JEROME Krish likes to make a difference in people’s lives where it really matters – their health.

As Gippsland Southern Health Service’s new director of primary health, Mr Krish said a focus on preventative healthcare was the best way to meet people’s health and wellbeing needs and to keep them living a healthy life at home.

Mr Krish oversees GSHS’s suite of primary health programs, such as social work, planned activity groups, alcohol and drug, volunteering coordination, diabetes education, individual support including respite care, and home care packages.

Under allied health services, GSHS offers physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, speech pathology, podiatry, advanced practice and NDIS.

Most fall within preventative health and health promotion areas, which are close to his heart.

“The job gives me great satisfaction because I’ve always believed that the best way to impact on health and wellbeing in the community is to work in primary health,” he said.

“It’s a broad system with a broad scope and it’s mostly about health promotion and disease prevention. The best way to care for individuals is to keep them in their homes and support them in their own communities.

“At GSHS, we work with people and our communities to understand their needs and involve them in our strategic plans based on their priorities.

“We take our key stakeholder feedback into consideration when we run these programs.”

Mr Krish managed similar programs in Toronto, Canada where he supported between 4000 and 10,000 clients. He completed his education and nursing education and licensing in Canada before moving to Australia with his wife, Mary.

While he found service delivery to be similar in both countries, Mr Krish said the funding models and structures differed.

“Delivery is done by organisations in local areas who understand the needs of the local community, but in Australia, we have different funding models for NDIS and HACC, whereas Canada doesn’t have that separation.”

Mr Krish previously managed home care packages and worked for the Cancer Council of NSW.