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Our Region, Our People: Meet Kara

Published 07 August 2023

Ingham-based health and wellness practice owner expands to Townsville, saying "there is a growing need for her services in the city"

Ingham-based Kara Christopher and her Optimise Health and Wellness practice is leasing a fully fitted medical centre in Pimlico

One of the newest members of Northern Queensland Primary Health Network’s (NQPHN) Clinical Council has expanded her fast-growing multidisciplinary health service to Townsville.

Ingham-based Kara Christopher and her Optimise Health and Wellness practice is leasing a fully fitted medical centre in Pimlico.

The Optimise Clinical Director is an Occupational Therapist who started the business in Ingham in 2018 with two therapists, an assistant and trainee.

Kara said she moved to Ingham in 2014 for family reasons and started a part-time role at the local hospital before being appointed to full-time senior role. Later she worked with general practices and developed a private clinic at the Ingham Family Medical Practice. 

“This development grew into a full-time role at the practice.  In 2018, I decided to take the leap into developing my own private practice and Optimise Health and Wellness was born,” said Kara.

The business now employs 53 people in a range of allied health services from occupational therapy and mental health occupational therapy to conducting home and early childhood assessments, driving assessments, wound and ulcer care and helping people who have Parkinson’s disease.

Staff include occupational therapists, mental health occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, allied health assistants, dieticians, psychologists (partnering with Break Free Psychology), support coordinators, plan managers, support workers, recovery coaches, and an administration, finance, and management team.

Optimise opened a purpose-built $2.5m centre in Ingham earlier this year.

Kara said Townville was “a natural progression”.

“Having worked in Townsville for many years prior to relocating to Ingham, I continue to have strong community networks and the need for a service like ours is definitely there,” said Kara.

“We are aware of extensive wait lists for services such as occupational therapy, mental health occupational therapy, dietetics, to name but a few that we will be able to offer immediately on site. 

“I really don’t think there is another service like ours. We are a true multidisciplinary team, and we operate very collaboratively and see everyone, including our participants, as having a valuable role in our service delivery, quality improvement and, ultimately, the end product. 

Kara said she had previously delivered projects with NQPHN under the Connect to Wellbeing model and she hoped to partner again with NQPHN in the future. 

Kara joined the Clinical Council in July this year.

Last updated: 07 August 2023