If you are interested in having HealthLAB attend your school, workplace or community, please email us.
The Menzies HealthLAB project began in 2014 with the help of its founding supporters the Rotary Club of Darwin. It is an innovative, interactive and educational travelling health program which measures biomedical risk factors for chronic diseases from a mobile laboratory.
HealthLAB aims to directly engage the public, with a focus on youth and Indigenous communities, to educate people about positive lifestyle choices and taking ownership of their health.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness in Australia, with disability accounting for 90 per cent of all deaths. Diabetes and heart disease alone cost the health system more than $6 billion each year.
Smoking, poor nutrition, alcohol misuse and physical inactivity, all contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
Lifestyle choices pregnant women make in pregnancy, can affect the health of their unborn child. Maternal smoking can cause low birth weight and increase the risk of chronic diseases later in life for the unborn child; alcohol consumption during pregnancy can increase the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder; and both diabetes and obesity can affect an unborn child by increasing their risk for diabetes and obesity later in life.
What is the Menzies HealthLAB?
The HealthLAB is a face-to-face experience for participants with a clinical coordinator and trained staff who can discuss chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, alcohol literacy and smoking. A participant’s health is measured against the benchmarks for these diseases using modern technology. The test results and health implications will be explained to the participant in detail by the clinical coordinator and trained staff.
In May 2017, the HealthLAB app was launched and can be downloaded for free here. The app allows people moving through HealthLAB to store and monitor results each time they participate in HealthLAB. The app is currently only available for Apple device users.
Three programs have been designed for specific populations to focus on their lifestyle choices and consequences:
- A secondary school program to target Year 10 students will be developed in collaboration with NT Department of Education.
- A mobile community population program will be delivered in Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs public spaces, rural towns and communities, sporting clubs, business corporations and at public events.
- A mobile extended program for Indigenous communities with additional themes at workstations will highlight the importance of hygiene and the consequences of infections which disproportionately affect these populations. A “meet the Indigenous scientist and the Indigenous doctor” opportunity will be incorporated into this program.
Through these HealthLAB activities we seek to deliver the following outcomes:
- To increase awareness in the community about the health consequences of lifestyle choices made today on their later personal health and the health of their children yet to be born.
- To change behaviours linked to smoking, alcohol and the development of obesity and diabetes.
- To immediately improve the health and wellbeing of the population and in the long term, to decrease the adult onset of chronic disease and improve the health of the next generation.
Bookings for HealthLAB are available; email us to find out more.
The Menzies HealthLAB aims to translate research knowledge into action and improved health. It has the potential to positively impact health outcomes over the entire life course by ensuring the wider community, particularly young and Indigenous people are fully informed of the consequences that lifestyle choices made today, can have on their own health and that of their future children.
Menzies are currently seeking funding to develop the HealthLAB program into its full vision as a permanent outreach program for all Territorians to access.
Partnering with Menzies’ HealthLAB provides a unique opportunity to align your brand with Australia’s leading Indigenous health institute, a pivotal agency in national efforts to ‘close the gap’.
If you would like to support this project:
Please contact Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan via phone (08) 8946 8580 or email.
Donors and sponsors will be featured in HealthLAB's marketing material, reports, communication with stakeholders, and at HealthLAB events.
Upcoming 2017 events:
- August 11 | Xavier College Wurruminyanga as part of National Science Week
- August 15 | Parliament House as part of National Science Week, 9am - 1pm. Open to the public.
- August 16 | Bowali Visitors Centre Kakadu as part of National Science Week, 12pm - 4pm. Open to the public.
- August 17 | Gunbalanya School as part of National Science Week
- Dripstone Middle School
- Casuarina Senior College
- Taminmin High School Sports Academy
- MLLLC Elcho Island students
- Midnight Basketball, Darwin Basketball Association
- Taminmin High School Sports Academy
- MLLLC Groote Eylandt students
- Taminmin High School Sports Academy
- MLLLC Borroloola students
- Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre (MLLLC) - Wadeye students
- Casuarina Community Health Clinic
- National Science Week tour: Batchelor Institute (Batchelor), Bitter Springs National Park (Mataranka), Katherine Shopping Centre (Katherine), and Xavier College (Bathurst Island) Essington Senior School
- Garma Festival
- Nightcliff Middle School Health Fiesta
- Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre (MLLLC)
- Casuarina Police Station
- Darwin High school
- MLLLC | Maningrida Boys
- Darwin Police Station
- Nightcliff Middle school
- Casuarina Senior school Health expo
- MLLLC | Gove Boys
- May Arnhem Land Trip visiting Galliwin’ku- Shepherdson College, Milingimbi School and Ramingining school
- MLLLC | Borroloola Boys
- Rotary Ladies Long Lunch fundraiser
- Darwin High school Health Expo
Darwin Convention Centre - The 2017 Darwin Ladies Long Lunch will continue the strong health message promoted by the Menzies School of Health, while raising valuable funds to continue this work in our community.
Darwin Sun | The Menzies School of Health and Research runs HealthLAB, a free initiative that visits public spaces and schools around the NT
In August 2017, HealthLAB is planning to travel from the Tiwi Islands in the Arafura Sea across to west Arnhem Land.
Northern Territory’s transmission and distribution company is helping educate locals about positive lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of developing a chronic disease.
An interactive mobile health laboratory will visit four Northern Territory communities this week as part of National Science Week.
An interactive mobile health laboratory will visit four Northern Territory (NT) communities between 15 and 20 August as part of National Science Week, to spark people’s interest in science and health, and demonstrate how lifestyle choices can impact people’s future health.
Halkitis Bros. invited the Menzies School of Health Research, HealthLAB to visit our concrete plant in June 2015. Personnel from four divisions participated in face-to-face interactions with clinical co-ordinators and trained staff.
The Health Lab teaches Aboriginal children how to look after their health also look at ways to prevent chronic disease in Aboriginal communities through out the Northern Territory. Dietitian Claire Georga from the Menzies School of Health Researchers works with the kids to promote healthy living allowing them to test their heath to give them a better understanding of what is good for the body and what isn’t.
IN a busy classroom on the Tiwi Islands, teacher's aide Stan blows into a breathalyser measuring carbon dioxide from smoke in the body, almost sending himself off the classroom scale. His students dissolve into laughter.WHEN asked, he sheepishly admits to smoking. "You play footy? You'll run faster if you quit," says a researcher from the Heart Foundation.
HealthLAB would like to thank our supporters for 2017:
- The Rotary Club of Darwin as our founding sponsors
- The National Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant
- McArthur River Mine Annual Golf Charity Tournament for the establishment of the HealthLAB Student Ambassador Program
- Belinda Gibson for funding workshops with nurses at Community Health Centres
- The Department of Industry for supporting National Science Week 2017
- Rob and Dulcie Andrews for supporting the traineeship of Susanne Munkara and visits to Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre
- Local community supporters and donors.
For more information contact the Menzies HealthLAB via email