Three members of the dedicated and hard-working Waikeria Prison health team were recognised at an awards ceremony. Congratulations to Team Leaders Helen Podmore and Sheena Finlayson  and Nurse Lea Hunt for their dedication both to their teams and their patients.

(L-R) Health Centre Manager Anastasia Kostiukovsky, Nurse Lea Hunt, Prison Director Jim Watson, Team Leaders Sheena Finlayson and Helen Podmore, with their awards.

The ceremony was a chance to take the time to celebrate the importance of their work, to acknowledge their tireless daily contribution and to praise the skill associated with primary health nursing.

Prison Director Jim Watson and Deputy Prison Director Dave Alty attended a morning tea for the Health Team and presented the awards. Jim noted the tough time the team has been going through, with their reduced staffing levels, and he thanked them for everything they do to provide the care to the men at Waikeria Prison.

Three Whanonga Pono Awards were presented:

Whānau Award - Lea Hunt has worked at Waikeria prison for 26 years. She is known for her high professional standards and outstanding efforts for the people in our care. She is known for significant expertise in prison nursing, and her unique personalised approach to each patient. She has supported patients through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Lea has extraordinary skills in planning and improvising, always adjusting herself to the ever changes demands of the busy health clinics.

Kaitiaki Award - Helen Podmore  effectively demonstrates the true meaning of partnership and advocacy. She actively provides a positive role model and is a lead member working collaboratively in a multi disciplinary setting. She is often viewed by the multi-disciplinary team as a key person to assist them in engaging patients and their families, especially in cases where the patients are extremely unwell. Helen is always available for advice or assistance, and many turn to her for guidance. Her ongoing commitment to her patients and her team has made a difference in the lives of many men in our care especially upon their release.

Rangatira Award - Sheena Finlayson is a rock solid primary care nurse with superb skills. She is able to easily assess situations and suggest optimal solutions; never getting ruffled with the hectic pace of Waikeria High Security Health service, and the large ISU. Sheena perceives the demand placed on her time as an opportunity to provide health care to the constant turn over of men arriving at the receiving office, and as an opportunity to support staff working in the fast paced area of high security.