Another round of local body elections are behind us and, as a first timer running for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, the support I received which led to a successful election was very humbling. I would like to thank everybody that voted for me.

With an accounting career that spans eighteen years, I decided to stand for the DHB because I believe my experience in providing financial support and advice to a wide variety of businesses will make me a valuable addition to our DHB. For the past nine years I have been involved in the financial management of health services within the Hawke’s Bay community. Over this time I have seen a need for more integrated service delivery across our continuum of health providers to ensure Hawke’s Bay residents are receiving the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Employed by HBDHB as a senior management accountant from 2001 – 2008, I worked across all facets of the hospital-based provider arm, as well as the community teams and public health unit. My last two years saw me working with the funding arm responsible for the financial management of the entire Hawke’s Bay health budget including Aged Care, Disability Services, Primary Health Care Providers, Laboratory and Pharmaceutical funding, as well as representing HBDHB on national Ministry of Health projects.

I am now a Partner with the local accounting firm Black & White Accounting Ltd. As part of this role I work as the Finance Manager for the Napier-based health and social services provider Te Kupenga Hauora-Ahuriri. This has provided me with insight into the provision of health services within Hawke’s Bay across all spectrums of healthcare and an appreciation of the importance of ensuring all our health providers work together to provide the best health services possible with the funding allocated to our local population.

Hawke’s Bay born and bred, with a young daughter through to grandparents accessing local health services, I have a vested interest in ensuring the health services provided in our region are of the highest standard. My parents are members of the baby boom generation who will be retiring within the next ten years … along with an estimated one million other New Zealanders. The development of strategies over the next few years will be vital to ensure we have adequate services and facilities available to cater for this growing population.

Unfortunately there will never be unlimited funding to cover the health needs of our society; however, research actually shows that additional funding is not the answer. We need to get smarter in the way we deliver health services in Hawke’s Bay to ensure we are making the most of the funding we receive in this region.

I feel passionate about making a contribution to the Hawke’s Bay community and believe my knowledge and expertise in the health sector will enable me to take part in the effective governance of the HBDHB. I am looking forward to working with my fellow board members and ensuring we continue to strive to provide the best possible health services to the Hawke’s Bay population, both in our community-based providers and hospital-based services.

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