Emeritus Professor Sir John Scott KBE FRSNZ
26 June 1931- 20 October 2015
Earlier this month, at a Memorial Service, we paid tribute to Professor Sir John Scott, one of the truly great physicians of New Zealand medicine. While he touched the lives of many Professor Scott excelled as a physician, a teacher, a researcher and a medical leader.
Dr Briar Peat had the pleasure of knowing and working with Professor Scott over a period of 20 years. Briar shares her memories of this much admired and loved man.
As one of the largest employers in South Auckland, we have a corporate responsibility to care for our environment at the same time as we care for our community. What is really heartening is that by working together in small but meaningful ways, we are making great progress, particularly when it comes to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
In fact, I have become very aware of just what I throw out in a day, and where it goes. My green cube, which sits on my desk is a daily reminder to recycle my waste, where possible, and as you will read in this blog, 10,400 wheelie bins of waste were saved from going to the tip, this year, due to recycling. That’s an amazing result and an area of sustainability that we can all play a part in, every single day.
I’m joined by Debbie Wilson, Sustainability Officer to provide some tips on how we can make more environmentally friendly decisions.
Ko Awatea hosted its first Asia Pacific (APAC) Forum in 2012 with 950 people attending. Three years later the APAC Forum has nearly doubled in size, becoming one of the largest healthcare improvement conferences in the world. That’s an amazing accomplishment in such a short time, and a testament to the insatiable appetite people have for improving healthcare for their communities.
I’m typical of a lot of people who battle with their weight. For me it’s the yo-yo effect of dieting – you lose weight, you put it on again, you lose it, you put on more, and so the cycle continues. As I get older, it’s getting harder to keep off the weight and by the end of last year I reached 125 kilos. My knees hurt, I felt unwell, and I found it difficult to walk long distances. The reality was something had to change, and it had to be a long-term solution, that was right for me.
Today I’m joined by Mataroria Lyndon, an aspiring young Maaori doctor who is passionate about taking on the challenges of our health system, making it a better place for our tamariki and our most vulnerable populations. Mataroria shares some key insights into how we can narrow the health and poverty gap, and in doing so move a step closer in our quest for health equity.
Growing up, I wanted to make a difference for people living in South Auckland and Northland – my communities. I have seen Maaori and Pacific children suffering from heart failure, because of rheumatic fever. I have seen my elders pass away from chronic disease, well before their time. That’s why when I heard we had chosen ‘valuing everyone’ as an organisational value, I thought about valuing equity.
“There needs to be compassion and humanity – professionals need to think about the impact of their words and actions.” Mental Health Service user
A wise man once told me told me, you can’t have health without mental health, and I’m a firm believer that we should prioritise mental health alongside physical health, and not treat them as separate issues. In New Zealand, an estimated one in three people cope with a mental health condition at any one time – of that number, approximately one in five people in Counties Manukau seek support and care for their mental health needs. Many of these people also suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart failure, and if you have a mental health condition, you are three times more likely to experience an avoidable hospital admission.
In terms of addictions, it is estimated that one in ten people use drugs and/or alcohol, with approximately 10,000 people in Counties experiencing harmful effects as a result, and in need of treatment.
We know the current mental health and addictions system is fragmented – that’s why the Mental Health Service at CM Health is embarking on a programme of work to transform the MH&A (Mental Health and Addiction) system. Through better integration and intervening early to keep people well, people using MH&A services will have an improved experience and better health outcomes. We will also continue to ensure a focus on supporting people with severe and enduring mental health needs.
I’m joined by Pete Watson, Clinical Director Mental Health and Tess Ahern, GM Mental Health to tell us about their approach.
“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela
We all know that if we want to build strong foundations for our children’s ongoing education, learning and development we have to do two things. We need to have whaanau, families and caregivers on board and engaged and we need to join forces with external agencies and organisations, working together, to encourage and motivate children to be successful learners.
That’s why for the past 18 months Ko Awatea, with the support of the Ministry of Education’s Early Learning Taskforce has been working with seven privately owned South Auckland Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres. The aim is to increase enrolments, participation and quality of teaching for children aged 3 to 4 years.
The results have been remarkable, and I’m joined by Monique Davies, Ko Awatea Project Manager and Jilly Tyler Director of the Early Learning Taskforce to tell us more.