Bendigo Health recognises that to remain at the forefront of regional health provision, you need to be a leader in teaching and education. The five-year strategic plan published in 2002 recognised this and the organisation has been taking major steps forward since then, often in partnership with tertiary institutions.
Bendigo Health’s Collaborative Health Education and Research Centre (CHERC) specialises in providing an innovative, interdisciplinary health education, research and consultancy service to meet the needs of health providers and consumers in both state and national jurisdictions. The research projects focus on the effectiveness of current work practices, service co-ordination, planning and service delivery, with a view to achieving optimum outcomes and service efficiency.
Monash University's Bendigo Regional Clinical School, which is training third year medical students, and La Trobe University's Schools of Nursing and Physiotherapy, are all successful examples of these partnerships. La Trobe University's Physiotherapy School was officially opened in 2005 and La Trobe has plans to start a clinical school for dental technicians in Bendigo. Bendigo Health is assisting through the use of facilities and the opportunity for students to do clinical rounds in the Dental Health service operated by Bendigo Health.
Bendigo Health believe by improving the links between teaching and clinical environments in a regional setting helps recruit and retain specialist staff and allows staff to utilise the latest research findings. The aim is also to give trainees a taste of life in a vibrant regional centre so that they may return to work in such an environment.