Celebrating a Heart of Gold in Kidz First

It is often said that an organisation’s greatest resource is its people and nowhere is that more true than at CM Health. As I walk around our sites, I’m constantly struck
by the number of staff who routinely go above and beyond the call of duty for their patients and colleagues. I introduced the Everyday Heroes concept in my blog a month or two ago as a way of recognising these individuals and, as always, I invite you to email me directly on ceoblog@middlemore.co.nz if there is someone who you think is worthy of a little recognition for their efforts.

Today’s recipient is a gentleman who has been working at Middlemore Hospital for 14 years. During the time I’ve known him, I’ve never once seen him offer anything less than a smile and a cheerful greeting to passers-by. In fact, it’s such a pleasure to see him that I have altered my route around the hospital just to say hello to him. It really does make my day.

I’m speaking, of course, of Tauilo T. Vaotuua, better known to staff as Tui, the Samoan security officer who works at the Kidz First entrance. Tui always has a smile and a moment for everybody – parents worried about their children, visitors trying to find a park and all the staff who use the Kidz First entrance. He’s a real gentle giant with a heart of gold who, for me, epitomizes what CM Health is all about.

Tui has a background working in airports and with refugees, and is also a church pastor. When I asked him what he loves about his work at CM Health, he replied: “I love to serve the community. I see a lot of needs around here. If I see people raising their voice, I say ‘can I help you?’ and they start to calm down. The most important thing for my life is to help the people as best I can. It is a way of life and the way I do things. That’s me.”

Thank you Tui for your incredible hard work and unending cheerfulness. Your commitment to helping people is inspiring and hugely appreciated by the many patients, visitors and staff who benefit from it 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.

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