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Hundreds receive Mäori Health Scholarship awards


Hundreds receive Mäori Health Scholarship awards

More than 400 people have been granted Mäori Health Scholarships, with three women awarded the prestigious Dr John McLeod Scholarships, Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General of Mäori Health Ria Earp said today.

Mäori Health Scholarships were first awarded in 1995 to help Mäori studying in the health and disability arena.

This year scholarships went to 420 people, representing 69 percent of all applications received.

Ms Earp said recipients included senior secondary school pupils, along with doctors, nurses, midwives, dental therapists, dentists, and pharmacists. Undergraduate, post-graduate and health management students also received scholarships.

``We know that Mäori whänau and communities want improved health status, reduced health inequalities and increased control over the direction and shape of their own institutions, communities and development as a people,'' Ms Earp said.

``By building on the strengths of whänau to achieve whänau ora -- health and wellbeing -- we can work together to reach these important goals. It is essential we have trained Maori professionals in the health and disability sector who can help deliver services to whänau. That is why it is so important to support Maori studying in this field, and these scholarships do just that.''

This year's scholarships ranged from $300 to $2500, with $4800 awarded to recipients of the Dr John McLeod Scholarship, recognising outstanding individuals who have achieved academic success while maintaining strong community involvement.

Students do not apply for the Dr John McLeod Scholarship; they are chosen by a selection panel made up of representatives from Te Puni Kokiri, National Council of Mäori Nurses, Te Ohu Rata (Mäori Medical Practitioners Association of Aotearoa), Mäori medical students and the Ministry of Health.

The three Dr John McLeod Scholarship recipients received their awards recently from Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia. They are: Cecileah Win, of Ngai Tahu; Lorraine Brooking, of Ngati Porou, Ngariki ki Mangatu; and Melanie Donne of Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi.

Background

The Mäori Health Scholarships were first awarded in 1995, during the era of Regional Health Boards, in a joint initiative between the four boards and the Ministry of Health.

The Health Funding Authority continued the scholarships (under the Mäori Provider Development Scheme) until 2000 when it merged with the Ministry of Health.

For the past two years the Ministry of Health has managed and awarded Mäori Health Scholarships to help Mäori undertake or complete a course of study in the health and disability field.

Dr John McLeod, of Nga Puhi, had a distinguished medical, research, and management career in the New Zealand health care system. He was nationally and internationally renowned for his work in strategic public health planning and his significant contribution for improving Mäori health status. Dr McLeod died in 1994. The scholarships that bear his name have been awarded since 1997.

In the past four years, more than 1200 scholarships have been awarded.

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