Founding members honoured at special dinner

09 February 2019

Founding members attending the dinner (L-R); Tagaloa Dr Andrew Chan Mow, Dr Florina Chan Mow, Dr Debbie Ryan, Dr Teuila Percival, Seiuli Dr Juliet Walker and Dr Sam Fuimaono

The Villa Maria winery in Mangere was the perfect location to honour the nine founding members of SouthSeas Healthcare with a special dinner with their families, to celebrate SouthSeas Healthcare’s 20th Anniversary.

Founding member and clinical director of SouthSeas Healthcare Tagaloa Dr Andrew Chan Mow welcomed fellow founders and their families, in particular those travelling from outside Auckland to be part of celebrating the 20-year milestone.

“Twenty years of hard work went into building SouthSeas from a small Otara GP clinic manned by a part-time GP with a handful of patients, into what is now the largest Pacific health provider in South Auckland, delivering a range of clinic, community and social services throughout the region,” says Dr Teuila Percival, SouthSeas Healthcare Chair and founding member.

Dr Teuila Percival was the first clinical director of the children’s programmes and Dr Debbie Ryan ran the clinic.

“I was responsible for the management functions overall, including payroll, contracts and reporting, leases, accounting, and compliance and board reporting.  I was also a member of the Board, so I served essentially as an executive director,” says Dr Ryan.

“It was a hard to begin with, as we did not have a contract or funding to kick off SouthSeas. It was all voluntary work and we learned as we went,” says Dr Ryan.

Dr Percival recalls early years of hard work.

“Only a few months after establishing the clinic, SouthSeas started its work in the community, delivering Well Child and family focussed services. As an organisation, we learned quickly that we could not do our job as health professionals without the help of social workers and are proud that we were able to employ our first social worker within six months of opening our doors. Since then, SouthSeas has developed and delivered a number of healthcare services.”

“Our General Practitioner clinic currently provides comprehensive primary care services to over 5,500 patients, with an outreach and home visiting nurse service. “

“With over 3,000 children enrolled under our SouthSeas Well Child service, we are the largest Pacific Well Child service provider in the country. Other community services SouthSeas provide are a number of health and community initiatives which include Healthy lifestyle intervention, Best start to Life, Pregnancy & Parenting support, Gambling prevention, and the MyStory Youth resiliency and well-being programme.”

As an organisation, SouthSeas always recognised the importance of the broader determinants of health, which is how they have approached their interaction with South Auckland communities and families.

“In addition to being a Whānau Ora service provider, our social workers and community workers provide a Healthy Housing intervention (AWHI). Our health campaigns for rheumatic fever are available in six primary schools and one intermediate school in South Auckland through our Mana Kidz programme,” says Dr Percival.

“Past innovations have included establishing the first Community Lactation Clinic with Turuki Health care and training the first Māori and Samoan Lactation consultants in New Zealand. We have also developed intervention programmes for children, young people and adults with obesity – Kids in Action, Life Launch, and Adults in Action.”

What initially began as a healthcare clinic has naturally evolved into movement towards the quality of relationships and well-being. This new narrative will crystallise the next 20 years for SouthSeas Healthcare Trust.

More than 30 members, guests and their families attended the dinner.

Congratulations to the nine founding members on their hard work and commitment. You can read the founding members’ profiles here

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