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Tag: Peter Townsend

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


A proactive approach. The profile of health and wellbeing activity in our community is currently at an all-time high. The continuing issues around Covid-19, national and international, are creating a lot of interest and challenges. These will continue to impact on us all into the foreseeable future.

 

Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

 

The recent ministerial announcement containing further details and timing on The Health and Disability Systems Review has attracted a lot of attention across the Health Sector and beyond. This too will have significant impacts right across the nation.

In Canterbury we are preparing for change and are determined to maximise the opportunities that will result from the proposed transitions.

We accept that things are going to be different in the future, and we also appreciate that while we prepare for the changes, we all have an ongoing responsibility to continue to deliver excellent health and wellbeing outcomes to our people.

We also want to ensure we protect those many components of the current Canterbury Health System that are recognised as special and valuable.

This will best be achieved by all participants in the system working constructively and positively together, proactively embracing change and never forgetting that patients and the health and wellbeing of all people remain our prime focus.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


For as long as I can remember, the need to improve the interface between education and the workplace has been an issue. How can we better equip those in education to be as well prepared as possible for life beyond the classroom?

 

Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

 

Given its unique grouping of key stakeholders, (Canterbury District Health Board, Ara, Otago University, University of Canterbury, supported by Ngāi Tahu) Te Papa Hauora is well predisposed to address that interface.

In May, Te Papa Hauora is hosting The Future Leaders programme. This involves health students who are advanced in their training, being exposed to a wide range of topics and engaging with a variety of leading health professionals.

The students will be exposed to challenges they will face in leadership roles in their future work. The week long programme is about gaining a better understanding of the Canterbury Health System, its key drivers, and how it compares to other health offerings in New Zealand and beyond. There is strong emphasis on future scenarios and how to engage in new ways of working to shape our health system.

The students are challenged to consider patient demographics, culture, equity, funding models, infrastructure and politics, amongst other things.

We know from past experience that participants are better equipped to adopt leaderships roles, and we would like to see more of this type of bridge building in our community.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

Like many of you, I am sure, I have spent time over the Christmas break reflecting on the tumultuous events of 2020 and constantly reminding myself just how fortunate we are in New Zealand to be able to live relatively normal lives compared to so many others around the world.

It is very clear we are not out of the woods yet.

Many in the health sector still consider further community outbreaks of Covid-19 as inevitable (not if, but when) and that underpins the need for all of us to remain disciplined and vigilant.

There is a sense that we are over the worst and that we can ease off a little.

However, that would be a big mistake, and one we cannot afford to make.

The health sector has performed remarkably well throughout the crisis and will be at the forefront of our minds as we roll out vaccinations in the coming year.

None of us should forget that health activities contribute to approximately 10 percent of New Zealand GDP and the one in 10 people employed in New Zealand are working in health-related areas. It is very clear that all activities related to heath are vital to each of us.

We need to fully appreciate that here in Canterbury where so much good is being done in the sector, there is much opportunity to do better.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

Christchurch is home to some real superstars who are making contributions to their communities, recognised far beyond our city boundaries.

Two key players in Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct (TPH) have just received high recognition from their respective institutions.

Professor Gail Gillon, a founding member of the TPH Council, has received the University of Canterbury’s highest research honour for her internationally renowned work aimed at improving children’s learning and wellbeing, the UC 2020 Research Medal.

She is the founding Director of the UC Child Wellbeing Research Institute.

Her research is acclaimed here and around the world and is informing policies to reduce inequities in the New Zealand education system.

Professor David Murdoch, a TPH Council member and Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch, has recently been awarded the University of Otago’s Distinguished Research Medal, the university’s highest honour.

He is a recognised world leader in the study, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases.

We can all be very proud of having such respected and acclaimed leaders in their fields living, working and researching in our city.

Te Papa Hauora has just hosted the Health Research Society of Canterbury’s 2020 poster event, an opportunity for researchers to display their research achievements and mix with fellow Canterbury researchers.

You can be sure that amongst those presenters, there are more outstanding leaders in research that will shine here in Christchurch and beyond.

TPH is planning to showcase more achievers in health throughout 2021, all of whom contribute to a remarkable regional health system.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

Too often in Christchurch and Canterbury we underestimate our performance and influence, as a city and a region.

We also have a tendency to understate our achievements. I think this comes from the natural conservatism of our people.

When you get outside Christchurch and look back in, it’s easy to gain an appreciation of all the good things
we have going for us.

Being conservative is not a bad thing, but there are times when a community needs to stand up and openly celebrate its place in
the world.

That time is now for greater Christchurch. We are poised on the edge of being recognised as a city of choice in New Zealand.

A special place where people choose to come to live because of what we have to offer.

Our high performing health sector is a vital ingredient in that mix of attributes. An important component of our health offerings is Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct.

Te Papa Hauora is unique.

Nowhere else in Aotearoa is there such strong collaboration between health providers, educators, researchers and commercial players in health.

The physical presence of the major players, juxtaposed to our main hospital and various health support services, gives us an opportunity to explore and share exciting new ways of doing things in health.

That is critical in our rapidly changing environment. We are just at the beginning of realising the potential of Te Papa Hauora.

It is something we can build on, take pride in, and celebrate now and into the future.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

The events of this year have brought the value of health into sharp focus.

They also placed unprecedented pressure on already stretched health, education and research resources.

In Canterbury, our health board is fighting to balance growing demand with financial constraints.

Organisations training our future health workers are facing, among other challenges, a large drop in international students.

Funding for life-saving research is harder to get. I am very proud of how our local health system has responded to extraordinary recent challenges.

When Covid-19 threatened New Zealanders, all parts of the system from laboratory workers to researchers joined the fight.

We were fortunate that key players in Canterbury’s health system already collaborate through the unique-in-New Zealand Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct.

It brings health-related organisations together to foster innovation and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, members run regular simulation exercises where students and working professionals practice different medical scenarios together to improve their performance when encountering them in real life.

They are working together to ensure the next generation of nurses are ready to meet changing patient needs and deliver more care in the community.

Today’s challenges are not going to disappear. New ones will undoubtedly emerge.

It just makes sense to work together to address them and improve outcomes for everyone. In Canterbury we are well positioned to do just that.