by Elyse Taylor

On August 10, 38 of the health leaders of Ara Poutama Aotearoa gathered at the National Learning Centre in Upper Hutt for the National Health Leaders Forum.

“This was the first time we have brought together all our Health, Mental Health and Addictions leaders under the new Health Leadership Team structure. It provided an opportunity for learning, sharing and planning,” says National Operations Director Ben Storey.

The theme of this forum was ‘Kotahi ano te kaupapa: ko te oranga o te iwi’ - ‘There is only one purpose to our work: the wellness and wellbeing of people’.

Ministry of Health Chief Nurse Margareth Broodkoorn was a guest speaker at the event. She shared advice and insights on ‘Nursing leadership narrative for change. This is a piece of work being run by Ministry of Health that supports leadership development across the nursing sector.

She also spoke about ‘speaking up’ when it matters and the important role nurses have in delivering services that support equity of access, are people centred, integrated and responsive to Māori, Pacific and those with high health needs.

Our addictions team delivered an exciting presentation about the strategic direction of the Addictions and Other Drugs (AOD) services and policy development. This work will deliver a more integrated and collaborative approach to healthcare, with a strong focus on the wellbeing of people in our care. This work also aligns with our new health work programme, to be released soon.

Ministry of Health Chief Nurse Margareth Broodkoorn  (L-R) Chris Dupont, Warwick Beever, Ashveen Chand and Tamah Clapham. 

Other presentations that took place at the forum covered self-care, and adverse childhood events- delivering trauma informed care.

There were a number of opportunities for staff to get to know each other better, including team building exercises. The group dinner also provided a chance to connect throughout the evening, share some of the amazing initiatives happening across the country and meet new faces.

“Although the forum was cut short, due to the Government’s announcement regarding the change in COVID-19 Alert Levels, the power of bringing everyone together was tangible,” says Ben.