Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Grafton executives 'blown away’

The enthusiasm and compassion shown from the community has left two executives from American company Grafton Integrated Health Care '‘blown away'.

March 12, 2014 4:30am

A preliminary round of community consultations has left two executives from American company Grafton Integrated Health Care ‘‘blown away’’ with the ‘‘enthusiasm and compassion’’ of the community.

The executives were in Finley for four days to determine the local need for a proposed disability service centre.

Grafton announced an interest in expanding its Australian organisation to Finley in January.

The development of the purpose-built facility will be dependent on demonstrated need.

The company’s US-based executive vice president and chief outcomes officer Kim Sanders was part of the delegation, making it her third trip to Finley for the project since November.

With her was director of operations Tony Sanders and Grafton’s Australian chief executive, Daryl Lang.

They met with a cross section of families of children with disabilities, providers from the region and a range of education, health, medical and government representatives.

Jane Harris, a Finley community representative working with the Grafton team, said the purpose of the visit was to understand the challenges that local families face in obtaining appropriate support for complex needs.


‘‘Grafton has a reputation of excellence in supporting people to overcome emotional, behavioral or developmental challenges,’’ Ms Harris said.

‘‘The work they do is inspiring and I am hopeful that we can bring these services to the Berrigan Shire and the broader region so that families facing enormous challenges have a pathway to better lives.’’

Grafton is assessing the opportunity to establish a service in Finley and is considering a variety of options.

The company provides continuous and coordinated services from short-term stabilisation and residential services to outpatient to educational and career and technical training.


Ms Sanders said she was overwhelmed with her most recent visit to Finley.

‘‘It is a truly wonderful community with so much enthusiasm and compassion,’’ she said.

‘‘The community is almost unbelievable.’’

Locally-based project director Phil Davis will continue the work conducted last week in consultation with community representatives.

Follow up meetings will be held with potential partner groups, as well as government briefings and ongoing meetings with families and other interested stakeholders.

Mr Davis anticipates that a more accurate understanding of the possible services will be available for broader community discussion in the coming months.

‘‘We would like to be able to make an establishment statement around the time of Grafton US chief executive Jim Gaynor’s visit to the region in early May,’’ he said.

Anyone seeking further information can visit or call Mr Davis on 0418196518.

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