Health Matters EBOP September 2018 - Page 3

Students up close with Health leaders praise hardworking staff... rural health Current students on the RHIP programme were exposed to the realities of working in a remote rural setting when they spent the night in Te Kaha earlier this month. as five out of six national performance measures met Five out of six health targets have been met by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) in the latest figures revealed by the Ministry of Health. Twelve students from the joint student placement initiative between the BOPDHB Clinical School, the University of Auckland and Health Workforce New Zealand met with students on a similar programme from neighbouring Tairawhiti DHB for a noho marae at Pāhāōa Marae at Te Kaha. The Health Targets achieved are: Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments, Improved Access to Elective Surgery, Faster Cancer Treatment, Better Help for Smokers to Quit, and Raising Healthy Kids; with just Increased Immunisation not achieved. “It’s a significant result,” says BOPDHB Chief Executive Helen Mason. “And I want to thank everyone for all their hard work in making this possible. It shows that as an organisation we’re moving in the right direction and the health impact for our population is significant.” Guided by BOPDHB’s Regional Māori Health staff, the experience enabled students to be immersed in Māoritanga. Home to Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, they learned about the history of the remote East Coast area from kaumatua Moetatua Turoa and how this relates to health. The students also spoke to local GP Rachel Thomson about the health needs of people living in the remote east coast settlement. They then experienced this up close as the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was called to airlift a patient who’d arrived by ambulance further along the coast. Paramedic Bruce Weston talks to students while Intensive Care Paramedic Kurt Golding tends to the patient who has since been discharged from Whakatāne Hospital. Once the patient had been stabilised and shortly before take-off, the students spoke to the crew about what it’s like flying in remote areas. Former summer student at the forefront of Breast Cancer research Former BOPDHB Clinical School Summer student Olivia Burn is now completing her PhD, looking at the potential for vaccines to stop cancer spreading. Photo supplied by the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. Four years ago Tauranga raised Olivia Burn was one of the first science students selected for the Clinical school’s Summer Studentship programme, today she’s part of a Malaghan Institute of Medical Research team, that ultimately could make a huge impact on New Zealand’s breast cancer survival rates. Breast cancer is New Zealand’s third most common cancer and accounts for more than 600 deaths every year. Most of these deaths are due to breast cancer cells metastasising (spreading) to other parts of the body, most commonly bones and quite often this ‘relapse’ can occur years after the initial cancer treatment. Olivia’s completing her PhD as part of Malaghan’s Cancer Immunotherapy team, looking at the potential for vaccines to stop the cancer spreading. The Wellington based team is researching breast cancer vaccines in different combinations and conditions to try and create stronger protection across various organs. One of these vaccines seems to be quite effective at targeting the bone. “We want to know if these different vaccines protect different organs against breast cancer metastases that have HER2 – the target of the anti- breast cancer drug Herceptin,” says Olivia. Olivia’s first taste of health research was in the summer of 2013-2014 when she was selected for the BOPDHB’s Clinical School Summer Studentship programme. A science student amongst a group of medical students, Olivia spent the summer talking to multiple sclerosis (MS) patients across the Bay. 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