Closing the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians will be the focus of a new health alliance established in the Pilbara, says one of the groups founding members. The Pilbara Aboriginal Health Alliance brings together three Pilbara health services — Mawarnkarra Health Service, Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation, and Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service - to create a united advocacy body. PAHA will act as a voice for the collective AMS’ allowing data to be shared between the services and for the community to have a stronger say when it comes to research in the region. PAMS chief executive Robby Chibawe said a key goal of the new alliance was to help close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. He said by joining together for advocacy purposes the three AMS’ could amplify their voices. “We really wanted a ... strong voice in the region to advocate for the entire Pilbara. The bigger you are, the bigger the voice is,” Mr Chibawe said. WHASC chief executive June Councillor said the group would place Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands. “We have already got the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum who looks at the priority areas,” she said. “The planning forum will also be a key part of what PAHA is doing. It is not about PAHA replacing the planning forum it is about us coming together but we wanted the AMS’ to lead that.” Ms Councillor said it was important for services to share patient information due to the transient nature of the Pilbara lifestyle. “When people come from the desert communities into Hedland we look after them but we know that they are PAMS clients. Same when our people go down to Roeburne MHS look after them,” she said. About two years of work culminated in the official launch of PAHA at Hedland Hotel on Friday.