Skip To Content
 

MERV: The Men's Educational Rural Van

MERV was a mobile, men’s health check up and information service. The modified van travels to men’s workplaces and community sites within a 50km radius of Mudgee NSW. MERV is no longer in operation.

A male client of the MERV Van on the left and Andrew Whale from Western New South Wales Local Health District on the right

MERV was an managed and implemented by Andrew Whale (right), Men's Health Coordinator for the former Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS).

 

"MERV was a unique project with no other similar service offered throughout New South Wales..."

The Men's Educational Rural Van (MERV) was developed by the Community Nursing Team at Mudgee Health Service.

MERV is a mobile, men’s health check up and information service. The modified van travels to men’s workplaces and community sites within a 50km radius of Mudgee NSW. This flexible service has improved men's access to health information and appropriate support services.

The health check includes a review of blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels. A comprehensive discussion about men's health issues follows this review. Health education is provided on an extensive number of men’s health topics.

Local observations identified that men were often reluctant to access health facilities. MERV addresses this barrier by offering a versatile, flexible, men’s health specific, and health service. MERV has created substantial local interest, which in turn has increased the profile of men's health.

The main aim of the project was to increase and promote the awareness of men's health through regular workplace and community visits. Health checks and health promotion will be used over a twelve month period, having commenced in June 2005 and continue in the following years.

The planning and implementation phase took almost nine months. Meetings, forums, community consultations, and feedback from staff were all conducted to ensure that the project was appropriate and would achieve the programs desired outcomes.

Through the program, series data and information has been collected. The following is a brief summary:
 

  • Over 6000 men have accessed the program since its inception. This includes individual and group support.
  • MERV has conducted over 300 visits to local worksite or community events.
  • Has been loaned out to different health services on numerous occasions
  • Conducted ‘Out West’ tours with the support of local Rotary Clubs in 2009, 2010 and 2011 with over 700 men accessing the van and the services it provides
  • Winner of the 2007 Australian Innovation in Nursing Award
  • Finalist 2006 Baxter Health care Awards – ‘Access to service’ category


MERV was a unique project with no other similar service offered throughout New South Wales. MERV promoted the men’s health message throughout the local region and across the Greater Western Area Health Service.

Note:  the MERV Van is no longer in operation but it provided valuable insights into some of the practices that worked to reach men in rural and remote areas.  For more information, please contact Andrew Whale.

 

Sign up to our e-newsletter

© 2011-2017 Men's Health Information & Resource Centre, University of Western Sydney. All Rights Reserved. Site by Liquid Vision

The Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre received funding from the Australian Government.

Western Sydney University's Men's Health Information & Resource Centre