Celebrating our Everyday Heroes

Driving into Middlemore the other day, I couldn’t fail to notice the billboards that stand at either end of the hospital campus which were expressing 365 days of thanks to our staff. I was very pleased to note that diolch, which is Welsh for thank you, was right there alongside the many other languages our diverse workforce represents.

The billboards also got me thinking – how do we celebrate the extraordinary everyday efforts of our staff? As many of you will be aware, I’ve been blogging now for almost 3 years. It’s proven to be a really useful tool for me to both share some of what I’m thinking about and also hear your thoughts on key issues for our organisation. But I want to start using this blog for another purpose.

I think it’s really important to make the time to celebrate who we are and what we’re achieving, specifically the work of the Everyday Heroes among us. The true character of our organisation is not made up of statements, strategies, grand gestures or even buildings, but by the accumulation of the thousands of interactions that take place between staff and patients over the course of a working day. In a busy health system or a busy hospital like ours, they can go unnoticed and unacknowledged. Often they happen in theatre, in outpatient clinics or in a ward behind a curtain.

But today I want to start shining light on the great work that you do by dedicating regular space in my blog to celebrating our Everyday Heroes. I invite you all (staff, patients and visitors alike) to email me at ceoblog@middlemore.co.nz at any time with details of someone who has gone the extra mile and who you would like to acknowledge. I really encourage you to take this opportunity to make sure your colleagues get some recognition for their efforts.

The first of our Everyday Heroes is Alison P, a nurse practitioner in our Critical Care Complex. Her role is pivotal in supporting nursing and medical staff to identify and successfully manage patients at risk within the ward setting. According to the anonymous memo which came across my desk this week, “Alison is the epitome of what it means to be a hero. On the surface she appears incredibly normal and unassuming however she is highly intelligent, passionate, professional, empathetic, a team player and educator, and a visionary leader in her field. Alison embeds her skills into her daily practice and positively influences her colleagues in her interdisciplinary team, patients and their family/whaanau.”

Thank you Alison for this amazing work that you do and for being such a positive role model for those around you. Although I was warned you consider your efforts nothing special, your colleagues insist that you go the extra mile on a daily basis and I think that is worth both acknowledging and celebrating. Well done.

Again, please take a moment to think about those around you and email me with your own Everyday Hero nominations. I look forward to reading more stories about the great work I know you are all doing on a daily basis.



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.

2 thoughts on “Celebrating our Everyday Heroes”

  1. Great idea, would suggest celebrating teams as well….how about something personal from that person, ie if not a picture of the person, a picture that symbolises their character or a personal sharing( say a picture of a favoured cat or dog…) its not just about being a hero its sharing the thought that every one of us has that capability.

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