary primary health care team with a focus on building authentic relationships and building community capacity utilising innovative strategies to enhance services aimed to minimise the health burden and to improve health outcomes within their communities. The presentation will outline the role of a generalist primary health clinician working across a variety of funding streams and priority health areas and will discuss the challenges associated with this.

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