Partnership kicks off start of the new health system
BBM launch 6 v2

Described by Health New Zealand chair Rob Campbell as the start of the new health system ‒ Total Healthcare PHO’s new partnership with Brown Butterbean Motivation and the Ministry of Health will help in the fight-back against long-term conditions and obesity in Māori and Pasifika.

From February 2022, Total Healthcare will start referring people to the programmes provided by Brown Butterbean Motivation (BBM) that help support sustained weight loss, particularly for Māori and Pasifika.

BBM will provide motivation support, coaching and exercise programmes to help referred participants. They will take part for free to help them with weight and wellness issues.

Total Healthcare will provide health coaches, health screening and medical support at BBM’s Manukau headquarters to support the initiative. It will also provide training of BBM staff in health coaching.

The start of the new health system

Health NZ chair Rob Campbell spoke at the launch of the partnership on 3 December at BBM’s headquarters in his capacity as chair of Just Move Charitable Health Trust that supports BBM’s work.

Mr Campbell noted that the launch of this partnership was “the start of the new health system”.

Equity in healthcare provision could only be achieved through the involvement of the community driving change, he said.

Mr Campbell said the collaboration with BBM was a trial for this new way of working; 80% of what makes communities healthy comes from outside the hospital and formal health system and this is a driver for the reform of the New Zealand health system, he said.

Working with communities gets the best results

Associate Health Minister (Māori Health) Peeni Henare described the launch as a momentous occasion to celebrate as it is an example of collaboration with community and whānau.

Mr Henare said it was fantastic to see Total Healthcare PHO was part of the collaboration.

It was a unique partnership between a community trust, a PHO, and the Ministry of Health and work around COVID had already proven that working with the community gets the best results, he said.

Total Healthcare PHO chief executive officer Mark Vella said the partnership provided a huge opportunity to help people access more comprehensive healthcare, beyond just GP care.

Mr Vella said mental health support was an important part of the what the Total Healthcare would provide to the project.

The partnership provided an opportunity for the PHO to show that relationships like this can work, he said.

BBM founder Dave Letele said providing mental health support was as important as help with physical wellness.

Mr Letele said that BBM offered hope for “our people”. “It’s not just being overweight; it’s about being down in the dumps.”

People trust BBM’s work in the community, and you can’t buy that, he said.

Community driven initiatives would help fight back against the overrepresentation of Māori and Pasifika in “bad statistics” including obesity, suicide and diabetes, Mr Letele said.

More about the partnership:

The Ministry of Health is providing $500,000 in funding over two years for the project and it will include evaluation by Massey University on the impact of the initiative.

Read the Ministry of Health’s media release about the partnership.

* Pictured are Total Healthcare ceo Mark Vella and BBM founder Dave Letele at the launch of the partnership.

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