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Otago kaimahi and tauira recognised with Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa awards

Tuesday 16 August 2022 3:43pm

sueportraitProfessor Sue Crengle (Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu, Waitaha)

Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa - Māori Medical Practitioners Association’s (Te ORA) membership have gathered online to celebrate the significant achievements of tākuta Māori (Maori doctors) and Māori medical students.

Otago kaimahi (staff) and tauira (students) were among those honoured.

Professor Sue Crengle (Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu, Waitaha) from the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit was awarded the Maarire Goodall Supreme Award for outstanding and influential Māori doctor of the year.

Professor Crengle is a vocationally registered general practitioner and Public Health Medicine Specialist whose research has a focus on health inequities, health services research and quality of care, and youth health.

In October last year, she was appointed to the Board of Te Aka Whai Ora- Māori Health Authority. Professor Crengle is also a foundation member of Te ORA and sits on the Taumata of senior clinicians.

“I’m very humbled to have received the Maarire Goodall award this year. It’s an honour to walk in the footsteps of Maarire and the many Māori doctors before me. I mihi to Te ORA for remembering Maarire and his incredible contributions to medicine and many other areas in Te Ao Māori. I’m also grateful to the many awesome people I work with, and my friends and whānau that support me, without whom my work wouldn’t be possible,” says Professor Crengle.

Two Otago medical tauira were also honoured at the awards.

selwynportraitSelwyn Te Paa (Ngāti Whātua)

Selwyn Te Paa (Ngāti Whātua), who is studying with Otago in Wellington, received the Pharmac/Te ORA Award for Medical Student Leadership.

“I am extremely humbled by the award but aware that I am simply a product of my iwi and those who raised me,” Te Paa says. 

Te Paa is President of Te Oranga - Māori Medical Students’ Association Aotearoa. He has also been involved in running te reo classes for medical students, and with Ngā Puna Hauora - the Māori health professional student organisation, which organised three days of Matariki workshops this year.

On what motivates him to be a student leader, Te Paa says: “Māori have a long tradition of being leaders and navigators. It is my duty to uphold this tradition within healthcare to help ease the experience of Māori within a western medical system, with improving Māori health outcomes being the ultimate goal.”

carltonCarlton Irving (Whakatōhea)

Carlton Irving (Whakatōhea), studying in Dunedin, was recognised with a Pharmac/Te ORA Award for Excellent Student Research. Irving has been working with the Health Quality & Safety Commission trialling the Patient Experience Survey with the rescue helicopter. Irving’s own career began as an intensive care paramedic.

This survey gathers patient feedback on their experience and has been used in hospitals in Aotearoa for 11 years, and primary healthcare for the last three. Irving hopes this trial will lead to it being rolled out across the primary emergency services.

“We need to measure what we treasure – ask people about their experiences, such as their feeling of cultural safety, and use that to inform us. Diversity, inclusion and belonging are fundamentally important.”

Otago Alumni, Dr Mairarangi Haimona (Waikato, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngā Puhi) received the Ngā Rangātira Matahīapo Te Oranga Award for the Māori doctor most supportive of students.

- Kōrero by Antonia Wallace