Hi to you all, it seems to be a busy period trying to keep up with everything that is happening, So this month is another 2-month catch up as a lot has been happening.

Toward the end of September, I attended the Pasifika Medical Association Annual Conference in Niue for the first time. The focus of the conference was NCD’s (or Non-Communicable Diseases – which are preventable diseases), which include Obesity, Smoking, Cancers, and Cardio-vascular related health issues, to name a few. Our Pacific Countries and Pacific populations, unfortunately, have some of the highest rates in the world.
One of the best comments made at the conference I thought was from the Minister of Health in Niue the Hon. Bill Talagi who asked the question “as Pacific People – Do we eat to die or do we eat to live?.”  He recommended that we should change our eating lifestyles so we can “Eat to live” and that we owed it to ourselves, our families and our communities in terms of the legacies we want to leave for future generations.

At the Conference, we also covered the health challenges around Mental Health and Health Workforces, which are all much stretched and require more Health workers. There was also the time in Niue to spend with the local villages who are lovely people, and we were able to get to see a little bit more of “the Rock” which is a wonderful and beautiful place to visit.  I have to say I felt the conference was great, and the line-up of presentations and content was excellent. So congratulations to the Pasifika Medical Association who did a great job.  I have certainly come away with some of the thinking around the health challenges that we face as Pasifika people, and we need to think about what Minister Talagi said and how this relates to us going forward.

Also September we celebrated the Tuvalu Language Week theme “Lakei Mo Te Manuia Ataeao – Striving for a prosperous future”. In October, we celebrated the Niuean Language week and the Tokelauan Language weeks. Please view this post to see what we have done.

Congratulations to our Employees of the Month. In September we celebrated Nancy Motumahekeheke, who hails from the Rock of Niue. The October the Employee of the month was Aravei Rae originally from Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Two wonderful Support Workers who come highly recommended by our customers so please read their stories. We are always looking for good Support workers who can look after our customers really well, who have the right focus and are keen to learn more.

We also continue to do some great work with our families through Whanau Ora Family services, and if you know of a family or families who need support, then please feel free to contact our offices for one of our navigators.

In October, the 1st publication of the Review Committees Report of the Health and Disability sector was released, and I attended a national Ministry of Health Conference on Equity in Wellington at the end of October. It is really important to share that the Health and Government Leaders are all endeavouring to look at ways in which to improve access and health outcomes for all New Zealanders but with more emphasis on the Equity challenges for Maori, Pacific Peoples and People with disabilities across all health sectors and we focus more on our wellbeing.

In closing, I would like to encourage all of us to think about what really matters to us, spend time with friends and families wherever possible even for a quick chat or a catch up with each other. So enjoy a wonderful week.

Much Love and Care,
Hamish Crooks

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