The most enjoyable blog I have written

Before I begin, I have to say writing this blog gave me so much enjoyment. The two short letters I’m about to share, highlight the amazing, caring, compassionate and skilled people working at CM Health, and these are just the people I know about. The below feedback was sent in from Sandy Neva who works in EC and the Mihaere family whose premature baby, Kaiden was admitted to Neonatal Care.

Both these stories are great examples of our values and strategy in action.

Kaiden with dad (Makim) and mum (April)
Kaiden with dad (Makim) and mum (April)

Little Kaiden came into this world, four months premature, weighing in at just 770grams. He would spend the next few months in Neonatal Care, attached to a ventilator and getting specialist care and attention that would help save his life. To his parent’s delight, he is now back home and doing well.

What do you say to the people who saved your life more times than we can count? Not only that but held our hands during the hardest times of our lives.  Words can’t literally give justice or explain our gratitude to the team that has taken care of us. We will forever be grateful to everyone.  

Our little boy is so amazing and he couldn’t have done any of it without all of you. So be prepared with loads of updates and visits. Because we were lucky to be given our 20th chance (Dad) and I will try our very best to be the very best parents to the gift you all have given us.

Heaps and heaps and a little bit more love from (baby) (Dad) and (Mum)

My name is Sandy Neva. I am a nurse in Emergency Care and have been nursing at Middlemore Hospital for nearly 30 years. Occasionally I experience moments in healthcare that go above and beyond the model of care and service. It stands out and makes an everlasting impact on both the Healthcare worker’s involved but more importantly the patient and their family.

A few weeks ago I was working in the monitored area and had a Samoan woman and her family present with ‘chest pain’. She lives in Samoa. Unfortunately, she had not received the correct information about her illness and therefore had not received proper treatment. We soon established that it was likely her illness was terminal.

After Dr Stephanie Mackie finished her examination of the patient, I accompanied her as she prepared to inform the patient and her family of the situation. Before Dr Stephanie spoke to her, she was withdrawn, she had her eyes closed, she didn’t engage verbally and appeared apathetic to the whole situation. The ambience Dr Stephanie exuded was one of compassion, kindness, humility and genuine heartfelt care, while still maintaining the utmost professionalism. She had an extraordinary ability to connect with the patient and her family. I witnessed this patient sit up, open her eyes, her face looked serene, relieved, accepting and almost transformed. The truth of her illness and the manner in which Dr Stephanie had imparted this information had appeared to have empowered her and restored her dignity and grace. I believe this was a very powerful experience for the patient, her family, Dr Stephanie and myself. This experience optimised for me what caring for people is all about, and why I wanted to be in healthcare and nursing.  

If you have a story to share about a colleague/team, who demonstrates our values and strategy please send it to


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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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