About the Barwon South West Public Health Unit
The Barwon South West Public Health Unit (BSWPHU) is part of the local public health network of nine public health units across Victoria, established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by director, Professor Eugene Athan, the BSW PHU sits under the Directorate of Public Health and Health Service Partnership within Barwon Health and work closely with the Victorian Department of Health to deliver services to residents in the region that spans from Greater Geelong to the South Australian border and north to the Southern Grampians region.
The BSWPHU is transitioning into broader health protection, promotion, and prevention activities.
Initially, the BSW PHU is focused on COVID-19 preparedness, response, and vaccination, then it will move into other key areas of communicable diseases, such as blood-borne viruses including viral hepatitis, HIV, STIs, and food-borne diseases.
It will be essential to build a holistic public health model in our region that tackles chronic diseases including lifestyle-related issues, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and potentially, mental health, drugs and alcohol illnesses.
Having a regional public health unit gives us the opportunity to improve the public health of an entire region, particularly those facing disadvantage.
Located at Barwon Health (University Hospital Geelong), the BSWPHU engages and collaborates with local stakeholders to ensure the regional communities we serve throughout the Barwon South West have support and low barriers to access the services needed to deliver the best public health outcomes.
Stakeholders that the BSWPHU work with include Victoria’s Department of Health, local healthcare providers, welfare and support agencies, local councils and local community groups.
To work with local stakeholders and regional communities in the Barwon South West region to deliver improved public health that benefits everyone.
Who we serve
Last Modified: Monday, 15 May 2023