September 2009 | School of Population Health Newsletter


I  nnovation in health is the primary focus of the
   Health InnoVation Exchange (“hive”) website
being launched at the Health Informatics NZ
                                                         to create a private group within the hive to protect
                                                         confidential discussions, the website enables this.
                                                         Feeds from other information sources are channelled
Conference in Rotorua on September 30th.                 into the hive, making it a one-stop centre for its
Innovation in the health sector is often isolated and    community.
uncoordinated. Need is recognised at the front line, is an initiative of the National
but innovators struggle to gain the support they         Institute for Health Innovation, and has been
require to turn ideas into practice. NIHI Director       commissioned by the Ministry of Health.
Malcolm Pollock suggests that innovators lack            The Ministry of Health’s Principal Clinical Advisor
the connections to help their ideas be realised,         in Health Information, Dr. Andrew Holmes,
and hopes the
hive website will
provide those
“Think of it as a
virtual laboratory”
says Malcolm,
“where anyone with
a valid contribution
to make, with an
interest in what
is going on, or an
idea they want
to develop can
get together with
others free of the
tyrannies of time
and distance.”
He believes
the availability
of this type of
environment is                 M l l P ll k (left) d Chris P t ( i ht)             d      ti it f hive.
                               Malcolm Pollock (l ft) and Ch i Paton (right), and an activity of hi
critical to the future
development of healthcare services in New Zealand.       describes working with NIHI on the hive web
Research Fellow Dr. Chris Paton agrees. “The hive        initiative as “a simple and easy step that we could
is where cross-pollination can generate vital and        take towards supporting innovation in the health
sometimes unplanned outcomes,” he says. In this          sector.” Dr. Holmes looks forward to seeing this
collaborative community, professionals connect           new collaborative community growing. “With
across the spectrum of health and technology;            the right connections, good ideas can gather
nurturing developments and enhancing creative            momentum.”
synergies in New Zealand and offshore. If they want
                                               School of Population Health - The University of Auckland | Page 1

S   oPH saw the start of another online
    publication last month, when the
Pacific Health Section launched their new
e-newsletter Talaga.
As part of the launch, the section held a
champagne breakfast, organised by PhD
candidate Ofa Dewes. The newsletter was
named by the Pacific Health Section matua
Malakai Ofanoa. In many Pacific languages
Talaga means “to discuss”, and editor
Nuhisifa Williams says the intent of the
newsletter is to profile the work of the Pacific
Health Section to the wider FMHS and
Pacific communities.
The newsletter goes out on the first week of
each month, and is already into its second
edition. You can access all newsletters from
the Pacific Health webpage at:
If you would like to comment or contribute
to the newsletter, please email the editor
Nuhisifa Williams on:
 (right) The inaugural edition of the Pacific
      Health Section’s new publication.


M      obile communications technologies keep
       improving, and are opening up many
opportunities for improving health services.
                                                           and help promote research collaborations across
                                                           centres and between researchers, health services
                                                           and industry partners. Many innovative and ground-
November will see a one-day conference on mobile           breaking research projects and services that use
health (m-health) that explores this new and exciting      mobile devices to improve health are already being
area - a conference that organisers believe will be        developed here in New Zealand. Attendees will
the first such gathering in New Zealand.                    focus on sharing experiences, looking ahead to the
The m-Health Conference - jointly organised by             future of m-health in New Zealand and beyond.
CTRU and NIHI - aims to bring together those               “We are very excited by the range and calibre of
working with mobile technologies in health services        submitted abstracts” said CTRU’s Robyn Whittaker.
or health research across New Zealand: researchers,        The conference will be held at SoPH on November
students, health professionals, health services            6th. Further details, including information on the
managers, to name a few. It is hoped the gathering         international keynote speaker Dr Bern Shen, are up
will stimulate discussion about research priorities        on the website at
and future directions for m-health in New Zealand,
Page 2 | School of Population Health - The University of Auckland

T   he SoPH is pleased to advise that the Human
    Rights Commission has selected the Centre for
Asian Health Research and Evaluation (CAHRE)
                                                        previous Director of the Centre, who have guided
                                                        the activities of the Centre.”
                                                        CAHRE has organised three major international
as one of this year’s recipients of the NZ Diversity
                                                        conferences on Asian health and well-being and is
Action Programme award. This is in recognition
                                                        planning a fourth one in July 2010. Current research
of CAHRE’s outstanding contribution to the New
                                                        projects include Asian families’ settlement in New
Zealand Diversity Action Programme through a
                                                        Zealand, lifestyle and mental health issues, the
variety of projects and programmes.
                                                        Asian stream of the obesity guidelines, a service to
The awards are about public acknowledgment,             work with refugee youth recovering from mental
rather than financial reward. Recipients received        health issues, and impacts of work experiences of
a mounted certificate, presented by the Governor         Asian immigrants on family well-being.
General, Sir Anand
Satyanand, at the
annual diversity
awards ceremony
at Te Papa as part
of the New Zealand
Diversity Forum.
The 2009 New
Zealand Diversity
Forum was held in
Wellington from
23 - 24 August.
Over thirty different
organisations hosted
forums and events
that promoted cultural
diversity, racial
equality and positive
race relations.
Forum topics ranged
from indigenous
issues to cultural
diversity, migrant
settlement refugees,
employment, health,
                         Dr Amritha Sobrun-Maharaj, director of CAHRE, proudly receives the NZ Diversity
languages, disability,
                          Action Programme award from His Excellency the Hon Sir Anand Satyanand (left),
religion, families,
                                       and Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres (right).
media, sport, racial
discrimination, diversity research and government
accountability to the United Nations. Fellow
CAHRE members Dr Fiona Rossen and Mr Sun
Woong Kim were also present at the forum.               4  th International Asian Health and Wellbeing
                                                                Holistic Approach to Asian Health
Head of School Peter Thorne congratulates the staff
for this excellent achievement and recognition.                       5th and 6th July 2010
“Special congratulations to Amritha Sobrun-    
Maharaj and Samson Tse,” said Peter, “who was the
                                               School of Population Health - The University of Auckland | Page 3

                                                                            (above and left)
                                                                     Staff react in scenes of wild
                                                                    mayhem as the recession forces
                                                                    drastic cuts to the SoPH Keep-
                                                                           It-Seemly budget.

  (right) Peters Thorne and Adams have a solemn
conference in the midst of the chaos, as Audiology’s
       Kim Dirks tries vainly to restore order.
  Editor of newsletter accused of tongue-in-cheek
                  attitude to crisis.

Page 4 | School of Population Health - The University of Auckland

           (left) Peter Adams in superhero
          mode restores order while (above
             and upper right) Krystal and
             Mirko Wojnowski cut a salsa
                 across the dance floor.
          (middle and lower right) Angela
           Robinson and company rush to
                   Peter’s assistance.
             Proud mum Audrey D’Souza
            with Adrian, whose playing of
            Meditations helped soothe the
             frenzied crowd at the crucial

                         S h l
                         School of Population Health - The University of Auckland | Page 5

E   arly in August, fifty students from the CertHSc
    programme attended a Cultural Wānanga/
Cultural Fono weekend event at Waipapa Marae.
The main purpose of the weekend was to actively
engage the students in traditional aspects of Māori
and Pacific culture.

  Māori Health students study a contemporary Maori
  waiata in the Wharenui at the marae as Dr. Elana                   Student Luke Tu’Uholoaki (left) and MAPAS
 Curtis and tutor James Carson look on in the background.             Coordinator for CertHSc Kristian Schmidt
                                                                    discuss the finer points of the percussion item.
The wānanga is a compulsory part of both
the Māorihth13H:
Introduction to Māori
Health and Māorihth14H
Introduction to Pacific
Health courses. Students
choose one of these
second-semester courses
as part of the Certificate
in Health Sciences
Māori students were
involved in five
workshops: Kapa Haka;
Māori games (eg. Ki-
o-Rahi); Poi and Haka;
Hangi preparation
and bread making;
Raranga and Whakairo.
Pacific students were            Pacific Health students and course coordinator Rob Loto concentrate on
also involved in five                              practicing their pacific dance item.
workshops: Samoan Siva;
Page 6 | School of Population Health - The University of Auckland
Pacific sports (eg. Kilikiti); Cook Island Drumming
and Hula; Pacific Food and preparation; and Niuean
weaving. Each workshop was conducted by tutors
with expert cultural knowledge.
The weekend concluded on the Sunday with
the final festivities of dance performances and
indulgence in Māori and Pacific cuisine prepared

                                                                                   ( b )
                                                            Pacific Health students enjoy watching a game of
                                                                    Kilikiti while waiting for their turn.
                                                           (left) Dr. Elana Curtis with her daughter Taipapaki
                                                             take a break with Assoc. Prof. Papaarangi Reid
                                                                            outside the Wharenui.

                                                               Special thanks to Mirko Wojnowski for
                                                             providing the photos, and also to Mirko and
in the workshops. Both the Māori and Pacific                   Rob Loto for providing the original copy.
cohorts of students shared what they had learned
with families, friends, staff and each other. For a lot
of the students, the weekend provided them with
valuable insight into aspects of their own culture,        MĀORI HEALTH WEEK CAPS BIG MONTH
and gave an opportunity to participate and learn
other cultures. They got to stay in a marae complex,
and to share an overall unique learning experience
                                                          J  uly was a very busy month for Te Kupenga
                                                             Hauora Māori. In the same week as Māori Health
                                                          Week, they hosted some 80 senior secondary school
that drew them closer as a cohort.
                                                          students from around the North Island as part of
The weekend was a huge success and was                    the COACH programme. COACH provides an
thoroughly enjoyed by all.                                introduction for these students to the faculty, to the
                                                          University and in many cases, to Auckland with
                                                          a goal of making them aware of the many career
                                                          options open across the health sector.
                                                          FMHS Dean Iain Martin expressed the faculty’s
                                                          appreciation to all those who participated in the
                                                          very successful Māori Health Week at SoPH. “This
                                                          faculty initiative gets bigger and better each year”,
                                                          said Iain Martin, “and we had nearly 400 students
                                                          involved this year along with a host of facilitators
                                                          and helpers plus cultural and Te Reo advisors.”
                                                          Finally, Māori Language Week week provided all
                                                          the students and facilitators from Māori Health
                                                          Week with a great opportunity to put into practice
 Māori Health students concentrate on their Māori         some of the Te Reo they learned.
           song and Poi performance.                      And in that vein: Mauri ora ki a tātou.
                                                 School of Population Health - The University of Auckland | Page 7
                                                           S   oPH looks to be very well represented in the
                                                               October graduation ceremony this year.
                                                           Bridget Kool and Sue Wells from Epi & Biostats
                                                           have both been awarded their PhD degrees
                                                           in Population Health. Bridget’s PhD was on
                                                           Unintentional falls at home among young and
                                                           middle-aged adults: the influence of alcohol and
                                                           was supervised by Assoc Prof Shanthi Ameratunga
                                                           and Professor Rod Jackson. Sue Wells’ PhD was

 I t is with great sadness that CHSRP staff
   announce the passing of Ruth Schick. Ruth
 was a Senior Research Fellow in CHSRP from
                                                           on Integrating epidemiological research and
                                                           evidence-based clinical care in a general practice
                                                           computerised decision support system to improve
 April of 2007 until she was diagnosed with lung           cardiovascular health in New Zealand. Supervisors
 cancer the following year. She was a wonderful            were Rod Jackson, Professor Bruce Arroll and
 person, a good colleague and fun to be with.              Associate Professor Roger Marshall. Both theses
 Ruth was born in New Brunswick, NJ in 1958.               were regarded very highly by the examiners and
 The Schicks moved to New York state in 1959,              have been placed on the Dean’s list. Well done
 and Ruth graduated from Burnt Hills High                  Bridget and Sue.
 School, NY in 1976.                                       Director of Tōmaiora Māori Health Research Centre
 After living and working in Boston for a while,           Sue Crengle has also completed her PhD. “Sue has
 Ruth went to Kirkland College in 1978, then               contributed much to Māori health and this faculty”,
 had an adventure in Chile for a year before               says Tumuaki and Deputy Dean Papaarangi Reid,
 graduating from Union College with a BA                   “and in doing so, she has opened many opportunities
 in Philosophy in 1982. She went to graduate               into the Māori community and workforce.” Mauri
 school at SUNY Albany, achieving her EdD in               ora, Sue!
 Comparative and International Education, Adult            Lana Perese in the Section of Social and
 Literacy in 1993 - later changed to a PhD based           Community Health has recently been awarded a
 on a change in policy at the university.                  PhD with a thesis entitled You Bet Your Life ...and
 Almost immediately after receiving her                    Mine! Contemporary Samoan Gambling in New
 doctorate she emigrated to New Zealand, and               Zealand. Well done, Lana.
 lived and worked here nearly continuously until           Peter Huggard, Director of the Goodfellow Unit
 2008. From 1996 to 2001 she lived in Dunedin,             has been awarded a Doctor of Education (EdD)
 working as a lecturer at the University of Otago          through the Faculty of Education. Peter’s thesis was
 in the fields of Gender and Women’s Studies                on Managing Compassion fatigue: Implications
 and Education. In 2002 she moved to Auckland              for medical education. Peter’s daughter will be
 to work for Workbase Education Trust doing                graduating with a Doctor of Clinical Psychology on
 research, development and evaluation of adult             the same day.
 literacy services. In 2007 she was employed
                                                           Congratulations to all.
 as a Senior Research Fellow at the University
 of Auckland, evaluating population health
 One and a half years after being diagnosed with
 Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer, Ruth lost              C    ontributions to the School of Population
                                                                  Health newsletter can be sent to John
                                                             Trevithick at The
 her battle with the disease on July 17, 2009. She
 will be missed.                                             SOPH news is a quarterly publication. The next
                                                             issue will be published in December.

Page 8 | School of Population Health - The University of Auckland

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