Although there were no Otaki based health professionals in the winner’s line-up this year, the supreme winner is very relevant to all of us. The Otaki Mail has focused on the needs of the child in recent issues and this award winner is in line with the ideals we have espoused. In a celebration of a decade of excellence, with a record 64 entries, the tenth MidCentral DHB Health Awards’ Supreme Award went to those helping our youngest and most vulnerable.
The Supreme Award for Excellence in Integrated Health Care was won by the Child Health Tamariki Ora District Group. An interdisciplinary group, this team has worked on transforming the health services for children within the region. Recent initiatives such as the Newborn Enrolment Programme have seen great benefits, with 98% of newborns now enrolled with a GP.To continue with keeping babies safe, they have championed funding for the recently appointed Pepi Haumaru/Keeping Babies Safe Coordinator, which is a permanent role to promote safe practices for taking care of babies. They will be working to promote these safe practices in every health encounter, from antenatal classes, to the birthing suite, through to community care.Their nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting) service has also seen great benefits. Using a nurse-led model of care, they assess, manage and follow children to help cure their bed-wetting. This has resulted in a cure rate of over 80%. Other projects focusing on autism, eczema, asthma and gastroenteritis have all seen fantastic results.The judges thought that this made for an excellent example of integrated health care, with members from secondary and primary care, and many different organisations, including Central PHO, Iwi providers, NGOs, Police, education, Child Youth and Family, and others. They said: “Collaboration and integration have been central to all activities and the service developments have resulted in real improvements in child health across the district.”
Alongside the other eight categories, two special awards were handed out on the night. The first went to MDHB CEO Murray Georgel who recently announced his resignation. He was given an award in appreciation of 20 years of dedicated service to MidCentral DHB. The other special award went to neurologist Dr Anna Ranta, in recognition of the outstanding contribution she has made to MidCentral DHB.