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Five Ak finalists in Health Innovation Awards


Five Auckland finalists in New Zealand Health Innovation Awards

21 April 2008

Auckland is strongly represented in this year’s New Zealand Health Innovation Awards (HIA), with five out of 20 finalists coming from the region.

The New Zealand Health Innovation Awards are a long-standing joint initiative by the Ministry of Health and ACC. They celebrate innovative thinking and, often, life changing developments in the health field.

Dr Jan White, Chief Executive of ACC says the New Zealand Health Innovation Awards continue to show this country is leading the way in pioneering original, and often ground breaking, developments in the health arena.

“ACC is delighted to work with the Ministry of Health in recognising visionary thinking and, ultimately, utilising this to improve the health of New Zealanders."

The five innovations are helping improve the lives of those with spinal cord injuries, children, Mâori, Pacific peoples as well as New Zealanders’ diets, said Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General Sector Capability and Innovation Margie Apa.

“Auckland is a region which should be congratulated for its leading-edge projects and enlightened thinking.”

The finalists are:

Counties Manukau District Health Board: Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit: Intimacy and sexuality after spinal cord injury

East Tamaki Healthcare Services Ltd: THO Immunisation World Cup – Enhancing productivity through increased discretionary effort

ProCare Network North and Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara: Te Awaroa Lifestyles – A Mana Whenua and mainstream PHO partnership

Auckland District Health Board: HVAZ – A partnership of Pacific communities and public health service

The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand: Project Target 450 – Reducing sodium in bread.


A person’s sexual ability may be affected after suffering a spinal cord injury and many wonder whether they will ever be able to have sex again. But help with expressing sexual intimacy is now available thanks to a new programme run by the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit and TASC (The Association for Spinal Concerns).

An immunisation programme which has doubled the number of children being immunised in a South Auckland PHO during October is another Auckland innovation. East Tamaki Healthcare Services (ETHC) introduced the programme – the THO Immunisation World Cup – with the goal of immunising 5000 children; 3000 more than are immunised during an average month.

A unique partnership between a Primary Health Organisation and five marae in South Kaipara is helping improve the health of the local community. The Te Awaroa Lifestyle programme takes a holistic approach by providing support on a range of issues including housing, diet, water, health and lifestyle.

With over 80 percent of Pacific peoples belonging to a church, the Healthy Village Action Zones (HVAZ) project is getting its message across from the pulpit. Parish nurses go to church events where they talk to people about their health, provide screening programmes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and, where necessary, refer them to a GP.

The final innovation is helping New Zealanders enjoy the health benefits of a little less salt. A new programme has succeeded in working with New Zealand’s two major bread manufacturers to lower the amount of sodium in certain breads.

The HIA, first held in 2003, are proving popular with nearly 130 entries this year. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in October 2008 at Wellington Town Hall.

Further information about the HIA, including contact details for finalists, is available online at http://www.healthinnovationawards.co.nz.


ENDS

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