Twilight Talks: engaging health consumers with public lectures

Main Article Content

Daniel McDonald
Dr Sheree Conroy


Issue Addressed: Climbing rates of chronic disease allied with rising demand for public health services highlight a present need for honest conversations and information sharing around health behavior. The authors speculated that the Darling Downs community would benefit from public lectures on general health topics delivered by local clinicians. Health information delivered concisely, conversationally, and with authority could serve as an important intervention in reducing disease burden and enhancing patients’ abilities to act as partners in their healthcare. Such lectures would also contribute to achieving strategic goals and national standards around engaging health care consumers.

Methods: A pilot lecture was held in October 2014. The success of this lecture led to a regular schedule of public lectures programmed for subsequent years, branded as “Twilight Talks”. These lectures have focused on health themes of broad interest to a general audience.

Results: Twelve Twilight Talks have been delivered so far. Community response has exceeded expectations, with an average of 50 attendees to each event, and a range of 25 to 115. Audience reception and knowledge transfer measured through qualitative feedback has been equally positive.

Conclusions: A program of public health lectures is a novel initiative for the Darling Downs, prompting several hundred members of the community to think seriously about aspects of their health and learn about practical ways of making positive change.

Article Details

Author Biography

Dr Sheree Conroy, Darling Downs Health

Director, Clinical Training

Emergency Physician