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Hutt Valley DHB Excellence Community Health Awards

Hutt Valley DHB Excellence in Community Health Awards

Health Minister Annette King hosted the Hutt Valley DHB's Excellence in Community Health Awards, commending the board for its innovative projects and forward-thinking approach.

Thank you, Waimarama, for your warm introduction.

I am delighted to welcome you all here to Parliament, and I am also delighted to be part of this important event. One of my most enjoyable tasks as Health Minister is to host functions like this which celebrate the high achievements of people and organisations within the health and disability system.

This is actually the third time I have hosted these awards, so I guess I must be doing something right if I keep getting invited back! Every year I look forward to it and every year it has ended up being one of the highlights on my calendar. I am sure this evening will be no different.

I would now like to acknowledge some of the distinguished guests here tonight. I am sure you are all relieved that while attending this function you won't be missing anything exciting on the television now that the Olympics have finished!

Firstly, I want to acknowledge my Parliamentary colleague, the Honourable Parekura Horomia; Councillor Ray Wallace who is standing in for Hutt City Council Mayor John Terris; Doctors Jim Primrose, Debbie Ryan and Colin Feek from the Ministry of Health; Dr Kara Puketapu, Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy, Maree Tukukino from Orongomai Marae, the Kaumatua who welcomed us here tonight -- Noel Samuels, Ann Armstrong and Nanny Wiki Puhia.

And, last but certainly not least, Peter Glensor, Chai Chuah, and Karl Polutu-Endermann of Hutt Valley DHB, as well as other board and committee members.

At this point it would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to the Hutt Valley DHB in a more general way. Hutt Valley is one of the country's most innovative and forward-thinking DHBs, and is responding to community needs in a way that sets an admirable example for other DHBs to follow and emulate.

We are here tonight to not only acknowledge the success of the award winners, but also the nominees, and the many supporting individuals, groups and communities which lie behind each success. And of course we mustn't forget the judging panel, which has done such a fine job working through the nominations.

We are all striving to build a positive culture that facilitates and encourages quality health care, and quality improvements. These excellence awards have an important role to play in furthering that goal. A significant way in which we can build this culture is by applauding achievement, by recognising innovation, and encouraging excellence.

I have been out to the Hutt Valley on several occasions in the past few months to launch innovations that, in many cases, lead the country. These awards are an example of that. Now in their third year, they were the first such awards ceremony to be staged by a DHB in New Zealand. I've been pleased to see the growth of events such as this one, and hope it continues.

These sorts of events symbolise our growing awareness of, and commitment to, the importance of quality care. This is true of all parts of the health sector, but especially in primary care.

Of course the biggest example is the Health Innovation Awards, and it was fantastic to see two Hutt Valley initiatives among the finalists earlier this year. I'd like to offer my congratulations to the Hutt Valley Infection Control team and the Te Omanga Hospice for their nominations at that important function.

There have been a lot of exciting developments in health in the Hutt Valley recently. I was pleased to be at Hutt Hospital to launch the Cardiac Continuum of Care Programme in May, which many of you were involved in. That was the first of its kind in the country, and was a key plank in the DHB's response to the Government's New Zealand Health Strategy and Primary Health Care Strategy.

Prior to that, I launched the youth health clinics in four Hutt Valley Schools.

Most recently, earlier this month, I was at the wonderful launch of the Hutt Valley DHB Pacific Health Plan. This was a fine example of a DHB, providers and the community working together to focus on what is important for the community. That launch focused on the Healthy Lifestyles Pasifika programme, which is changing the lives of many Pacific people simply by providing easy access to appropriate exercise and giving them support in changing their diets.

At that launch - which might I add was a lot of fun -- I took part in a 10-minute Pacific dance-athon, though I can reassure you that I don't think I will be repeating my energetic efforts in front of you tonight!

Significantly, I asked the Hutt Valley DHB to be the pilot for the Magnet programme in New Zealand. I believe that Magnet principles have great potential for advancing staff recruitment and retention in our hospitals.

In the pharmacy field, the Medication Management Service will be launched on September 1st in the Hutt Valley. This is a programme designed to improve people's quality of life through better medication management - and it is GPs, pharmacists and the DHBs working together to do this. It's a perfect example of the sort of collaboration and partnership that the Primary Health Care Strategy is designed to foster.

You have a wonderful immunisation outreach programme in the Hutt. I also understand a new Ear Van was launched this year. And I was really impressed by the huge amount of consultation and provider and community involvement in the Hutt Valley in launching more PHOs. You now have four, with a fifth on the way, and that's really encouraging news.

As you are no doubt well aware, one of this Government's top priorities in the wider health sector has been our focus on primary care. Most of you will know by now that Primary Health Organisations are a subject very close to my heart, and the rapid development and expansion of PHOs is one of the initiatives I am most proud of and excited about. We're going to ensure cheaper primary health care for everyone enrolled in a PHO by July 2007, which is much faster than originally planned.

All this tells me there is a large amount of tremendous work being undertaken in the Hutt Valley, and I am pleased to have the chance to honour many of the people who are undertaking that work and reflecting the principles of innovation, quality, positive relationships, leadership and commitment to the Hutt Valley and its communities.

I'm also delighted to see these awards extended to bring in a much wider range of providers this year. What I'm seeing more and more is that providers such as yourselves are increasingly taking leadership in advancing the good health of people in the Hutt Valley. That is what this Government's initiatives have been all about.

PHOs are required to involve communities, iwi and individuals in governance processes, and be responsive to community needs. Some of the ways we ensure PHOs involve local communities are through boards elected by the community, community input into PHOs' business plans, and the inclusion of community representatives on PHO management committees.

I passionately believe that community involvement in decision-making makes our health system more responsive and more effective. The achievements that we recognise tonight are testament to that. You participate and you agitate with your DHB - you have a relationship that means you can all be involved in making things better for your community.

I wish you all the best for the continuing progress and improvements in primary care in the Hutt Valley, and I will certainly follow any developments with interest.

Once again, warmest congratulations to all the award winners who will be announced soon. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the evening as much as I know I will.


1) Community Health Team of the Year
This award recognises an overall track record and demonstrated commitment to working as an integrated team in improving health outcomes

All nominations were eligible for this category, in addition to the following:
• Peer Support Worker Team, Hutt Valley Youth Health Service
• Outreach Immunisation Service
• Vision Hearing Technicians

In assessing nominations for this, the panel also short-listed:
• The Dawn Trust
• Aukati Kai Paipa
• Tu Kotahi Maori Asthma Services
• The Hikoi programme
• Intensive Clinical Services

Aukati Kai Paipa Smoking Cessation Team
The Aukati Kai Paipa team, which provides smoking cessation services to whanau in the Hutt Valley and surrounding areas, was selected because it has demonstrated improved health outcomes that have a significant impact on health.

Their track record has been consistently good, and they integrate well not only within their team but with other service providers.

When compared nationally and internationally, the quit rates achieved 12 months after the programme are high. The team believes this is due to the face-to-face support and counselling the programme offers alongside the nicotine-replacement therapy.

2) Community Health Practitioner of the Year
This award recognises an overall track record and demonstrated commitment to improving health outcomes by an individual practitioner

All nominations were eligible for this category. The following people were nominated:
• Dr Ralph Brock-Smith, Mere Te Paki and Dr Alan Chin.

In assessing nominations for this award, the panel also short-listed:
• Dr Jenny Simpson, Dr David Young and Peter Lagan.

Two individuals were selected by the panel for this award. Both have a strong track record, and are well regarded by their peers. They have demonstrated strong leadership, and have strong links within their teams and with other providers.

Mere Te Paki
Mere Te Paki is a community health worker employed with Hutt Union and Community Health. Her role includes support and advocacy for clients accessing health or social services, such as transporting people to hospital appointments; attending family group conferences; providing advocacy at WINZ and Housing New Zealand; and linking people to crisis support, foodbanks, CYPS and other agencies.

Mere is well known and trusted by the community, who see her as a safe link into health and social services. Countless individuals and whanau have received improved health care as a direct result of her involvement with them.

Dr David Young
Dr David Young is a GP at Naenae Medical Centre, and is now chair of MidValley Access PHO. Not only does David have a very busy general practice, but he is also one of the few GPs in the Hutt Valley providing lead maternity care services.
David's strong leadership in the PHO development has been a key factor in the success of MidValley PHO. Not only is he well respected by all the trustees but he is also a uniting influence, bringing together people with differing views to provide services that benefit many.

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