Ms Watkins, who has worked at South Australian aged care provider ACH Group for five years and is the senior manager of the City Views Transitional Care Service, brings to the role a decade of experience in helping people recover from hospital and supporting them to get back to their homes and communities.
“City Views began 10 years ago and I was one of the very first staff members to work during the pilot program. During the start up years, there was the idea of building a brand new site and I am excited and honoured to be involved with such a brilliant project,” Ms Watkins says.
The construction of ViTA has already created 2,000 employment opportunities but its impact will be much broader than that, with more than 600 students within the facility coming together annually in an interprofessional learning environment across disciplines including nursing, allied health, hotel services, pharmacy and direct care.
ViTA will provide opportunities for the future aged care workforce to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of health and aged care through simulated learning environments and connections to Universities and TAFE Colleges.
Research by Professor Maria Crotty, who is the director of rehabilitation at South Australia’s Repatriation General Hospital, indicates that a person’s stay in acute care can reportedly be reduced by about 11 days with the restorative services such as those ViTA will provide.
An additional 100 people will return home, rather than going into residential care each year, because of ViTA, she claims.
ViTA will open in June 2014. For more information visit www.ach.org.au/ViTA