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Winners named for inaugural NZ Primary Healthcare Awards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The inaugural New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards | He Tohu Mauri Ora honoured the heroes of the primary healthcare system at a glittering awards gala on 29 February at Shed 10 in Auckland. The evening celebrated GPs, nurses, practice managers, pharmacists and others whose innovation and collaboration are transforming primary care. Hosted by actor Madeleine Sami, the gala kicked off with a bit of fun before the winners were revealed. Practice manager reigns supreme

Twenty one people, projects and teams were named the category winners of New Zealand’s first national primary healthcare awards and received warm acclaim from the gala audience. In a closely run race, Adrian Tucker, practice manager at Ropata Medical Centre and co-manager of Cosine PHO in Lower Hutt, emerged as the "winner of the 21 winners" and was presented the ACC Supreme Award.

Mr Tucker believes people should lead from a position of kindness: "We often face difficult situations, whether it be with patients or family, or dealing with a staff issue. I don’t see why you can’t [handle these things] with kindness... People understand it should be at the forefront of what we do, and this is what I am most proud of."

Twenty-one runners-up and five highly commended entries were also recognised at the gala. Some of New Zealand’s leading healthcare professionals and government representatives, including Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Hon Peeni Henare and Ministry of Health Chief Nursing Officer Margareth Broodkoorn attended the celebration. Information about all of the winners, finalists and highly commended entries is included below and available on

Improving New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing

These stellar awardees and their colleagues are moving New Zealand closer to a country where all people can get the care they need when they need it. Their efforts to make primary healthcare more equitable and sustainable are being carried out in a variety of ways including: improved access to services, enhanced and effective use of technology, patient-centred design of services and facilities, responsible use of medicines, generosity of spirit, collaboration and bravery.

Associate Minister of Health the Honourable Peeni Henare threw away his prepared remarks after hearing The Health Media managing editor Barbara Fountain’s opening speech about the importance of equity. He said "If we all stand up it’s a pathway forward. A healthy New Zealand makes for a healthy world, and each and every one of us has a role to play. What’s good for Māori is good for everyone."

Pharmacy Guild Chief Executive Andrew Gaudin says the inaugural awards recognise a wide range of leading practice across the primary and community healthcare sector.

"The awards showcase many excellent initiatives in collaboration and innovation across our highly skilled primary healthcare workforce. "All winners and finalists across the 22 awards categories are leading the way in delivering inspiring initiatives that are improving New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing."

Showcasing primary care

The awards put the spotlight on the work of primary care as a whole, where hidden heroes are hard at work every day. The Health Media managing editor Barbara Fountain says: "It’s not always easy tracking down the good news stories because people are so busy and may be hesitant to sing their own praises."

"Tonight’s supreme award winner, practice manager of the year Adrian Tucker, reminds us that excellence is as likely to be found in the back rooms of primary care as it is in the clinics."

"We know we only see the tip of the iceberg in terms of achievement in primary care. I hope these awards will encourage others to share their innovation and different ways of working."

Wide industry support

The awards are organised by The Health Media Ltd and the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand Inc and generously supported by principal sponsor the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and other high-profile health sector groups that see value in promoting and celebrating excellence in primary healthcare.

"ACC congratulates the winners, runners up, and all those who took part in the awards," says ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering.

"We are very focused on improving the safety of treatment to reduce injuries to patients, as well as caring for New Zealanders who are injured, and supporting their rehabilitation. ACC needs to work closely with the primary care sector in all of these areas, and we’re pleased to demonstrate our commitment to primary carers through this awards programme."

Gold sponsors 2020 awards

BDO New Zealand, Blue Star, College of Nurses Aotearoa NZ, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Green Cross Health, Habit Group, Medispace, Medtech, Ministry of Health, Pharmaceutical Society, Pharmacy Guild, ProPharma, Sanofi, Southern Cross Health Insurance, Spark Health, and Total Healthcare PHO.

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