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Canterbury clinician wins new leadership award

A champion of digital technology in the health sector has been recognised with the inaugural Clinical Informatics Leadership Award today.

Clinical lead for allied health informatics at Canterbury DHB, Rebecca George, was chosen by public vote and awarded at Digital Health Week NZ.

George has been instrumental in leading allied health in the informatics space across New Zealand, including as chair of the National Allied Health Informatics Group (NAHIG) and as a member of the Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO).

“If we extend the boundaries of thought, imagine what our workforce could achieve, and the value we can bring consumers to engage them in their own health and wellness,” George said at New Zealand’s largest digital health conference.”

She also thanked her network by saying: “There cannot be a single point of failure when you are engaging with your workforce and your staff and I am grateful for the inordinate amount of support around me.”

George will receive up to $5,000 to attend an international conference of her choice, with the support of Spark Health.

Her nomination described the impact George has had across New Zealand as “phenomenal”, saying she has “created an up swell of interest in data and digital across the allied health community”.

The judges said, “Her efforts have achieved on-the-ground benefits for clinicians and patients, as well as informatics infrastructure that benefits the wider health system locally and nationally.”

The Clinical Informatics Leadership Network (CiLN) worked in partnership with Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) to launch the award to recognise and raise the profile of clinical leaders working in digital health.

HiNZ is giving all three finalists complimentary attendance to Digital Health Week NZ 2020 and George will also have a keynote presentation in the 2020 programme.

Judge, and HiNZ board chair, Rebecca Grainger says the quality and influence of the leadership displayed by the nominees was remarkable.

“This leadership has been driving work aimed at improving the health of New Zealanders and the efficiency and effectiveness of health care practitioners and the teams they work in,” she says. Health informatics in New Zealand is in good health and the future is bright with these outstanding individuals leading the way.”

The other members of the judging panel were Ministry of Health deputy director data and digital Shayne Hunter and HiNZ board member and chief executive of Auckland Eye Ltd, Deb Boyd.

Three judges selected three finalists from 16 nominations from across New Zealand and more than 570 votes were then cast online for the winner. The other two finalists for the 2019 award were David Ryan, IS clinical change manager, Waitematā DHB and Robyn Whittaker, associate professor at the National Institute for Health Innovation and clinical director innovation at Waitematā DHB’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

Read a profile of Rebecca George

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