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Pasifika Medical Association Conference celebrates 20th Year

11 May 2016

Pasifika Medical Association Conference celebrates 20th Year in August

Registration for the 2016 Pasifika Medical Association Conference is now open.

The conference “The pathway to leadership is service” will be held on 24, 25 and 26 August 2016 at the Rendezvous Hotel in Auckland.

This year's conference theme recognises how much has been accomplished and how much still needs to be done.

“It’s a huge milestone for the Pasifika Medical Association,” says PMA Chief Executive Debbie Sorensen.

"Through this conference, we hope to provide our members with the opportunity to support each other in our quest for excellent Pacific health policy, service delivery and practice in the Pacific region.”

Following the success of last year’s conference in Vanuatu, attended by over 300 health professionals, it is once again expected to be a sell-out event.

The 20th anniversary comes on the heels of a successful PMA journey, 1996 to 2016 and looks back at how the organisation has developed from its humble beginnings 20 years ago.

“We have and continue to play a key role in helping to develop a Pacific health workforce, create career pathways for Pasifika students and improve the health and wellbeing of communities here and across the Pacific,” says Mrs Sorensen.

“We started off as a small organisation with a handful of volunteers and now we have over 3,000 members, which makes us the largest Pacific health network in the region.”

“We want our Pacific health professionals to get involved, and be well connected with delegates from the Pacific Islands. It’s a real opportunity for our health community to get closer and work together in health-related issues,” says Mrs Sorensen.

Relationships are really critical to PMA work and the upcoming conference provides a strong voice on issues that impact on Pacific health and wellbeing.

Similar to last year’s programme, the conference starts off with a pre-conference workshop on Disaster Management Training on Tuesday 23rd August, with a focus on Cyclone Winston experiences and lessons learned from it.

The conference will then cover a wide range of topics, including clinical leadership and presents an opportunity for clinical leaders, policy makers and practitioners to share their experiences and share what they have learned about some of the complex health challenges faced by Pacific countries, communities and families.

There will also be a session on kava as a commodity, and cure. This is a hotly debated topic which we are hoping to provide an opportunity for free and frank discussions on the use of kava through the many different lenses of Pacific communities.

Mrs Sorensen says the conference will provide the participants a forum to debate and discuss local and regional issues that have influence in all areas of the health sector.

In addition to health topics, there will be ample time for practical matters; afternoon workshops will concentrate on 20 years for PMA progress in Pacific Health, strategies for women leading change and influence, the book launch of PMA History and the awards ceremony.

Through its 20 years of training programmes, research, conferences and advocacy, the PMA has made an enormous contribution to Pacific communities and New Zealand.

The PMA conference is considered to be the largest meeting of Pacific health workers and professionals throughout NZ and from the Pacific region.

To register for the Conference, click here

ENDS

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