Two receive annual rural health award
Two receive annual rural health award
The 2013 Peter Snow Memorial Award will be shared by two recipients this year: Moerewa-based GP Graeme Fenton and Hamilton-based New Zealand Institute of Rural Health CEO Robin Steed.
The accolades were announced at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s annual conference in Rotorua (March 13-17).
Both Dr Fenton and Ms Steed were nominated under the “Innovation or Service” category which recognises their “outstanding service to rural general practice and to rural communities for many years, and their endless enthusiasm and drive in nursing and education”.
The nominations noted that:
“Graeme has dedicated his professional life to the health and well-being of rural communities in the Far North, is well respected by Iwi and Hapuu, held leading positions in the multiple changes in the health sector and is a former Board member of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network.”
“Robin has worked tirelessly to develop and implement the internal structure of the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health, supported rural communities, federations, agencies, health services and government health authorities to review and redesign the services for the community. Robin is willing to explore creative and innovative opportunities for closer collaboration with other like-minded organisations to strengthen the position for rural communities and the health professionals who choose to work and live in rural New Zealand.”
Graeme established Moerewa Medical Services in Northland in 1967 and has looked after generations of families. He was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in September 2011. He served on the RHA Board in 1997 and was Director of the Institute of Rural Health from 2000-2001. He established the Northern Rural General Practice Consortium and has served as Deputy Chair of the Te Tai Tokerau PHO Board since 2003. He has also been involved in improvements to the after-hours service in the Mid-North and has tirelessly worked in the background to improve access to healthcare for rural communities.
Training as a nurse in Northland and early work experience in small district hospitals and communities was the genesis of a career long interest in rural health for Robin. A move to work with Health Waikato with responsibility for community-based services and rural hospitals further matured interest and expertise in the field of rural health.
Robin’s studies at the University of Waikato in the Masters of Business Administration programme provided the opportunity to examine the inter-relationships between health, business, social and political sectors and the impact these have on rural health in New Zealand.
Robin received valuable insight into rural health issues through networking at a national level on projects of professional development of the rural workforce, the health of rural populations, palliative care strategies and the cost of personal health services.
The Peter Snow Memorial Award was set up to honour the life and work of Dr Peter Snow who passed away in March 2006. Dr Snow was a rural general practitioner based in Tapanui.
As well as caring for his patients Peter was Past-President of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and was a member of the Otago Hospital Board and District Health Board. He was enthusiastic and active in seeking knowledge to improve the health and safety of rural communities. His work contributed to the identification of the chronic fatigue syndrome and he was influential in raising safety awareness on issues related to farming accidents.
Previous winners include:
• Inaugural winner Dr Ron Janes (2007)
• Nurse Jean Ross and Dr Pat Farry (2008 – jointly awarded)
• Dr Garry Nixon (2009)
• Dr Tim Malloy (2010)
• Dr Martin London (2011)
• Nurse Kirsty Murrell-McMillan (2012).