Alcohol & drugs education & training

The Women's provides pregnancy care and counselling for pregnant women with drug and alcohol issues. 

Our Women's Alcohol and Drug Service (WADS) offers state wide professional education and training and secondary consultation. 

All sessions are conducted by the Women's Alcohol and Drug Service team; experienced practising health professionals with qualifications in midwifery, social work and psychology. They also hold postgraduate qualifications in drug and alcohol work and professional training. 

Although our training courses are free, bookings are essential. As places are limited, if you can't attend please call to cancel your place and allow others to attend. 


Training sessions

We are using ECHO to bring clinicians specialist knowledge and support in the management of women using drugs and alcohol during the perinatal period.

ECHO means Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes. Project ECHO is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionises medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities.

About online training sessions using the ECHO model

Our ECHO sessions are:

  • free to access
  • delivered during live video sessions, accessed easily via Zoom software
  • a blend of didactic and case-based learning
  • facilitated by our expert hub team and attended by participants from sites all over Victoria
  • multi-disciplinary in nature and underpinned by an 'All Teach, All Learn' philosophy
  • interactive; participants are expected to take an active part.

Each session includes a short didactic presentation.  

Case presentations by participating clinicians are a cornerstone of the ECHO model. All participants are encouraged to present a case they are working with and would like to discuss with the Hub and other participants. Case studies can be at any time in the perinatal period but must be related to alcohol and drug use.  Case presentations do not need to be related to the didactic. The reasoning behind this is to encourage participants to present a current case where they would benefit from the expertise of other health professionals. Presentations are always followed by an open Q&A and discussion, with takeaway recommendations by our specialist team.

All ECHO sessions contribute to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Clinicians attending a session will be presented with a certificate for one hour of CPD and where a case is presented, two hours of CPD. This arrangement has been approved by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Certificates will be emailed to participants following the completion of the evaluation.

The WADS ECHO sessions are for suitable for professionals working with substance-using women in the maternity or health setting, general health settings, AOD services, paediatric services and mental health services. Due to the sensitive nature of the didactics and case studies, these sessions are not appropriate for attendance by non health professionals.

Our specialist team

Our specialist team hub at the Women’s includes addiction medicine specialists, social workers, midwives, psychiatrists, and other allied health.

Term 2 2021 ECHO sessions

How to ask the difficult questions about substance use, trauma, grief
Date: Tuesday 18 May, 2021
Time: 10am-11am
Presenter: Kerri Felemonow (Clinical Social worker)
Managing poly substance use in pregnancy
Date: Tuesday 1 June, 2021
Time: 10am-11am
Presenter: Associate Professor Yvonne Bonomo Associate Professor Yvonne Bonomo (Addiction medicine physician)
Nutrition for the pregnant women with substance use issues
Date: Tuesday 8 June, 2021
Time: 10am-11am
Presenter: Alex Hussey (Dietitian)
Urine Drug Screens  
Date: Tuesday 22 June, 2021
Time: 10am-11am
Presenter: Dr David Deam, Clinical Pathologist
Alcohol & drugs education & training


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