Health Matters EBOP September 2016 - Page 2

From the Chair Sally Webb Chair, Bay of Plenty District Health Board In the next couple of days you are likely to receive your voting papers for next month’s District Health Board (DHB) election. This is an opportunity for you to have a say on the people who will be elected to the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and be responsible for overseeing the delivery of health and disability services in our community. You have three weeks to fill in the forms and return them, voting closes on 8 October. I encourage you to take this opportunity and make sure your vote counts. As you know the DHB elections are held at the same time as local body elections. However the voting format differs; make sure you’re not caught out by this. The DHB uses the single transferable voting (STV) electoral system. You need to number the candidates you want to vote for in the order of your preference, do not tick. You can vote for as many or as few candidates as you like. Twenty people are standing for election this time, so take some time to read their profiles carefully. Seven are elected ‘at large’ from the Board area which comprises the areas of the respective city/district councils (Kawerau District Council, Opotiki District Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Whakatāne District Council). Following the election, the Minister of Health appoints a further 4 members, making a total of 11 members per board. The basic premise for governance is that “board work is brain work”. The board’s job is a thinking and talking one, and strong conceptual skills are paramount. Therefore we need members who are able to work well as a team, have the confidence to ask questions, are able to think creatively, debate strongly, and support the decisions once they are made. We need you to vote. So please take the time to read the candidate information and fill in your voting papers – Have your say and get the people you want on the board. For more information go to http://www.bopdhb.govt. nz/your-dhb/board-and-committees/bopdistrict-health-board/election-information/ election-candidates/ And remember, when voting think number, don’t tick. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people! Arohanui Sally Webb Study using melanoma drug Keytruda underway A study into the effectiveness of the melanoma drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) when given with Epacadostat is underway at the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) based on the Tauranga Hospital campus. Pharmac agreed to fund the drug for advanced melanoma patients from the beginning of this month. The Tauranga based Clinical Trials unit is one of two sites in New Zealand selected to conduct the research study which looks at whether Keytruda is more effective in preventing Melanoma progression when given with another cancer drug, Epacadostat, rather than on its own. Currently six patients from the Bay of Plenty are taking part in the study which started in June. Eligible patients are referred by their oncologists and their progress is closely monitored. The study will run for two years in Tauranga and in Dunedin. The Clinical Trials Unit has experienced significant growth since it was established in 2009 with two staff. It now has a team of 9 Research Nurses, a Research Assistant and Research Manager. Earlier this year it moved into a purpose built facility at 850 Cameron Road. The CTU is headed by Professor Peter Gilling and undertakes clinical trials and research for a variety of pharmaceutical and device companies and research projects. The majority of the trials are multi-centre, international, pharmaceutical studies; in the fields of oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, respiratory, cardiology, infectious diseases and original research. Parents welcome paediatrician back to BOPDHB With 12 babies born every week with a congenital heart defect in New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty has its share, and parents of Heart Kids were delighted when paediatric cardiologist Joshua Agnew came back to work in the Bay of Plenty. conversation over the telephone, to providing an information brochure, specialist equipment, or a camping experience for the teen, meeting another heart kid’s family, providing hot meals for hospital-bound families or just a shoulder to cry on. Dr Agnew has returned to Tauranga Hospital after working at Starship Hospital for a number of years. Rachael is the mother to a heart kid and says when a baby is born with a congenital heart defect for the parents their world stops. Chairperson of Heart Then as they slowly Kids BOP Rachael become aware of the Parkes says parents enormity of what is were delighted with facing them, they go Joshua’s return to the through every emotion Bay of Plenty for a there is – loneliness, number of reasons. From left: Dr Joshua Agnew, Alice (3yrs), fear, shock, it wasn’t Jaymie (9yrs) and Mackenzie (6yrs) “First, he has an supposed to be like amazing knowledge of cardiology and this, will my baby die? paediatrics gained from his years working “This is when we can make ourselves in Starship Hospital, and importantly he known to the parents and be there for has a knack of bonding with the babies them, albeit unobtrusively, just there to and children who come under his care.” support when they want to talk. Then as That bond between Dr Agnew and the baby grows into a toddler, child, teen, his small patients was clearly visible adult we can continue that support.” when they got together for the photo “Heart Kids members have a good accompanying this story. understanding of the journey parents Currently Heart Kids BOP has 130 are travelling and are passionate about kids registered, although that is not the helping others with similar needs as they complete number of children living in the have been on the journey themselves.” Bay of Plenty with a heart defect. Heart August was Heart Kids month and Kids is set up to provide support for with Joshua’s arrival back at Tauranga families. This support can take the form Hospital there was a lot to of practical, emotional and psychosocial celebrate for the services. kids and their Rachael says this can be just a families. • Facts about CHDs Every week 12 babies are born in New Zealand with a congenital heart defect. • 70% of all heart surgery involves stopping the heart. • 60% of heart kids are now teenagers and older. • 60,000+ people are directly affected by a heart kid in any given year, that's bigger than the population of Napier. • Heart kid’s families are the #1 user of Ronald MacDonald House. • About 450 open heart surgeries are performed on tiny hearts every year at Starship. • There are 40+ types of congenital heart defects (CHDs). • CHDs are approximately 4 times more prevalent than childhood cancer. • CHDs are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths (we lose 40-50 babies to CHD a year). • CHDs are New Zealand’s and every other countries #1 birth defect. • Heart Kids and their families face lifelong challenges and Heart Kids NZ is the only charity in NZ providing them with crucial support services every step of the way. If you want to make contact with Heart Kids BOP: Leanne Brooks, Family Support Worker: phone 0800 126 745 or email leanne.brooks@heartnz.org.nz or check out the website http://www.heartkids.org.nz