Health-e-Regions (Phase 7)

“A very worthwhile program overcoming rural isolation and supporting the speech and language needs of our most vulnerable.”
“A very worthwhile program overcoming rural isolation and supporting the speech and language needs of our most vulnerable.”

Delivering allied health therapy by telehealth to children in rural schools.

Funding source: Shell QGC  

Start/end date:  Jan 2023 to Dec 2025

The Health-e-Regions project is led by the UQ Centre for Online Health, in partnership with Shell QGC and Queensland Health. Since the establishment of the project in 2012, we have been supporting communities in the western downs region of Queensland, including Dalby, Chinchilla, Wandoan, Tara and Miles. The aim of the project is to improve access to a range of specialist health services through the use of telehealth. Our focus has been on the delivery of telehealth services within hospitals, primary care clinics, and nursing homes.  

In 2015, we expanded the scope of the Health-e-Regions project to include the delivery of allied health services to children in the school environment. This work involves a collaborative approach with Education Queensland and the UQ tele-rehabilitation clinic (TRC). UQ allied health students under clinical supervision – provide speech and occupational therapy services (by videoconference) to children in the classroom. Six schools have been supported with the necessary telehealth facilities, enabling children to connect to virtual allied health clinics without leaving the school grounds. Another benefit of this service model is the training opportunity for the next generation of allied health professionals who are developing skills in the digital health environment.

2021 has seen expansion of the project in partnership with Goondir Health Services Dalby, using telehealth to improve access to allied health services for First Nations' children in a culturally supportive environment.

Our project is exploring the benefits of telehealth for children at school – in regard to health and well-being, and educational outcomes according to teacher feedback. Since the school-based service began in 2015 - over 5000 therapy sessions have been delivered for more than 150 families – saving travel and improving access to services in regional areas of Queensland.

Health-e-Regions is a partnership between Centre for Online Health and Shell’s QGC business in collaboration with Queensland Department of Education, the Diocese of Toowoomba: Catholic Schools Office (TCSO) and UQ Health and Rehabilitation Clinics. 



Teacher and student“I have witnessed a solid growth in confidence in all students engaged in the program. The quality of their sound articulation has improved with each session. I have witnessed a growth in the student’s positive attitude to their learning in all learning areas. Parent engagement in the program has been amazing.”

Mary Porter
St Joseph’s Tara

Telehealth“A very worthwhile program overcoming rural isolation and supporting the speech and language needs of our most vulnerable.”

Principal feedback
2018 survey

Girl using telehealth service“Students have found the program very beneficial because they have been given concrete materials and strategies that they can use to help them in their challenged areas. The program is non- threatening and paced to suit their individual needs.”

Peter O’Farrell
Learning Support/Teacher

Girl using telehealth service“Students enjoy going to the sessions and have actually been upset when they thought the sessions were starting and they thought they were going to miss out.”

Greg Smith
Learning Support
St Joseph's Tara

Students using telehealth service“Excellent initiative, great addition to school”

“I think what you do is fantastic for rural areas like this. Thank you.”

Parent feedback
2018 survey

Students using telehealth service“What a fantastic program.  The student’s enthusiasm is contagious and watching the student’s progress so rewarding.”

Leeanne Carden Smith
Teacher aide
St Joseph’s Tara