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Keeping the heart of the bush beating

RFDS Flight Nurse Jo Mahoney


Keeping the heart of the bush beating

Jo Mahony puts her heart in to caring for her patients.  Jo is the Nurse Manager – Aeromedical and Primary Health Care at the RFDS Charleville base. Along with her team she cares for the patients of the Southern, Central & Western Queensland. Jo is one of 9 Flight Nurses, 8 Doctors and 5 Pilots working from the Charleville Base.  The Flying Doctor isn’t just there in an emergency, they provide primary, dental and mental health care too.

It’s easy to imagine that a life in the outback is a healthy one, but deaths from heart disease are 60 per cent higher for people living in rural and remote areas of Australia than for those living in metropolitan areas. Outback Queensland has the highest coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality rate of any region, with a rate almost twice that of the Sunshine Coast.   The people most likely to develop heart disease are men in middle age and the Flying Doctor team are proactive in delivering health information and education to men aged 18 -50, encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

For 18 years, Nurse Manager Jo Mahony has been a driving force behind the Flying Doctor’s primary health care team in Southern, Central & Western Queensland.

“The work we do is uniquely varied, rewarding and challenging at times,” she said.

“In addition to the Flying Doctor’s regular primary health care clinics, the Flying Doctor also holds programs to provide communities with the tools to take care of their own health.

“Last year, we received funding to facilitate an exercise program for Indigenous people over 55 years of age and non-Indigenous people over 65. These kinds of preventative programs hopefully allow people to avoid more serious issues in the future

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