Major projects completed in the past year by Bendigo Health Community Services aim to increase the quality of care they provide for their clients in the years to come.
BCHS released its Quality of Care Report for 2018/19 at its annual general meeting on Thursday.
Projects highlighted in the report included the Fork in the Road Soup Kitchen and Dogs Connect, which both expanded in the past 12 months.
Combined with the five-year strategy unveiled at the AGM, the projects aim to provide long-term solutions for issues facing Bendigo.
BCHS board chairman Geoff Bowyer said extending the strategic plan from three to five years would be a challenge worth taking on.
"We face a conundrum that some funding is short-term," Mr Bowyer said. "But if we know we're going to be able to measure and demonstrate how we make a difference, we need to have a longer program involvement.
"That's a challenge, often funding cycles don't go over five years but the fact we have a strong balance sheet means if, for a period of time, we have to self-fund a project we have the ability to do that.
"Our guiding principal is we want to make a difference, it's not just about short-term health."
Mr Bowyer said the strategic plan involved a lot more consultation than past years.
"One of the big improvements done this year is with our members," he said. "Our members wanted to be engaged, so we really communicated with them for the strategic plan.
"The last strategic plan, we did the plan and talked to the directors and that was about it. It became clear to us that a lot of people at the workplace had no idea what our strategic plan was.
"If we don't have our front-line troops understanding our vision and goal, what's the point of it all?"
Looking ahead, BCHS plans to focus more programs on family violence, mental health and sexual health.
"Family violence is a big issue," Mr Bowyer said. "We are doing work with schools about family violence education.
"Depression and mental health is another big issue as is sexual health. We have programs at schools where GPs and nurses attend to make young people understand the circumstances (around sexual health).
"That can be sensitive but we have to make sure the generation coming through are fully aware of what their options are in terms of sexual health."
BCHS' financial report saw the organisation break even with a small surplus of almost $45,000. It continued a positive trend for the organisation in recent years.
Two new directors were elected to the board with Dean McKay and Katie Johnson voted in from a number of people who applied for the position. Jenny Dillon retired as a director.
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