There are many great qualities that define Team Counties – our teamwork and strong sense of loyalty, our readiness to get things done and make things happen, and the passion we have for our community and the patients we care for. One of the great ambassadors for Team Counties and the work we do is the South Auckland Health Foundation which has engaged a wider audience to raise money on our behalf for the last thirteen years.
Thanks to the hard work and tireless dedication of South Auckland Health Foundation founding Chairman John Maasland and Executive Director Pam Tregonning, the Foundation staff and board have raised over $34 million for CMDHB since it was established in 1999. This money has supported a number of worthy projects both within Middlemore Hospital and out into the community, including Kidz First Children’s Hospital and Neonatal Unit, a new Intensive Care Unit, the National Burn Centre, Ko Awatea and the scholarship programme, the mobile breast screening van, a bone density scanner and various community clinics.
I find this figure – $34 million – truly staggering and have no doubt that CMDHB would look very different were it not for the Foundation’s continued support. Having been on the Board of the Foundation for five years now, I know firsthand the energy, commitment and passion that all members around the table, as well as the Foundation staff, share for the work of CMDHB and the community it serves. We have a strong collaborative relationship (CMDHB’s Deputy CEO and the Chief Medical Officer also sit on the Foundation’s Board) which allows us to align our objectives and ensure we get the best use from the money raised. The Foundation really is the jewel in our crown.
We also benefit hugely from the Foundation’s extensive networks. The Foundation and CMDHB enjoy relationships with The Stevenson Foundation and The Lion Foundation, which have helped fund the Chair of Health Innovation and Improvement and the Chair of Emergency Medicine respectively. The Lion Foundation has also donated $1.2 million to Ko Awatea and CTEC (our Clinical Training and Education Centre) and recently put $1 million towards an impressive new CT scanner for Middlemore Hospital to replace one of the older machines. The scanner, which arrives later this month, will be doing upwards of 10,000 scans a year and will make possible a CT Cardio Angiography service at Middlemore Hospital for the very first time so that patients with heart problems who require this type of scan no longer have to be sent elsewhere. It goes without saying that the South Auckland Health Foundation has supported us in our aim to provide high quality healthcare for our community.
And it is into the community that the South Auckland Health Foundation is now extending its reach. As you may have read earlier this week, the South Auckland Health Foundation has launched a new identity with a fresh new name – the Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation.
This new identity is not just about a new logo but a new direction. The Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation will still be supporting hospital-based services but will now also support CMDHB’s new work with community-based developments. As I have already blogged about, the DHB is facing a range of challenges that will require innovative new solutions and changes to the way we work. To achieve this, we are aligning CMDHB with Ko Awatea and the Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation so that we have a strong partnership based on innovation, service development and improvement.
This is an exciting step. We already know that there are a number of large New Zealand companies who are eager to work with us on specific initiatives in South Auckland. With the assistance of The Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation we’ll be seeking to create strategic partnerships with major companies to facilitate new programmes. We’ll also be looking to build on existing programmes, such as the national Target CLAB Zero initiative we’re leading to eradicate Central Line Associated Bacteraemia from Intensive Care Units, so that we can deliver more health gains.
There is a saying that what happens in South Auckland today happens in New Zealand tomorrow. We have a very exciting opportunity to create local solutions to South Auckland problems that may also have benefits nationwide. We’re very fortunate to be supported by The Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation and its wide range of networks as we embark on this journey. I look forward to what we will achieve together.