Congratulations to all winners, runners up and highly commended entries in the 2021 New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards He Tohu Mauri Ora!.
The New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards | He Tohu Mauri Ora celebrated the stars of primary healthcare at a black-tie awards ceremony on 15 May at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland.
The evening showcased GPs, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, suppliers, practice managers, researchers and others whose innovations and collaborations are transforming primary healthcare.
These primary healthcare stars have stood strong through the COVID-19 pandemic, finding new ways to improve equity and deliver positive health outcomes for all New Zealanders.
ACC Patient safety award
Continuity of Care in the home during Covid-19 lockdown level 4: a Health and Safety Risk Program
Access Community Health
Access Community Health Hauora Tara-Ā-Whare is proud that new protocols driven by COVID-19 proved to be robust, with no spread of infection caused by workers or clients cared for during lockdown. Continuing in-home care and support during level four posed significant health and safety risks for the organisation’s clients, so they embarked on a health and safety process never needed before. Access Community Health chief operating officer Ms Kotrotsos attributes clear and consistent messaging key to their success. The response involved a massive amount of work dealing with many variables – the group had to account for 3000 support workers going into 20,000 clients’ homes.
Improving medicine safety
Health Navigator Charitable Trust
Adverse drug events or reactions are major causes of patient morbidity and mortality, and a source of significant costs for organisations and whānau. The Health Navigator NZ website provides Kiwis with easy-to-understand, New Zealand-focused resources to help them take, give and store their medicines safely. The website has over 500 NZULM-mapped medicine information sheets, pages about driving and medicines, general safety tips, and understanding medicines labels, as well as videos, quizzes and dose calculators. Health Navigator NZ has a reach of over one million page views per month and medicines pages receive over 2.6 million views per year.
Pharmaceutical Society Innovation in service delivery award
Health Hub @ Anglesea Pharmacy
Health Hub @ Anglesea Pharmacy wanted to make it easier for people to be vaccinated for common illnesses during COVID-19, so started offering nurse-led clinics outside of usual business hours. This meant throughout the national lockdown it was able to continue as an essential service. Staff worked long hours in full PPE to provide jabs, with the clinic running a no-appointment clinic up to 10 hours, seven days a week, in a room inside the pharmacy that is open daily until 11pm. The barrier-busting service has been welcomed by the Waikato community.
Blind Low Vision NZ remote Consultations
Kiwis living with sight loss were supported by a new Blind Low Vision NZ service during COVID-19 lockdowns. A remote consultation feature in the Salesforce customer relationship management system was built by the inhouse digital team that saw phone calls become a lifeline. The service's 200 service delivery staff were redeployed to call its 14,500 clients to assess their needs. This resulted in a 19 per cent rise in requests for service. Blind Low Vision NZ is now trialling some services on Zoom and is investigating ways to help clients access technology.
Anglesea Pharmacy Sleep Services
Anglesea Pharmacy Sleep Services is transforming lives by making it easier for people to get help for their sleep apnoea. The service says it saves jobs, marriages and improves health outcomes. A self or GP-referral process and overnight testing in clients’ homes is backed up with full support during treatment.
Southern Cross Health Insurance Primary and secondary integration award
Integrated Case Management Team
Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance
Addressing the rising numbers of patients with complex health needs and a mismatch of health providers in the region, Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance decided a paradigm shift was required. Working with general practice, they launched the Integrated Case Management Team in 2014. The alliance covers Eastern Bay of Plenty, with 54,000 patients, of which 64 per cent are classified as having complex needs. GPs refer patients with complex chronic health needs, such as diabetes, to the team for ongoing management. Referrals have risen from 200 to 600 a year.
TBI Health SpineCare Pathway
Turning the traditional model for managing unresolved back and neck pain on its head, TBI Health has created thepatient-centred, multidisciplinary TBI Health SpineCare Pathway. The pathway brings together primary and secondary care for ACC clients, which benefits both providers and patients. Working with Southern Cross Hospitals and ACC, TBI Health has delivered the new pathway to over 500 patients in the lower North Island and upper South Island. Teaming up with health centres is also improving access for Māori and Pacific communities.
Spark Health Excellence in information technology or telehealth award
Bettr by far – Exploring a new frontier in healthcare
A new way of delivering primary healthcare is taking shape with the digital platform Bettr.co.nz. The web-based app was rolled out during lockdown by primary care network, Tāmaki Health. Bettr simplifies the user experience. A patient will answer some criteria questions and can then see a GP by video. With low fees, developers say it is addressing equity with their Māori and Pacific patients. The majority of people using the app are Māori, Pacific or from the most deprived areas; and month by month the service is growing.
AVA – The Access Virtual Assistant
Access Community Health Hauora Tara-Ā-Whare
Managing contracts with 20 DHBs, all with different contracting requirements for their carers and support workers, was complex and difficult for Access Community Health Hauora Tara-Ā-Whare. To address that, the Access Virtual Assistant (AVA) application was developed. The app removes the need for manual timesheets, funding gives transparency, payment certainty for carers, as well as live information for carers and their clients. For example, Access Community can reach carers rapidly if something has changed, like a traffic accident, or a positive COVID-19 case, where carers will receive a message advising them what to do next.
Ministry of Health Equity award
Mana Tū: A whānau ora approach to supporting people living with poorly controlled diabetes
National Hauora Coalition
Mana Tū is an innovative programme developed by the National Hauora Coalition to support whānau living with type 2 diabetes. The programme deploys a trained Māori and Pacific workforce of kaimanaaki to GP clinics with high numbers of Māori and Pacific patients. They work with whānau using a mana whenua approach to address a wide range of needs. Preliminary results have shown significant decreases among participants in HbA1c levels from baseline to post-intervention.
Mobile equity bus
Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Charitable Trust
Te Puna Ora o Mataatua (TPO) is a Māori-led provider of health and social services based in Whakātane. After setting up initial COVID-19 testing stations and a CBAC for the eastern Bay of Plenty in March 2020, TPO showed innovation and agility by deploying mobile testing units to reach people living in isolated rural communities. As well as providing COVID-19 testing to up to 90 carloads of folk per day, staff in the mobile units used a whānau ora approach to assess people’s needs, providing assistance with everything from kai and hardship packs to firewood. TPO is in the process of developing a full-scale mobile GP service.
National Hauora Coalition
Reducing rates of rheumatic fever is just one of many outcomes achieved by National Hauora Coalition's nurse-led school health programme, Mana Kidz. The programme cares for 34,000 tamariki across 88 south Auckland schools and carries out more than 120,000 sore throat assessments each year. The programme has reduced the number of children developing acute rheumatic fever by more than 60 per cent. Mana Kidz also has a health programme covering eye and hearing tests, and treatment for skin infections and head lice.
Habit Health Best mental health programme
Turuki Health Care
Turuki Health Care’s Aronui Team is bringing together GPs, nurses and traditional Māori healers to fill what they describe as significant gaps in the delivery of primary mental healthcare in their region. The self-funded Aronui Team weaves together western and traditional medicine and has attracted attention worldwide. Over the COVID-19 lockdown the team used social media to run the programme, getting 100,000 people at the start, with 300,000 people from all over the world eventually taking part. Bringing back an indigenous healing model has been key to the success of the Auckland-based programme.
Wellness Support Team – Awhi Atu, Awhi Mai A revolutionary holistic support programme for individuals, whānau and health professionals
Total Healthcare PHO
Recognising a significant gap in mental health in the primary care sector 20 years ago, Total Healthcare PHO’s consultant psychiatrist David Codyre started developing a holistic model that would address these gaps and benefit GPs, nurses and their patients. The result of that work is the PHO-funded Wellness Support Team, which was rolled out to the Tāmaki Health’s network, providing timely and holistic services for enrolled patients with psychosocial, physical and mental health, and wellbeing needs. The team engaged with 3900 people in 2019, and 8200 in 2020.
Medispace Good space award
Team Medical Urgent Care & GP Services Transformation
Green Cross Health
Creating a space that improves equity for all of their patients was the inspiration behind the transformation of Paraparaumu-based Team Medical. It was transformed into an expanded purpose-built space. The renovation, in partnership with Green Cross Health Medical Division, was the result of real collaboration between staff, community and iwi. The building has additional GP consult rooms, urgent care consult rooms, a minor surgery space and theatre, admin spaces, additional seating and extra bathrooms all linked by a new welcoming reception area. But it is the team, the community and family that are the true highlights for owner Christine Coulter.
Based in Raglan township, Raglan Medical cares for a population of 5754 patients. When narrow corridors, lack of privacy for patients and staff, and an expiring lease became a problem, the practice owners embarked on a 10-year journey to create a purpose-built, future-proofed building. The resulting 478sqm clinic has deep foundations for a second floor, space for a staircase and lift well and wiring already in place for future expansion. But space and privacy for patients were the top priorities, and this new building delivers both.
The Hastings Health Centre One Stop Health and Urgent Care facility
Integrating primary care services for patients and addressing a growing GP shortage were the goals of the Hastings Health Centre’s new building. The fully integrated hub provides a one-stop shop which includes GPs, a dentist, podiatrist, orthopaedic surgeon and gynaecologist for its 32,000 patients. The Hawke’s Bay region is facing a serious GP shortage with 165,000 people unenrolled. To address this, Hastings Health Centre has included extra space in its new building to recruit and support GP growth.
Best youth or senior health service award
Te Wā Kōrero
National Hauora Coalition
An eight-week kaupapa Māori rangatahi engagement programme enhancing the mental wellbeing of young people in south Auckland schools is helping to build confidence and resilience in its participants. A National Hauora Coalition initiative, Te Wā Kōrero, is social work led and has been running in four south Auckland schools since 2019. Inspired by the Christchurch talking bus initiative, the programme focuses on identity, connection and belonging, incorporating whānau as a key part of the programme, and using both cultural and youth-focused approaches to engage rangatahi.
Health Connections is a nurse-led organisation delivering free primary health services responsive to the needs of rangatahi aged 10 to 25, particularly Māori and Pacific young people. Health Connections’ vision is to build resilient rangatahi by improving the knowledge and confidence to access primary healthcare now and in the future. It partners with other stakeholders and delivers health services to Oranga Tamariki and school-based health services to alternative education sites. Part of the Auckland PHO, Health Connections also has clinics in south Auckland and central Auckland and is hoping to expand its sites further to help improve the health outcomes of young people.
Research and education award
Ben Gray, Jo Hilder, and Maria Stubbe - Applied Research on Communication in Health Group
University of Otago, Wellington
For over 12 years, a research team based at the University of Otago in Wellington has helped increase the use of interpreters throughout the health sector. The work of the Applied Research on Communication in Health Group serves the needs of the growing numbers of New Zealanders who are not fluent English speakers. The team wrote e-learning modules about working with interpreters for medical students and primary care clinicians. They also advocated for a centrally funded interpreting service as a memorial for the interpreter shot in the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Protecting our pēpi through aiding awareness of and access to maternal vaccinations
VIP study team at the University of Auckland
Funding maternal vaccinations in pharmacies boosted pertussis vaccination, the VIP study team found. It also considered what else was happening to aid or hinder the update of maternal vaccinations, particularly for Māori women. The first published paper was qualitative research which showed it helped raise awareness and prompted some women, who would not otherwise have done so, to get maternal vaccinations. The research trialled funding of pertussis and influenza vaccinations in community pharmacies in the Waikato and compared it with control regions in Hawke's Bay and Northland.
BDO Business achievement award
Living Waters Medical Solutions Limited
The team at Living Waters Medical Solutions has transformed a GP practice at the end of its life into a thriving practice with a focus on community charity projects. Previously an RNZCGP assessment declared the old Castlecliff Health practice “dysfunctional”. But after dedication and a lot of hard work, they have a new building which won the Good Space Award 2020, a new business model and a thriving practice. They did not take a step back, even when faced with diversity, they are still standing, and standing strong. They have bult a plan to sustain their practice.
Connecting with the community to drive better health outcomes
In healthcare, there is no shortage of things to talk about: managing people’s health, reminding them about checkups or tests, or providing information on managing diabetes. So, for Tāmaki Health, transforming the communication platform across its national network was much needed. Identifying a better way to interact with their patients, Tāmaki Health launched a multi-channel communications programme last year that is improving engagement, education and patient experience. The new platform includes a state-of-the-art new website, telehealth and digital community outreach using social media and electronic direct mail.
Blue Star Best supplier service, product or campaign
NZWCS Wound Awareness Week
NZ Wound Care Society
Aotearoa now has an annual Wound Awareness Week thanks to the New Zealand Wound Care Society. The charity launched the annual event to raise awareness about wound prevention and care. With 13 branches around the country, the society is internationally recognised and has contributed to international best practice guidelines. The first awareness week in August 2020 focused on skin tears and attracted 500 health providers and over 2000 visits to its website. “Developing and communicating with general practice and aged care organisations has been fantastic”, says clinical nurse specialist in wound care Mandy Pagan.
Pandemic Emergency Roving Locums (PERL)
New Zealand Rural General Practice Network
As the global COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores, primary care had to pivot to manage lockdowns and testing and continue to provide ongoing patient care. This meant greater workloads and unsustainable shifts, placing rural GPs and nurses under extraordinary stress. The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network worked with the Ministry of Health to rapidly develop a relief programme so rural practices could keep operating. The result was the Pandemic Emergency Roving Locums, or PERL. The locum service received 97 requests, including one from a practice that temporarily closed down because one doctor had COVID-19.
Pharmacy Guild Community pharmacy of the year
Heeding the words of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Sanders Pharmacy in Te Awamutu adopted a go hard and go early response to the pandemic. Its response started by closing their doors 10 days before the national lockdown and developing a barricaded walk-in zone with counters and Perspex screens to protect staff, their families and patients. Opening hours were increased and staff were split into two teams. The results speak for themselves with a recent customer survey showing a very high level of satisfaction because of the approach to COVID-19.
Facing the COVID-19 pandemic by working together as a team was Ranolf Pharmacy’s philosophy for its staff as they helped their customers face uncertain times. The Rotorua-based pharmacy serves a population that includes vulnerable patients, and equity is at the heart of their work. This stood out in their response to COVID-19. To manage the pandemic, the team started notifying patients when prescriptions were ready for collection, carried out free delivery to high-risk patients and communicated with elderly patients and anyone at risk of loneliness.
Community or primary healthcare pharmacist of the year
Preventing the invisible harm caused by medicines, motivated clinical pharmacist Pauline McQuoid to co-found Bay of Plenty pharmacist support service, Medwise. Ms McQuoid recognised that the care transition between hospital and home was error-prone, and that this was causing patients to keep returning to hospital. DHB-funded Medwise addresses this by providing clinical pharmacy support to hospitals, GP clinics, community pharmacists and patients, creating a seamless link between each point of care in order to enhance medicine benefits and eliminate harm.
Hospice Whanganui and Gonville Health General Practice
A journey with cancer led palliative-care pharmacist Fiona Corbin to reassess the way she delivers care to patients. The prescribing pharmacist and clinical advisory pharmacist at Hospice Whanganui and Gonville Health General Practice says being a health consumer made her realise what a burden the system can be on patients, and that everyone’s individual needs are different. Since then, Ms Corbin has championed a patient-centred approach and been a fierce advocate for equity, completing a postgraduate certificate in Māori health and immersing herself in learning te reo Māori to better serve her Māori patients.
Sir Graeme Douglas Young primary healthcare pharmacist of the year
Unichem Medical Corner Pharmacy
Improving efficiencies so that pharmacists have “more time to care” is what drives Canterbury pharmacist Vibhuti Patel. Since becoming co-owner of Rangiora’s Unichem Medical Corner Pharmacy, Ms Patel has introduced a number of changes to improve efficiency, freeing up pharmacists’ time to ensure patient safety. Outside of Unichem, Ms Patel is vice chair of the Pegasus Health Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Population Health Advisory Group. Her leadership has resulted in a number of projects to improve maternity and diabetes outcomes within Canterbury Indian community and reduce inequity through advocacy, co-design and collaboration with the wider Canterbury Health Services network.
Unichem Orrs Pharmacy Kaikohe
During her nine years working at Unichem Orrs Pharmacy in Kaikohe, pharmacist Jilly Williams (Ngāpuhi) has impressed and inspired her colleagues with her commitment to learning and improving her clinical practice. Ms Williams has introduced several initiatives to improve patient health outcomes in the community; she also organises free pre-loved clothing, homeware and linen for anyone who needs it. She is an active and dedicated member of Ngā Kaitiaki o te Puna Rongoā (MPA). Her colleagues say Ms Williams has taken her knowledge and skills back to where she comes from to ensure the prosperity of her hapu and iwi.
ProPharma Community pharmacy technician of the year
Life Pharmacy North City
In her first year at Life Pharmacy North City, pharmacy technician Sonya Scrimshaw had no dispensary manager; in the subsequent three years she worked with five different managers. Despite the constant change, she adapted quickly, making sure workflow was uninterrupted. This is what makes her the backbone of the dispensary, says business manager Glenn Brider. Despite all that has been thrown at her, particularly with COVID-19, she has ensured the pharmacy and the workflow has remained seamless for staff and customers.
Pharmacy technician Fran Chen says knowing that the team at Ranolf Pharmacy trust the knowledge and skills she brings is one of her greatest achievements. “Getting to a stage where it’s not just you as a person, but you are part of a family, and your family is part of the pharmacy. I feel very grateful and very lucky for that.” Moving forward, Mrs Chen hopes to start building relationships with GPs and doctors, and the hospital pharmacist so she can make contact with them to get more information to help the customer.
GenPro General practice of the year
South Seas Healthcare
With little known about the COVID-19 virus, but knowing that the most vulnerable people would be affected the worst, Ōtara’s South Seas Healthcare rose to the challenge. It looked at its community and worked out what was needed to best protect and support patients. In response to the pandemic, South Seas Healthcare flipped its business model and established a list of firsts for the organisation: a local COVID-19 testing station, a foodbank, a community network, virtual health and a no-redundancy policy for staff.
Newtown Union Health Service
Flexibility is the backbone of the Newtown Union Health Service, according to GP team leader Vivienne Coppell. Like every practice, Newtown Health Service had to rapidly adjust to COVID-19 to keep staff and patients safe. It did this also while maintaining high immunisation rates, a rollout of mobile swabbing, and including medical students in video consultations so they could continue to observe. NUHS is a community-owned, not-for-profit practice with three clinic sites and outreach services. It has a multidisciplinary staff of over 50 and serves more than 8000 patients.
Medtech General practitioner of the year
Taupō Medical Centre
Glen Davies, a GP at Taupō Medical Centre, is encouraging his patients to follow a low-carb diet to reverse their type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. After significant research, he established the Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Taupō (RT2DT) group, which promotes a lifestyle that includes nutrient-rich whole unprocessed foods and natural fats, and avoids processed carbohydrates, industrial seed oils and sugar. Not only has it helped 103 of his patients at Taupō Medical Centre to reverse their type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, the group is inspiring a whole community to take better care of their health.
Lily Fraser has seen the detrimental effects of chronic illness firsthand, as well as the positive difference that a lifestyle change can make. The GP and clinical director at Turuki Health Care in Māngere, Auckland, is a passionate advocate for low-carb eating, and has helped many patients reverse their diabetes and maintain a healthy weight this way. The first Māori GP to come from a kura kaupapa Māori immersion school, Dr Fraser is passionate about supporting whānau and incorporating te reo Māori into her practice.
College of Nurses Aotearoa NZ Nurse practitioner of the year
Regularly referred to as a “nursepreneur”, Maria Kekus is a trailblazer when it comes to serving rangatahi. The nurse practitioner is the clinical director and co-founder of Health Connections, a nurse-led primary care service that delivers free healthcare and social services to young people. The service takes a proactive, wellness-based approach, with staff able to address a range of issues from sexual and mental health to vaccinations in one appointment. It aims to empower young people so that they can navigate the health system on their own.
Greenstone Family Clinic
Karen Hoare is a nurse practitioner and partner at Greenstone Family Clinic in Manurewa, Auckland, where she specialises in caring for mothers, babies and youth. Here, she has implemented systems into the practice that ensure even the most vulnerable young people don’t fall through the cracks, and that healthcare is financially, geographically and culturally accessible for young people and their whānau. As associate professor and postgraduate director for Massey University’s School of Nursing, Dr Hoare has led the Nurse Practitioner Training Programme at Massey for the past three years.
Boehringer Ingelheim Practice nurse of the year
Angela Moananu is driven to extend her skills to give rangatahi the quality of healthcare they deserve. Her commitment to improving access to healthcare for youth is behind her decision to work towards becoming a nurse practitioner. Angela is Samoan and uses her experience of growing up in south Auckland to improve engagement with youth. She uses cultural and clinical skills to help create an environment where young people feel safe to get the help they need.
Turuki Health Care
Auckland nurse Fakaanga Mapa is breaking through cultural norms to ensure the healthcare needs of the communities he loves are taken care of. As a Tongan male nurse, Mr Mapa already stands out – but it’s his dedication and compassion combined with exceptional communication and clinical skills that makes him extra special. A family man and “genuine bloke”, Mr Mapa is an inspirational and motivational nurse leader, mentor and trainer. Colleagues say having a nurse that men can talk to freely, openly and honestly is really important. Mr Mapa is able to talk to Tongan patients in their own language and his cultural understanding helps with health breakthroughs.
Practice/business manager of the year
Realising how vital the business manager’s role was to the smooth running of his Raglan Medical practice was what prompted practice owner Michael Loten’s nomination of Michelle Meenagh.
She considers the welfare of all the staff to be one of the most important parts of her job, and if people are happy, they are more productive, Dr Loten says. Among Mrs Meenagh’s biggest achievements was the development of the practice’s new multipurpose building. She was instrumental in seeing the build through all the different stages, all while running the business side of the practice.
Health Te Aroha
Dwayne Stewart is the embodiment of the next generation of practice managers, according to his Pinnacle Incorporated colleagues. Mr Stewart transformed his role as Health Te Aroha’s business manager in only two years and used his business management skills to transform efficiency in the practice, which benefited staff, patients and the business. Using data to inform decision making, he was able to identify days and times when staffing changes needed to be made so acute-demand patients could be seen on the same day.
Good sort award
Health Navigator Charitable Trust
The indomitable 91-year-old Barbara Broome has spent the greater part of her life working as a public health nurse. Despite her own numerous health challenges, she has dedicated her life to helping others, even if it meant sometimes working from the confines of her hospital bed. Barbara, who is part Fijian, is a founding member of the Health Navigator Charitable Trust’s Health Consumer Advisory Service and has helped establish the Hub of Hope Trust. She is also a highly respected advocate for the rights of disabled people and has been at the forefront of fighting for equity for decades.
National Hauora Coalition
If there’s anybody who goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to helping others and making a difference, it’s registered nurse and good sort Donna Kielar.
Ms Kielar, who is of Māori and Cook Island descent, works tirelessly as a nurse adviser in the National Hauora Coalition-led Mana Kidz programme and is not afraid to challenge health inequities. She has recently been seconded to the Ministry of Health for four days a week to help with the workforce development for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. She often stays up late working and is the first to put her hand up to help out, all with a positive attitude and smile.
Green Cross Health Outstanding contribution to health
Piripoho Nurse Service
Piripoho nurse Leesa King thinks outside the box and has delivered an innovative approach to provide much-needed healthcare to the Bay of Plenty’s vulnerable Eastside community. Ms King has been instrumental in the development and execution of the Piripoho Nurse Service, which delivers wraparound services to whānau living in Rotorua’s eastern suburbs. The team’s services are wide-ranging and include visiting childhood education centres and schools to identify health issues and provide education on diet and hygiene, visiting homes in the community, and helping to address issues such as housing, family harm and food shortages.
University of Auckland
Ingenuity, humility and generosity are just a few of the traits that give Bruce Arroll, head of the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland, the X factor. His impressive career spans 40-plus years and includes three decades leading a Manurewa general practice and hundreds of contributions to peer-reviewed journals. Throughout his career, Professor Arroll has demonstrated a commitment to addressing inequity and to applying the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. He has also become an international expert on Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (FACT).
ACC SUPREME AWARD WINNER
University of Auckland