Key appointment to building future nursing workforce

MIT is welcoming new Head of Nursing, Associate Professor Deborah Rowe (Ngāi Tahu), as the institute increases its efforts to train a healthcare workforce to find innovative ways to address health disparities.

‘We are delighted to have a leader of Dr Rowe’s knowledge and standing in New Zealand nursing joining us as the institute and Counties Manukau Health (CMH) continue to grow meaningful partnerships for the benefit of the region,’ says MIT Chief Executive, Gus Gilmore.

Dr Rowe comes to MIT from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi where she was Director of Nursing and Health Science in Whakatane.

Prior to that, she lectured at University of Auckland’s School of Nursing while also working as a nurse consultant at Auckland City Hospital.

This involved overseeing a range of research projects and implementing models of best practice.

As well as these roles, Dr Rowe has chaired the Nursing Council of New Zealand and the National Screening Unit’s Māori Advisory Committee and was deputy chair of the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproduction.

She has also provided care in developing countries including Brazil and Cambodia.

“I look forward to developing a successful pathway for Māori and Pasifika into the healthcare workforce to enhance the wellbeing of our communities” says Dr Rowe.

Deborah’s appointment comes as MIT prepares to launch the Te Ara Oranga: Pathways to Wellbeing Project in partnership with CMH, achieved with major funding from Health Workforce New Zealand, and Te Tohu Paetahi Tikanga Rangatira aa-Tapuhi, Bachelor of Nursing Māori. Her leadership and expertise will contribute to the growth and development of these significant initiatives.

Te Ara Oranga project has the goal to support 500 Māori and Pasifika school leavers into health careers by 2025.

It will assist with promoting the health board’s goal to deliver a workforce that reflects the population of the region within that timeframe.

Overall, this will mean recruiting a further 600 Māori and 1200 Pacific health workers.

Te Ara Oranga will help achieve this by providing career pathway opportunities for secondary school students who are seeking a career in health, school leavers, those who have yet to engage in tertiary, those who may wish to re-engage in tertiary and those who are seeking a career change.

These learners will be assisted by a number of programmes including mentoring and coaching initiatives and personalised plans to address risk factors that increase the likelihood of disengagement.

‘Recruiting a representative workforce is a major step towards cultural responsiveness and reducing health inequalities,’ says Dr Robert Sullivan – Deputy Chief Executive, Māori.

‘In our region it is particularly urgent. We look forward to welcoming Dr Rowe who has had such a distinguished career working both in the health sector, tertiary education and Te Ao Māori.’

A pōwhiri for Dr Rowe will be held on Monday 9 December at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae, Ōtara at 9 am.

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