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This week we celebrate colleagues who have innovated, collaborated, and gone the extra mile to provide high-quality care for the communities we serve.

As part of this, we would usually hold the Ngā Tohu Angitu: Celebrating Success Awards ceremony, but due to COVID-19, that’s not possible this year. Instead, you can watch members of our leadership team virtually ‘present’ the awards in this video, or check out the list of winners.

We've sent awards and gift packs out so that smaller team-based celebrations can be held, allowing winners to celebrate safely in their bubbles. Look out for photos of celebrations in the coming weeks.

While we are celebrating in a different way than usual this year, we hope you will join us in congratulating all the winners and those who were highly commended. Please also take a moment to reflect on your own successes during this week – your mahi is truly appreciated

Meet our winners:

Toa Ranga i te Tira / 2DHB Champion of Collaboration and Integration Award:

WINNERS: 2DHB Māori COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign team and the 2DHB Pacific COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign.

The first winner in this category is the 2DHB Māori COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign team.

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi.

In the largest vaccination campaign in history, I would like to thank this team for bringing the focus on achieving equitable health outcomes for Māori, and protecting whānau from COVID-19.

The team delivered a COVID-19 vaccination programme based on Ngā kanohi tiaki, Ngā wāhi tika - Trusted Faces in Trusted Places.

The team brought DHB kamahi together with the five Māori-lead community-based vaccination providers: Ora Toa Health Services, Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, Marareroa Marae Health Service, Hora te Pai Health Services, and Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Services. Regular hui were set up as a vital communications channel with these providers.

Community clinics were established across the region, and the team’s tireless work to connect people and resources helped make them a success. This included creating drive-through clinics during lockdown, and reaching out to vaccinate those unable to travel.

Programme lead Mareta Taute’s rich knowledge of te ao Māori was key to unlocking the potential for shared success, while the depth of her wairua encouraged everyone to play their part.

The second winner in this category is the 2DHB Pacific COVID-19 Vaccination Campaig

The Pacific vaccination campaign brought DHB staff together with key Pacific peoples from various community groups, including the Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley, church leaders, and media professionals such as Catalyst Pacific. The team established regular meetings with key community members to get to know them, their needs, and the unique needs of their local Pacific populations.

The vaccine rollout initially targeted older people and those with underlying health conditions, before pivoting to a whole-of-family approach. This included developing a mobile, agile workforce of clinical and administrative trusted faces.

They were able to draw on the rich cultural knowledge from Pacific equity lead Alfred Soakai and the wider Pacific Health team to unlock the potential for shared success. They worked tirelessly to connect them with the DHB people and resources needed to make the community clinics a success. This included creating Pacific vaccination festival days and multilingual messaging.

This is an outstanding example of how our health system collaborates with Pacific community groups to grow equitable health outcomes in our region.


Hiranga Haumanu / Clinical Excellence Award:

WINNER:Andy Creighton and the Access and Choice team at Te Awakairangi Health Network.

Following a successful trial, the Access and Choice model was implemented in the Hutt Valley in June 2020 and has been steadily rolling out to the general practices since then.

This model offers same-day support to patients presenting to general practices with mental health issues. This includes access to a registered Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP), health coach and community support worker.

Many patients find that one HIP session gives them a plan they can implement straight away; other patients receive more intensive support from the health coach and/or community support worker. One year since first being implemented, we are seeing several benefits, including a reduction in the referral rate for traditional therapy from the Access and Choice practices.

They model was developed to be culturally relevant and has seen a high uptake by Māori and Pacific clients, representing more than 30% of all sessions delivered over the past year. It builds on partnerships with NGO providers (such as PACT, Emerge and Te Paepae Arahi in the Hutt Valley) creating more seamless transitions for clients between services.

As team leader, Andy has been instrumental in growing and developing the team, building local partnerships, promoting the model, and providing training for new across the Greater Wellington Wellbeing Collaborative (2DHB).


Hautūtanga Taiea / Outstanding Leadership Award:

WINNER: Rachel Dunn, COVID Response Manager of Te Awakairangi Health Network.

Rachel has led Te AHN’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a strong focus on equity throughout: prioritising Māori and Pacific people in the planning for testing and vaccinations; supporting Māori providers to establish vaccination centres in the Hutt Valley; working with Pacific providers to establish and run the very successful Pacific Festival vaccination clinics; and providing an exemplary focus on meeting the needs of people with disabilities through specific clinics and appropriate environments.

She and her team were instrumental in quickly getting COVID-19 testing underway and maintained across sites in both Lower and Upper Hutt. Whenever we have gone into Level 4 lockdown, she has got the Riverbank carpark pop-up testing site up and running in less than 24 hours.

Having a people-centred approach helped when Te Awakairangi Health Network established the first COVID-19 community vaccination centre in the 2DHB region at the Walter Nash Stadium.

Rachel’s leadership is evident in the great results that have been achieved in the Hutt Valley in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Hiranga i te Wāhi Mahi / Excellence in the Workplace Award:

WINNER: Peter Godden-Steele from Te Omanga Hospice.

Responding to feedback from a 2019/20 staff survey, Peter researched and spent many hours working on a wellbeing programme for staff.

Te Omanga Hospice wanted to promote a culture where they function as one harmonious team, all working towards a common goal. This goal is defined in the Hospice Vision and underpinned by the hospice values.

In order for the staff to excel, the hospice needed to commit to supporting its staff, and this needs to be done in a multitude of ways. No one size fits all approach, will work completely.

Involving staff and stakeholders in development, implementation and evaluation enhanced the adoption, implementation and effectiveness of the programme. The result is the ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ initiative – a staff committee driving wellbeing from the workforce through to Management.


Hiranga Auaha, Whanake me te Anga Whakamua / Excellence in Innovation, Improvement and Future Thinking Award:

WINNER: WellKiwis team at Regional Public Health.

This team delivers influenza/COVID-19 research in a participant-centred way.

Made up of four nurses and two phlebotomists, the team delivers high-quality and positive interactions in the community, taking blood samples and swabs for the study, but more importantly providing education and support to participants in the community.

The team has received excellent feedback from participants who really value being part of the research. The participants find having a nurse on the end of the phone or visiting their home reassuring when their child/baby is unwell.

Well Kiwis team incorporate other benefits into the study, such as promoting the Well Homes programme. Their clinical team will also advocate on behalf of participants, to ensure health needs of their communities are met. The team also has a strong focus on including Maori participants in the research.

The research, previously known as 'Shivers', now has three arms to the study - infants, household and adults. In 2020 a paper, published in Nature’s Communications, identified that lockdown measures had a huge impact on non-flu respiratory viruses. This year they have assisted in painting a clinical picture on the re-emergence of RSV in the community.


Hāpaitia Ō Tātou Uaratanga / Living our Values Award:

WINNERS: Regan Smith, practice manager and Kim Hurst, general practitioner at Whai Oranga Health Centre.

Whai Oranga o Te Iwi Health Centre live by the values of Manaakitanga, Kotahitanga and Rangatiratanga, and have demonstrated this by supporting their patients and the wider Wainuiomata community through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite their own workforce challenges.

They increased their service delivery, implemented care packages and intensive follow-up for patients, supported the COVID-19 testing, and are managing the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Wainuiomata marae.

Throughout this time, they have been supported by Dr Kim Hurst, who has facilitated some of their Health Care Home journeys and assisted with the recruitment, orientation, and initial supervision of several overseas general practitioners.

Even when the staff of the health centre were tired, they kept going that extra mile for their patients and community.

The Whai Oranga team is multidisciplinary, with general practitioners, nurses, community health workers, dental staff, administration and reception staff, all supported by the practice manager, Regan Smith, administration manager, Keriana Kingi, and the Board, led by Teresea Olsen.

They all live and breathe their commitment to continuous improvement and continuity of care for their patients, which is especially important in a high-needs population area such as Wainuiomata.


Tāpaetanga Taiea a tētahi Kaimahi Kē Atu / Outstanding Contribution by Non-Clinical Staff Award:

WINNERS: Liz McCloat and Kathryn van Woerkom.

Two nominations were received for this team, who through the selling of cloth masks were able to raise money to purchase hand-held fans, which are crucial in the palliative management of breathlessness.

It is the small things that make a difference for patients on the ward, and the fans made such a difference for patients, providing some comfort when breathing is difficult. With their presence on the wards, patients have been given their own fan to keep - improving their quality of life.

Liz and Kathryn have also proactively approached local businesses who have been able to donate further fans.

Their initiative and dedication has served the Hutt population - both through mask and fans.


Hiranga i te Hauora me te Oranga Hapori \ Excellence in Community Health and Wellbeing Award:

WINNERS: Teresea Olsen, Janis Awatere and the team at Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Services.

Teresea and the team have led a local response to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the Wainuiomata community, with innovative solutions responding to the needs of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have come to a unique arrangement with Wainuiomata marae to provide the local community with access to COVID-19 vaccinations, with the marae remaining closed to all other functions. Kōkiri Marae health and social services general manager Teresea Olsen said that Wainuiomata marae is the the logical place to have a COVID-19 clinic, as the largest community venue in the area.

The vaccination centre is part of a wider Māori-led vaccination service being driven by a group of Māori Health organisations, including Hora Te Pai Health Services in Paraparaumu, and Ora Toa Health Services across the region.

The team has also established groups, such as Pataka Kai, which provide greater food security for the people of Wainuiomata. It also sparked the Hutt Valley Emergency Kai Collective, thanks to an initial partnership between Common Unity and Kōkiri Marae during lockdown 2020, which recognised that our whānau do better when we work together and share resources.


He Tohu nā te Tumuaki/ Chief Executive's Award:

WINNER: Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Service

The team were selected as winner of the CE’s award because of their innovative solutions to support the needs of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their community-based, Māori-led approach, arranging Wainuiomata marae as a vaccination centre and working with local groups to support the community with food and resources, is as ground-breaking as it is awe-inspiring.