Helping Others

A few weeks ago, an enterprising email crossed my desk from four of our employees who are stepping out to raise money for a good cause. The ‘Sole Mates’ team is striving to walk 100km through the middle of the North Island in less than 36 hours, and in the process raise $2500 for Oxfam. I just want to take this opportunity to applaud three of our Pharmacists Chantal Williams, Soraya Brosnan and Hannah O’Malley and one of our Occupational Therapists, Megan Drummond, on going the extra mile (or extra kilometres in this case) to help others in need. I gather there are several fundraising activities happening before the Trailwalker event on April 6/7 but if you’re interested in supporting them straight away, please do visit their website.

Of course it comes as no surprise to me that our staff are so willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help others in need, be it in or out of work. It lies at the very heart of what our organization, and healthcare more broadly, are about. I believe our staff are all, by nature, caring people who are driven to use their time, energy and skills to help others in need.

There is, however, one area where I believe we could collectively do more.

As you may be aware, CM Health is starting its staff influenza vaccination programme for 2013 on April 2. In fact, ‘early bird’ clinics are already available for staff who want to get in quick and I, along with the rest of the Executive Leadership Team, was vaccinated at our meeting last week. For the record, it really didn’t hurt (despite my aversion to needles) and it is certainly a lot less painful than a spending a week in bed with man flu!

I really implore staff to follow suit and demonstrate your commitment to helping others by taking advantage of our free vaccination programme this year. We already know that this winter will likely be another harsh one, with new strains of the flu having appeared in the Northern hemisphere. I really don’t want to see staff or our vulnerable community suffer through the flu unnecessarily, especially when this year’s vaccine has been updated to include the most recent strains.

So if you’re not someone who routinely gets vaccinated, please do think seriously about doing so this year in order to protect your patients, your colleagues, yourself and your family.  Our uptake goal for 2013 is 65% but my challenge to Team Counties is to surge past that and really show an organization-wide commitment to this initiative. Once the programme is fully underway, I will be regularly updating you on our progress through this blog. I hope I can count on your support.

I can’t end this week without pointing out the great result in Sunday morning’s Six Nations decider. Well done Wales!



Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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