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Mihi nui ki a koe


This year kicked off on an inspirational note for me because of a fascinating Ministry of Health symposium organised by the Director-General of Health Chai Chuah.

I'm buzzing about the continued growth opportunities for PHOs like Total Healthcare that embrace the disruptive innovation model, which was so eloquently described by one of the symposium’s key speakers, Scott D. Anthony. 

Mr Anthony, managing partner of Singapore-based Innosight, advises senior leaders of global companies on growth and innovation. I’ll share a little more of what he had to say in one of the news items below.

While on the subject of innovation, I’d like to offer my congratulations to two people known for their abilities in this area – DHB Chief Executive Lester Levy and Total Healthcare Executive Trustee Ranjna Patel.

Dr Levy now heads all three Auckland DHBs and I look forward to continuing to working with him as we embrace an innovative path and find patient-focused healthcare solutions.

Mrs Patel was recognised in the New Year’s Honours becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. This honour acknowledges her work as Nirvana Health Group Director and in the Indian community.

Meanwhile, East Tamaki Healthcare mental health clinical leader Dr David Codyre is playing a key role on a working party as PHOs seek to grow existing mental health programmes to treat more people. He was among people whose work on this issue was acknowledged at a national PHO chief executives meeting.

Another key issue for PHOs right now is the Ministry of Health proposal about how to evaluate the patient experience when treated in primary care using the Patient Experience Survey as a service level measure.

As a PHO looking after a predominately Pacific, Maori and high needs patient population, we feel it’s vital the wording and cultural sensitivity of any patient survey is pitched correctly. Our PHO board, half of whom are community representatives, found the initial survey proposal as unworkable in their view.

However, Total Healthcare fully endorses the need to assess patient satisfaction levels and is happy to work with the Health and Quality and Safety Commission to further refine its Patient Experience Survey to be more acceptable for high needs patient communities.

Meanwhile, we’ve got more news to share with you below.

Nāku noa, nā
Mark Vella
Executive Officer

Stroke prevention partnership with AUT

AUT researchers say their ground-breaking stroke prevention trial would not have been possible without the support of Total Healthcare and Nirvana Health Group.


The AUT University’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (NISAN) study is trialling using health and wellness coaching to stop at-risk people from having a stroke.

The randomised clinical study is believed to be the first of its kind in the world, study manager Susan Mahon (pictured) says.

Nirvana texts eligible patients inviting them to join the study and NISAN follows up with a phone call and an offer to visit their home to talk more.

Co-investigator Rita Krishnamurthi, a senior lecturer at AUT, says Nirvana’s holistic approach to health makes it an ideal trial partner.

Dr Krishnamurthi says the coaching aims to dig deeper into some of the issues that result in health problems.

“People might be struggling due to lifestyle, relationship or stress causes. We have to address other issues, like whether they struggle to afford healthy food or be active, and help them find solutions,” she says.

Nurses assist during dental health crisis

East Tamaki Healthcare nurses who normally work in Otara helped out after a health scare at Pukekohe Intermediate Dental Clinic.


The Mana Kidz nurses phoned parents and invited them to bring their children into clinics for screening and tests after a health scare. They also travelled to screening clinics in Pukekohe to provide information to parents and assist with initial screening.

Nurse Harpal K Singh (above) says it was great to help children and parents during a stressful time.

The hard-working Mana Kidz nurses are helping boost health checks and tackle rheumatic fever through work in Otara schools and homes. They work in conjunction with whānau support workers.

Three nurses from the team were also recognised in the National Hauora Coalition awards in December. Sholyn Lal and Harpal K Singh received awards for integrative excellence and Liphie Loh received an award for service excellence.

Inspiration from disruptive innovation talk

International speaker Scott D. Anthony talked at a Ministry of Health symposium about how healthcare leaders could rise to the challenge to transform the way they work. 


Mr Anthony described the disruptive innovation model. He said disruption was something that transforms an existing market or creates a new market through simplicity, convenience, accessibility or affordability. Innovation is something different that creates value, he said.

There are three ways leaders can rise to the challenge to transform: reposition today's core to maximise its resilience, create powerful disruptive growth business and share the unique capabilities that drive competitive advantage, Mr Anthony told delegates.

He urged leaders to test lots of innovative solutions and warned it was not necessarily technology that was disruptive but how organisations used it.

It was a powerful talk – look out for him when he returns to speak in New Zealand again.

Listeners invited to ask the doctor a question.

East Tamaki Healthcare Clinical Director Richard Hulme is taking to the airwaves this year to help spread important health messages to the Pacific community.

Dr Hulme, who has Samoan heritage, is pictured left with host Malo Toe in the Radio 531pi studio during the Tuesday 2.15pm show Health Talk. Among recent topics was: Why don't men want to go to the doctor? If you have the chance to ask people to tune in, please do so.

Working together to improve health outcomes

Total Healthcare contracts Nirvana Health Group as its management support organisation, and Nirvana contracts medical providers to deliver the services required in the PHO/DHB contracts. The providers include East Tamaki Healthcare, West Auckland Healthcare, Mt Roskill Healthcare and White Cross.  
Copyright © 2017 Total Healthcare Charitable Trust, All rights reserved.


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