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2018 Health Innovation Awards attract record entrants

Helping patients to administer their chemotherapy treatments at home; cultural field trips to foster understanding of tikanga Māori, and encouraging cardiac patients to take their medication, are among the initiatives entered in the 2018 Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) Health Innovation Awards (HIA).

The awards are designed to inspire innovation and showcase quality improvements, initiatives or programmes in health service and delivery. They are open to any employee of Nelson Marlborough Health or other healthcare related providers in the region.

There are record entries this year with 33 projects submitted for judging and 23 nominations received for the ‘Emerging Leader’ award.

NMH Chief Executive, Peter Bramley says the Health Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to showcase the continuous quality improvements that lead to improved patient safety and care across the region.

“I am always impressed by the level of commitment shown by people working within our health system to making improvements in how they deliver care to our communities,” Bramley says.

“The number and the variety of entries to this year’s awards show that people are pushing the boundaries in a desire to create a better service for patients, clients and service users.

“It is this desire to make a positive difference to patient and consumer care, along with tackling issues associated with inequality, which drives our quality improvements.”


Other projects entered cover: intensive care unit outreach to support other wards in the hospital; streamlining the discharge process from hospital; dance exercises in an aged care residence to help with dementia; a free, nurse-led eczema clinic and a wicked tooth fairy that helps break down the barriers stopping young people accessing dental services.



This year there are six HIA categories; aged care; child and adolescent; clinical; equity; mental health and sustainability.

The emerging leader award category is new for 2018. Nominations for this award were received for people who make our healthcare system safer, more skilled, more compassionate and more equitable through their leadership.

The overall winner will be awarded the Darcy Christopher Excellence Award chosen by a panel of judges. There are also awards for the best poster, and a people’s choice award.

Award winners receive trophies and prize money to spread their project. The emerging leader will receive leadership professional development.

Event details:

Date: Thursday, 29 November
Time: Projects available for viewing from 2.30pm. Awards presentation starts at 5.30pm

Venue: Matai 1 room, The Rutherford, Nile Street, Nelson

Guest Speaker: Robyn Whittaker, Public Health Physician and mHealth researcher, Waitemata District Health Board

Dr Robyn Whittaker is currently leading the innovation stream within a newly established Institute for Innovation and Improvement at Waitemata District Health Board.

Robyn is also an Associate Professor at the National Institute for Health Innovation, University of Auckland, where she co-leads the Health Informatics and Technology research team. Her research interests are in mHealth (mobile health) – particularly designing and trialling interventions to be delivered to people via their mobile phones.

Robyn is a leading digital health expert who contributes to several national and international groups, and is a consultant on several international research projects. She was a NZ Harkness Fellow in 2010/11 during which time she was an invited expert on the Secretary of Health & Human Services’ Text4Health Advisory Committee.

The Darcy Christopher Award – (Overall winner)
The winner of the overall excellence award recognising innovation across Nelson Marlborough Health will receive the Darcy Christopher Award.

This award has been made possible by funds from the Darcy Christopher Trust, distributed through the Nelson Marlborough Health Care Foundation.

Flight Lieutenant Darcy Christopher worked as a training instructor for the RNZAF at Harewood, Christchurch, during the war. After spending much of his life in the top of the South Island, he created the Darcy Christopher Trust to allocate his estate to a number of public and community organisations; Nelson Marlborough Health is one of the recipients.

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