Men’s health initiative launches in Warners Bay

Mens Health Education Rural Van (mherv) is a rural life-saver.
It is a Rotary project in a purpose built caravan that begins its 2017/18 tour of 57 centres in NSW
following the project’s official launch and ‘farewell’ in Warners Bay on 22nd August 2017.
‘mherv’ accommodates a registered nurse, Nicole Page, assisted by local community nurses, who run
some simple health tests for rural men who are notorious for not finding time to see their GP for
check-ups. Many just ‘drop dead in the paddock’ … because nobody saw it coming!
ARotary initiative, mherv has been visiting rural centres since 2008 especially way out west.
Men’s health is an on-going serious issue in rural Australia and the project has much more potential
than was being realised on casual outings.
Rotary now has the means, so they are seeking support from local Rotary Clubs and media groups to
help raise the issue and get rural men tested.
Rural Australia is very important to the rest of us.
Not only are our rural people tending Australia’s ‘food bowl’, but they manage huge primary
industry export enterprises, and quality production which assists every Australian. We need to keep
rural men’s expertise alive, so the next generations can learn from them, and value the contribution
they make to everybody’s lives.
Cessnock Rotary Club’s Steve Jackson has recently handed over the role of District Governor to
Nelson Bay’s Helen Ryan. During his District Governorship he was keen to see the ‘mherv’ van
really get ‘out there’, and contribute to rural welfare.
At Steve’s request, the Warners Bay Rotary Club undertook to set the project up with a full time and
paid registered nurse to conduct the tests, and to organise scheduled tours that would be more
meaningful than ever thought possible previously. As ‘mherv’ travels around the state conducting
much needed testing, the project will be continuously hosted by the many Rotary clubs in the local
Warners Bay Club President Craig Henningham said “for all that Rotarians in many different clubs
are seen raising money with barbecues, raffles, our Loop the Lake and other events, people rarely see
where that money is being spent. Rotary will be doing these health tests without charge, as a full
community project . Already on previous trips, mherv has saved many lives.” This new project will
also be gathering statistics which will be shared with the Men’s Health unit at John Hunter Hospital.

‘mherv’ is generously supported by The Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI). They
have aged care facilities locally in Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Edgeworth, and also offer home care
packages in the area. RFBI have generously provided funds to pay for the registered nurse.
As well, through Crossroads Motors, Mazda Australia has provided a vehicle to tow the rig, and with
the assistance of local MP Greg Piper, the Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given a grant of ten
thousand dollars to assist Rotary with expenses.
So whether you’re a farmer, a miner, a footy fan, a valued rural resident, or a local publican … if you
are one of those blokes who hasn’t see your GP for a check-up in ages … ‘man-up’ and get checked!
‘mherv’ will start its rural journey in Cessnock on the 24th and 25th of August and in Kurri Kurri on
the 27th and 28th, and then will head out west and beyond, via Dubbo.
Embargo: until after the 22nd of August 2017
Contact: Adrian Payne mherv project leader 0425 204 815 •