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New Pou Tōkeke Population Health Pharmacists work to support health providers in Otago and Southland

Thursday 09 March 2023

Health professionals returning to the motu to support communities and whānau

WellSouth is bolstering its clinical pharmacy team with more resources to help health providers and their patients across the region. 

Pou Tōkeke (Equity) population health pharmacists Brendon McIntosh (Kāi Tahu) and Sandy So join WellSouth’s clinical pharmacy team working with general practices, community pharmacies and Māori and Pacific health providers. The new recruits, both former Southerners returning home, will be working to help improve health outcomes through prescribing advice and education, medication reviews and hospital discharge support and more.

Pou Tōkeke Population Health Pharmacists Brendon McIntosh and Sandy So

“We look forward to working in partnership with primary and community-based health providers and particularly want to be helpful in promoting equity for Māori and Pacific patients and whānau,” says Sandy who was brought up in Balclutha and is returning home after a decade in Auckland, most recently as a Clinical Pharmacist at Auckland Hospital.

Puketeraki-reared  Brendon has operated a mobile pharmacy service, Kia Kaha Chemist in Christchurch for the past five years supporting Māori whānau to access culturally appropriate clinical pharmacy care.

“I believe in the benefits of building trust and engagement,” he says. “This could be making efforts to pronounce a patient’s name, including their whānau in a medications review, or supporting care in a different setting  -- marae or a community site.”

Sandy, based in Balclutha, and Brendon, in Queenstown, join WellSouth’s seven strong clinical pharmacy team working with practices and providers and patients and  communities across the region.

Angela Renall, WellSouth Clinical Pharmacy Team Leader, says the service has always had a strong patient-centric and equity-focus approach and the new team members will help provide additional support to reduce disparity.

“We are listening to providers and communities and want to know how they want to work with us and how we can best help,” says Angela. “Taking a localities approach we want to hear what  communities say they need,  and how we can provide the care that they tell us they need.”

Areas where the WellSouth population pharmacists can provide support include:

  • Supporting health providers to address equity in prescribing and usage of medications for Māori and Pacific patients and others.

  • Participating in planning and management of long-term conditions and disease management programmes.

  • Supporting Māori and Pacific health providers, ensuring their needs are at the forefront of clinical services planning and delivery.


Brendon can be contacted

Sandy can be contacted


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