Community Health Council

Community Health Council holds inaugural meeting

Patients, families and whānau across the Southern district have a stronger voice in health services thanks to the new Community Health Council which held its first meeting in Dunedin last week.

The nine–member council – comprised of representatives from around the district with expertise in community development, education and healthcare, including Māori health, mental health and women’s health - will help provide input on health service planning, delivery and strategies.

The meeting was an opportunity for members to get to know one another, to lay out the schedule of meetings for the year and get a better understanding of the terms of reference for the Council.

Southern DHB Chief Executive Chris Fleming presented on the strategic direction of the DHB while WellSouth Chief Executive Ian Macara gave council members an overview of the Primary Health Organisation. Chief Medical Officer Dr Nigel Millar explained the connection between Community Health Council and the Clinical Council and Mike Collins, Southern DHB Executive Director of Organisational Performance, spoke to members about Southern Future values and behaviours.

“The depth and breadth of knowledge and experience of the council members is very impressive,” says Chris Fleming, Southern DHB “We look forward to working with this dedicated and insightful group to further ensure the views of patients and the community are heard.”

Council chair Sarah Derrett said: “The Community Health Council seeks to ensure our people have a voice in primary and community health services, as well as into hospital-level services. Council members come from diverse backgrounds, ages, health and social experiences. They come with a strong commitment to engage with and support the important work that is already undertaken by patients and their whānau within the Southern district, and to ensure that opportunities for participation and engagement are increased.”

About the Community Health Council

Established as a joint initiative of the Southern DHB and WellSouth (working in partnership as Alliance South) the Community Health Council’s role is to:

  • Ensure and enable communities, whānau and patient participation across the Southern district and national health systems. 
  • Identify and advise on health systems and services for communities, whānau and patients, including input into the development of health service priorities and strategies.
  • Ensure reports, developments and initiatives relating to health services have appropriately engaged, or been developed with, communities, whānau and patients. 
  • Ensure regular communication and networking with the communities, whānau and patient groups. 
  • Link up with special interest groups as required, for specific issues and problem solving.

Member Biographies

Back Row: Ian Macara, Martin Burke, Ilka Fedor, Bronnie Grant, Nigel Millar, Russell MacPherson.
Front Row: Takiwai Russell-Camp, Lesley Gray, Paula Waby, Sarah Derrett and Kelly Takurua

Mr Martin Burke - Dunedin

Martin has held regional and national positions in Mental Health Addictions Service/ Consumer Advisory roles. Currently he is a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine. At the same time Martin is completing a Masters in Physical Education. Martin's health fields of interest include alcohol and drugs, long term conditions and men's health.

Mrs Takiwai Russell-Camp - Dunedin

Takiwai was born and raised in Dunedin and has Māori and Cook Island whanau connections. Currently working in the hospitality industry, Takiwai is married with one child and is actively involved with Puketeraki Marae. Takiwai is also involved with the Dunedin artistic community with her area of interest being photography.
Takiwai’s health fields of interest include mental health, alcohol and drugs, Māori health, youth and children and primary health.

Ms Ilka Fedor - Dunedin

Ilka has completed her Master's degree at Otago University and is also trained as a Primary School teacher. Ilka is actively involved with a number of community committees in Dunedin including the cycling advocacy group SPOKEs and the Caversham Toy Library. Ilka is also a mother to three young children. Ilka's health fields of interest include youth and children, and women's health.

Mrs Bronnie Grant - Gore

Bronnie is a secondary school trained Physical Education Teacher who has worked both in Southland and overseas. Bronnie has been out of teaching for 7 years raising her three children, on a farm outside of Gore. Most recently Bronnie has been involved with co-leading the establishment of the Gore Kids Hub project which was successfully completed and opened in February 2016. Bronnie's health fields of interest include youth and children, women's health and rural health.

Mrs Lesley Gray - Invercargill

Lesley is a retired registered General & Obstetric Nurse, with a certificate of Social Work from the University of Otago. Lesley is actively involved in a number of community groups such as Seniornet, Cardiac Club, Combined Fellowship Club, Meals on Wheels, Coffee Club, U3A and Women's Club. Lesley has a supportive husband and family and enjoys Community activities. Lesley's health fields of interest include older persons and women's health.

Mr Russell MacPherson - Winton

Russell is a fifth generation Southland farmer who is married and has three grown children. Over the years he has been involved with Board of Trustees at a number of schools, been an executive member of Southland Federated Farmers, as well as Southland President. Russell was involved with setting up a program Southland Youth Futures which aims to create pathways for young people from school to farm employment, and create an atmosphere of true worth between employer and employees. Russell's health fields of interest include rural health, mental health and men's health.

Ms Kelly Takurua - Mataura

Kelly was born and raised in Gore until before her family moved to Tapanui. This was followed by some time studying in Dunedin. Kelly has undertaken a number of courses relating to social services and mental health addictions in Dunedin and Invercargill. Kelly is currently working as a Social Worker/Manager for Te Iho Awhi Rito Social Service, a Marae-based Social Service provider in rural Southland. Kelly’s health fields of interest include mental health, alcohol and drugs, Māori health and primary health.

Ms Paula Waby - Dunedin

Paula has lived experience of disability and is involved in a number of disability-related organisations, locally and nationally. Paula has been involved with the Association of Blind Citizens of NZ, setting up an Audio Book Club at Dunedin Public Library, involved with the Disability Issues Advisory Group for the DCC and an active participant in the Otago Branch of Blind Citizens. Paula is currently the Local Coordinator for the newly established Otago Blindness Network and President of the Dunedin branch of the Disabled Person's Assembly. Paula's health fields of interest include disability (sensory, physical and intellectual), women's health and primary health.

Associate Professor Sarah Derrett - Dunedin (Establishment Chair)

Sarah Derrett is works at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago (Dunedin) where she teaches health systems and public policy and is Director of the Injury Prevention Research Unit. Sarah's research is focused on patient-reported health and social service pathways and aims to learn from people about their experiences of health systems and their health outcomes. In 2011-12 she was a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow, based at The University of Chicago, where she examined care integration at remote rural health clinics and Community Health Centers in the US. She is a member of the EuroQol Scientific Committee which is responsible for a leading international health-related quality of life measure (the EQ-5D), sits on the Executive of a national patient and family-led charity (Bowel Cancer New Zealand) and on the Board of a community mental health respite service provider (Kōputai Lodge) located in Port Chalmers.


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