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ECU's Vario Health Institute to be opened by the Minister for Health

Monday, 23 June 2008


The Honourable Jim McGinty, MLA, Minister for Health, will officially open the Vario Health Institute and Wellness Clinic at Edith Cowan University's (ECU) Joondalup Campus today.

The Vario Health Institute provides cutting edge research, teaching and community health programs that focus on illness prevention and disease management through lifestyle and environment modification.

Research findings are then used to develop programs such as the Diabetes Wellness program, which offers a holistic personalised approach including nutrition, exercise, psychological wellness and support for lifestyle change for diabetes sufferers. With over one million Australians currently living with the disease, the focus on wellness is crucial in preventing further illness and maintaining quality of life for diabetes patients.

The Vario Health Institute has already implemented a number of community programs to help combat chronic diseases including childhood obesity, diabetes and cancer.

One such initiative, the Living Longer Living Stronger program allows seniors to exercise in a friendly and supportive group environment with qualified exercise physiologists. The program incorporates resistance weight training to help build up muscle and bone mass, reducing the risk of injury and diseases such as diabetes. Since the program began in 2005, over 600 seniors have enjoyed the health benefits related to improved strength and bone density.

The Wellness Clinic also offers exercise physiology, nutrition, fitness and health education, counselling and clinical psychology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services to the public.

Professor Rob Newton, Director of the Vario Health Institute says that chronic, lifestyle-related illnesses are draining 70% of our health expenditure and yet much of this burden can be prevented or delayed.

"With Australia's ageing population, increasing levels of obesity, decreasing physical activity and emerging environmental problems contributing to the growth of illness and injury, prevention is more important than ever before," he said.

"Our scientifically-proven health and wellness programs aim to reduce the personal, social and economic burden of cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, injury, nervous system disorders and ageing."

ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox says successful universities must be able to incorporate research and learning into the community setting.

"Research undertaken at the Vario Health Institute is making a significant contribution to overcoming the health challenges associated with chronic disease, providing rapid solutions while engaging our communities" he said.

The official opening will be held from 5.30pm at the Health and Wellness Building, ECU Joondalup on Monday, 23 June.

Anyone interested in booking a health assessment at the Vario Wellness Clinic should phone 6304 3444.

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
pr@ecu.edu.au
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