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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Professor Suzanne Pitama

PositionProfessor and Associate Dean Maori
DepartmentDean's Department (Christchurch)
QualificationsBA MA (Hons) PG DipEdPsych (Massey)
Research summaryMaori Health Issues

Research

Suzanne Pitama (Ngati Kahungunu) is the Associate Dean Maori and Professor at the University of Otago, Christchurch. Suzanne joined the University of Otago in 2001 from a clinical background in child psychology. She has since developed a keen interest in medical education and completed her PhD (Otago) on examining the place of indigenous health within medical education.

Suzanne has a passion for teaching, winning a University of Otago teaching award in 2014, a national AKO Aotearoa tertiary teaching in excellence award in 2015 and the 2015 Prime Ministers Supreme Award for tertiary teaching excellence. Suzanne is also the Director of the Maori/Indigenous Health Institute.

Suzanne has been involved in Māori health research for 18 years. Suzanne is currently leading an HRC funded project that is focusing on the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Māori communities and is a co-investigator on an international collaboration project (New Zealand, Australia and Canada) looking at the role of medical education in addressing health disparities (Educating for Equity). Suzanne is also involved in a number of other research projects based within the University of Otago, Christchurch focussed on indigenous experiences in the health system and patients living with chronic illnesses. She is a keen advocate for Kaupapa Māori based methodologies and has interests in child mental health, medical curriculum development and Māori health community based projects.

Suzanne is a member of the New Zealand Health Research Council (HRC) and Chairs the HRC Māori Health Committee.

Publications

Beckert, L., Wiseman, R., Pitama, S., & Landers, A. (2020). What can we learn from patients to improve their non-invasive ventilation experience? 'It was unpleasant; if I was offered it again, I would do what I was told'. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, 10, e7. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2016-001151

Landers, A., McKenzie, C., Pitama, S. G., & Brown, H. (2020). Enzyme replacement in advanced pancreatic cancer: Patient perceptions. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2019-002153

Lacey, C., Clark, M., Manuel, J., Pitama, S., Cunningham, R., Keelan, K., Rijnberg, V., Cleland, L., & Jordan, J. (2020). Is there systemic bias for Māori with eating disorders? A need for greater awareness in the healthcare system. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1514), 71-76. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Lacey, C., Manuel, J., Schluter, P. J., Porter, R. J., Pitama, S., & Jamieson, H. A. (2019). Sociodemographic, environmental characteristics and comorbidities of older adults with schizophrenia who access community health service support: A national cross-sectional study. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(6), 570-580. doi: 10.1177/0004867419828480

Pitama, S., Beckert, L., Huria, T., Palmer, S., Melbourne-Wilcox, M., Patu, M., Lacey, C., & Wilkinson, T. J. (2019). The role of social accountable medical education in addressing health inequity in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 49(Suppl. 1), 58-71. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2019.1659379

Authored Book - Research

Cave, T., Robertson, P., Pitama, S., & Huriwai, T. (2009). He tete kura: Maori addiction treatment: 1980-2008. Wellington, New Zealand: Matua Raki, 203p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Sarich, K., & Pitama, S. (2017). The impacts of being a 'Roadshow facilitator' in Indigenous health tertiary students. In O. Mazel & C. Ryan (Eds.), Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education LIME Good practice case studies (Vol. 4). (pp. 12-17). Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne.

Huria, T., Lacey, C., Melbourne-Wilcox, M., & Pitama, S. (2017). Keynote presentation: Externalising a complicated situation: Teaching racism in an indigenous curriculum: A case study. In O. Mazel & C. Ryan (Eds.), Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education LIME Good practice case studies (Vol. 4). (pp. 12-17). Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne.

Huria, T., Lacey, C., & Pitama, S. (2013). Friends with benefits: Should Indigenous medical educators involve the Indigenous community in Indigenous medical education? In C. Edmonds (Ed.), Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education LIME Good practice case studies (Vol. 2). (pp. 35-38). Melbourne, Australia: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, University of Melbourne.

Faatoese, A. F., Pitama, S. G., Wells, J. E., & Cameron, V. A. (2013). Understanding cardiovascular disparities between Māori and non-Māori in New Zealand: Is there a way to reduce these disparities? In O. T. Jackson & K. A. Evans (Eds.), Health disparities: Epidemiology, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic risk factors and strategies for elimination. (pp. 77-102). New Yourk, NY: Nova.

Pitama, S. (2012). Tū Kahika program. In C. Lochert (Ed.), Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education LIME Good practice case studies. (pp. 23-25). Melbourne, Australia: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, University of Melbourne.

Crengle, S., Pink, R., & Pitama, S. (2007). Respiratory disease. In B. Robson & R. Harris (Eds.), Hauora: Māori standards of health IV: A study of the years 2000-2005. (pp. 169-179). Wellington, New Zealand: Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, University of Otago.

Cram, F., & Pitama, S. (1998). Ko toku whanau, ko toko mana. In V. Adair & R. Dixon (Eds.), The Family in Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 130-157). New Zealand: Longman.

Pitama, S. (1997). The effects of traditional and non-traditional adoption practices on Maori mental health. In Adoption and Healing. Wellington: New Zealand Adoption Education and Healing Trust.

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Chapter in Book - Other

Pitama, S. (2013). Māori Indigenous Heath Institute. In P. Joyce, G. Nicholls, K. Thomas & T. Wilkinson (Eds.), The Christchurch experience: 40 years of research and teaching. (pp. 17-21). Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Otago.

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Journal - Research Article

Beckert, L., Wiseman, R., Pitama, S., & Landers, A. (2020). What can we learn from patients to improve their non-invasive ventilation experience? 'It was unpleasant; if I was offered it again, I would do what I was told'. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, 10, e7. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2016-001151

Landers, A., McKenzie, C., Pitama, S. G., & Brown, H. (2020). Enzyme replacement in advanced pancreatic cancer: Patient perceptions. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2019-002153

Lacey, C., Manuel, J., Schluter, P. J., Porter, R. J., Pitama, S., & Jamieson, H. A. (2019). Sociodemographic, environmental characteristics and comorbidities of older adults with schizophrenia who access community health service support: A national cross-sectional study. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(6), 570-580. doi: 10.1177/0004867419828480

Pitama, S., Beckert, L., Huria, T., Palmer, S., Melbourne-Wilcox, M., Patu, M., Lacey, C., & Wilkinson, T. J. (2019). The role of social accountable medical education in addressing health inequity in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 49(Suppl. 1), 58-71. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2019.1659379

Jones, R., Crowshoe, L., Reid, P., Calam, B., Curtis, E., Green, M., Huria, T., … Lacey, C., … Pitama, S., … Ewen, S. (2019). Educating for indigenous health equity: An international consensus statement. Academic Medicine, 94(4), 512-519. doi: 10.1097/acm.0000000000002476

Huria, T., Palmer, S. C., Pitama, S., Beckert, L., Lacey, C., Ewen, S., & Smith, L. T. (2019). Consolidated criteria for strengthening reporting of health research involving indigenous peoples: The CONSIDER statement. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19, 173. doi: 10.1186/s12874-019-0815-8

Palmer, S. C., Gray, H., Huria, T., Lacey, C., Beckert, L., & Pitama, S. G. (2019). Reported Māori consumer experiences of health systems and programs in qualitative research: A systematic review with meta-synthesis. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18, 163. doi: 10.1186/s12939-019-1057-4

Galloway, A. T., Watson, P., Pitama, S., & Farrow, C. V. (2018). Socioeconomic position and picky eating behavior predict disparate weight trajectories in infancy. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9, 528. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00528

Huria, T., Palmer, S., Beckert, L., Williman, J., & Pitama, S. (2018). Inequity in dialysis related practices and outcomes in Aotearoa/New Zealand: A Kaupapa Māori analysis. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17, 27. doi: 10.1186/s12939-018-0737-9

Rolston, C. J., Conner, T. S., Stamp, L. K., Neha, T., Pitama, S., Fanning, N., … Hudson, B., Hegarty, R. M., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Improving gout education from patients’ perspectives: A focus group study of Māori and Pākehā people with gout. Journal of Primary Health Care, 10(3), 194-200. doi: 10.1071/HC18010

Treharne, G. J., Richardson, A. C., Neha, T., Fanning, N., Janes, R., Hudson, B., … Pitama, S., & Stamp, L. K. (2018). Education preferences of people with gout: Exploring differences between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples from rural and urban locations. Arthritis Care & Research, 70(2), 260-267. doi: 10.1002/acr.23272

Khashram, M., Pitama, S., Williman, J. A., Jones, G. T., & Roake, J. A. (2017). Survival disparity following abdominal aortic aneurysm repair highlights Inequality in ethnic and socio-economic status. European Journal of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery, 54(6), 689-696. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2017.08.018

Pitama, S. G., Bennett, S. T., Waitoki, W., Haitana, T. N., Valentine, H., Pahina, J., … Beckert, L., Palmer, S. C., Huria, T. M., Lacey, C. J., & McLachlan, A. (2017). A proposed hauora Māori clinical guide for psychologists: Using the Hui Process and Meihana Model in clinical assessment and formulation. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 46(3), 7-19.

Huria, T., Palmer, S., Beckert, L., Lacey, C., & Pitama, S. (2017). Indigenous health: Designing a clinical orientation program valued by learners. BMC Medical Education, 17, 180. doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-1019-8

Desrosiers, J., Wilkinson, T., Abel, G., & Pitama, S. (2016). Curricular initiatives that enhance student knowledge and perceptions of sexual and gender minority groups: A critical interpretive synthesis. Canadian Medical Education Journal, 7(2), e121-e138.

Landers, A., Wiseman, R., Pitama, S., & Beckert, L. (2015). Patient perceptions of severe COPD and transitions towards death: A qualitative study identifying milestones and developing key opportunities. Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 25, 15043. doi: 10.1038/npjpcrm.2015.43

Whalley, G. A., Pitama, S., Troughton, R. W., Doughty, R. N., Gamble, G. D., Gillies, T., Wells, J. E., Faatoese, A., Huria, T., Richards, M., & Cameron, V. A. (2015). Higher prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy in two Māori cohorts: Findings from the Hauora Manawa/Community Heart Study. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(1), 26-31. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12300

Huria, T., Cuddy, J., Lacey, C., & Pitama, S. (2014). Working with racism: A qualitative study of the perspectives of Māori (indigenous peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand) registered nurses on a global phenomenon. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 25(4), 364-372. doi: 10.1177/1043659614523991

Stamp, L. K., Wells, J. E., Pitama, S., Faatoese, A., Doughty, R. N., Whalley, G., Richards, A. M., & Cameron, V. A. (2013). Hyperuricaemia and gout in New Zealand rural and urban Māori and non-Māori communities. Internal Medicine Journal, 43(6), 678-684. doi: 10.1111/imj.12062

Pitama, S., Cave, T., Huria, T., Lacey, C., Cuddy, J., & Frizelle, F. (2012). Exploring Maori health worker perspectives on colorectal screening. New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1356). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Cameron, V. A., Faatoese, A. F., Gillies, M. W., Robertson, P. J., Huria, T. M., Doughty, R. N., Whalley, G. A., … Richards, M. A., Troughton, R. W., Tikao-Mason, K. N., Wells, E. J., Sheerin, I. G., & Pitama, S. G. (2012). A cohort study comparing cardiovascular risk factors in rural Māori, urban Māori and non-Māori communities in New Zealand. BMJ Open, 2(3), e000799. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000799

Pitama, S., Wells, J. E., Faatoese, A., Tikao-Mason, K., Robertson, P., Huria, T., Gillies, T., … Whalley, G., Troughton, R., Sheerin, I., Richards, M., & Cameron, V. A. (2011). A Kaupapa Māori approach to a community cohort study of heart disease in New Zealand. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35(3), 249-255. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00702.x

Faatoese, A. F., Pitama, S. G., Gillies, T. W., Robertson, P. J., Huria, T. M., Tikao-Mason, K. N., … Whalley, G. A., Richards, A. M., Troughton, R. W., Sheerin, I. G., Wells, J. E., & Cameron, V. A. (2011). Community screening for cardiovascular risk factors and levels of treatment in a rural Māori cohort. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35(6), 517-523. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00777.x

Pitama, S., Ahuriri-Driscoll, A., Huria, T., Lacey, C., & Robertson, P. (2011). The value of te reo in primary care. Journal of Primary Health Care, 3(2), 123-127.

Haitana, T., Pitama, S., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2010). Cultural biases in the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III: Testing tamariki in a New Zealand sample. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 39(3), 24-34.

Jones, R., Pitama, S., Huria, T., Poole, P., McKimm, J., Pinnock, R., & Reid, P. (2010). Medical education to improve Māori health. New Zealand Medical Journal, 123(1316). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/123-1316/4166/content.pdf

Pitama, S., Robertson, P., Cram, F., Gillies, M., Huria, T., & Dallas-Katoa, W. (2007). Meihana model: A clinical assessment framework. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 36(3), 118-125.

Robertson, P. J., Haitana, T. N., Pitama, S. G., & Huriwai, T. T. (2006). A review of work-force development literature for the Māori addiction treatment field in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Drug & Alcohol Review, 25, 233-239.

Robertson, P., Pitama, S., Huriwai, T., Ahuriri-Driscoll, A., Haitana, T., Larsen, J., & Uta'i, S. (2005). Developing services in Te Rohe o Ngai Tahu for Maori with gambling related problems. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 34(1), 35-43.

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Journal - Research Other

Lacey, C., Clark, M., Manuel, J., Pitama, S., Cunningham, R., Keelan, K., Rijnberg, V., Cleland, L., & Jordan, J. (2020). Is there systemic bias for Māori with eating disorders? A need for greater awareness in the healthcare system. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1514), 71-76. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Pitama, S. G., Palmer, S. C., Huria, T., Lacey, C., & Wilkinson, T. (2018). Implementation and impact of indigenous health curricula: A systematic review. Medical Education, 52(9), 898-909. doi: 10.1111/medu.13613

Al-Busaidi, I. S., Huria, T., Pitama, S., & Lacey, C. (2018). Māori Indigenous Health Framework in action: Addressing ethnic disparaties in healthcare. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1470), 89-93. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Springer, S., Pitama, S., Leslie, K., & Ewen, S. (2018). Putting action into the revised Australian Medical Council standards on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori health. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1470), 79-86. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Paringatai, K., Pitama, S., Ruru, J., & Keegan, T. T. (2017). Rauaroha: he tohu aroha rau i te akoranga. MAI Journal, 6(3), 272-282. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2017.6.3.4

Landers, A., Wiseman, R., Pitama, S., & Beckert, L. (2017). Severe COPD and the transition to a palliative approach. Breathe, 13(4), 310-316. doi: 10.1183/20734735.013917

Pitama, S., Lacey, C., & Huria, T. (2015). Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) in New Zealand: Discussion over the last 5 years and where to from here? New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1413). Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Pitama, S., Huria, T., & Lacey, C. (2014). Improving Māori health through clinical assessment: Waikare o te Waka o Meihana. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1393). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Sheerin, I., Pitama, S., Wells, J. E., Faatoese, A., Richards, M., Troughton, R., Tikao-Mason, K., Huria, T., Robertson, P., Gillies, M., … Whalley, G., & Cameron, V. (2012). Loose tobacco, ethnicity, income and rurality. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36(3), 291-292. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2012.00873.x

Lacey, C., Huria, T., Beckert, L., Gillies, M., & Pitama, S. (2011). The Hui Process: A framework to enhance the doctor–patient relationship with Māori [Viewpoint]. New Zealand Medical Journal, 124(1347). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/124-1347/5003/content.pdf

Pitama, S., Cameron, V., Huria, T., Tikao-Mason, K., Faatoese, A., & Whalley, G. (2011). Adjusting protocols in clinical research: Finding the point of cultural/clinical fusion. Journal of Primary Health Care, 3(1), 72-73.

Pitama, S., Huria, T., Beckert, L., & Lacey, C. (2011). Assessing the assessment: Cultural competence and understandings of pain [Editorial]. New Zealand Medical Journal, 124(1328). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/124-1328/4499/content.pdf

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