In the lead up to the 2020 Victorian Rural Health Awards, we re-visit some of our 2019 winners and their professional accomplishments.
The winner of the Medical Specialist Award in 2019 was awarded to Associate Professor Marc Budge from Bendigo. Professor Budge is a Geriatrician and Medical Director, Subacute Services, at Bendigo Health.
He was formerly the inaugural Head of Geriatric Medicine at the Australian National University Medical School, President of Alzheimer’s Australia (2005-2010), Director of the multi-centre Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and Health Adviser to TeleMedCare Pty Ltd.
Recently Professor Budge directed the establishment of a Telehealth outreach network, Geri-Connect, to residential aged care facilities (RACFs) across the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria which is now being extended to local health service outpatient consultations. The service has over 100 GPs referring in with over 46 participating RACFs across the region.
His primary research and development interests are: the prevention and management of cognitive and cardio-vascular decline with aging and disease; the development and integration of point-of-care health devices; and the implementation of community-based health and well-being programs at the interface of IT, aged care and chronic disease management.
Professor Budge’s focus in rural health has been driven by “the opportunity to provide greater access to quality medical care provision in the areas of aged care, chronic disease management and diagnosis and management of dementia.” Through the Geri-Connect initiative he has been able to test and implement a model of care to a rural region, demonstrating that it can be replicated in rural areas across Victoria.