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Otago Health Researcher Wins Major US Fellowship

17 April 2002

Will compare essential primary health care delivery in New Zealand and the US.

A researcher at the University of Otago’s Wellington School of Medicine has won a prestigious Fellowship to undertake a US-based study exploring how best to provide essential primary health care services to low-income populations.

A Harkness Fellowship in Health Care policy, of which only up to nine are awarded annually throughout the UK, Australia and New Zealand, has been awarded to Dr Peter Crampton, senior lecturer in the School’s Department of Public Health.

Dr Crampton will undertake a comparative research project based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, during 2002/2003, and the Fellowship will provide support of up to US $75 000.

Provision of essential primary health care services to low-income groups has proven to be a “challenging problem both in New Zealand and the US”, says Dr Crampton.

“The New Zealand Government is currently implementing important reforms of the primary care sector, and I hope that my Harkness research will contribute to current and future debates about how the sector can best meet the needs of those most in need of care”, he says.

Dr Crampton says that he feels “very lucky” to have the opportunity to spend a year in the United States carrying out research on a topic of great importance to both New Zealand and the US.

“The Fellowship will provide me with the chance of a year of uninterrupted research working with leading researchers, and the chance to develop contacts and networks amongst a wide range of researchers in the US,” he says. Another benefit is that the Fellowship is structured with regular meetings and conferences, giving Fellows the “opportunity to learn in detail about health care policy in the US and Canada”, he added.

The University is very pleased by Dr Crampton’s success and is giving him special leave to allow him to take up the offer, says Vice-Chancellor Dr Graeme Fogelberg.

“In obtaining this prestigious award it reflects favourably not only on himself, but also the outstanding work which has been undertaken in Public Health within our Schools of Medicine,” says Dr Fogelberg.

Dr Crampton will take up his yearlong position in September.

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