Equity in primary care showcased
IPMHAC pic enews B WEB v2

The inspirational mahi of a mental wellness team that breaks down access barriers for Māori and Pasifika took centre stage at the inaugural Integrated Primary Mental Health & Addictions Conference.

Total Healthcare PHO’s Wellness Support Team made nine presentations at the conference in March and 11 staff from the team attended.

Thanks to sponsorship from the PHO, the team was easily the largest group representing a PHO at the conference and the team’s energy, enthusiasm and supportive culture were noted by many attendees.

Three of the presentations focused on equity:

  • Ariana Rangi, the equity lead and health coach training coordinator, showcased the team’s equity journey over the past 12 months and issued a challenge to other PHOs to do the same.
  • Ashleigh Hutchens, a health improvement practitioner at the Local Doctors Wai Health clinic in West Auckland, spoke of her work as a Māori health improvement practitioner engaging with Māori in primary care.
  • Tongan health coaches Sisileti Hingano and Laukau Mokofisi shared how cultural supervision from the Matariki team (DHB Mental Health Service with Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau) strengthened their work.

Sisileti and Laukau were also joined by fellow health coach Selwyn Leaf for a presentation about the From the Couch programme addressing obesity, long-term conditions and wellbeing in Tāmaki Makaurau. The programme is delivered through a partnership between Total Healthcare, Brown Buttabean Motivation and Te Whatu Ora.

Two of the Wellness Support Team’s experienced health coach trainers, Vaishali Sumbly and AJ Voykovich, along with new training clinical lead Juliana Lawerance also presented on ‘How Health Coaches uniquely support a Lifestyle Medicine Approach and Mental Wellbeing’. 

Other presentations by the team showcased the work of health coaches and health improvement practitioners (HIP) across clinics:

  • Selwyn, a health coach at Local Doctors Wai Health – ‘A Diabetes/Pre-diabetes Pathway – Then and Now (2017-2022)’.
  • Lisa Forshaw, HIP at Seddon Medical – ‘More Attention Please! A Pathway for Supporting Tamariki and Rangatahi with ADD/ADHD in rural Tāmaki Makaurau’.
  • Sisileti, health coach at Local Doctors Ōtara Mall – ‘Fetokoni'aki (Working Together) ‒Supporting the Tongan community with their Wellbeing’.
  • Sue George, HIP at Local Doctors Mt Roskill – ‘A HIP and HC Health Anxiety pathway for a South Asian population in Auckland’.
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