Health Matters WBOP September 2016

Western Bay Edition - September 2016 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. Dr Agnew has returned to Tauranga Hospital after working at Starship Hospital for a number of years. Chairperson of Heart Kids BOP Rachael Parkes says parents were delighted with Joshua’s return to the Bay of Plenty for a number of reasons. “First, he has an amazing knowledge of cardiology and paediatrics gained from his years working in Starship Hospital, and importantly he has a knack of bonding with the babies and children who come under his care.” That bond between Dr Agnew and his small patients was clearly visible when they got together for the photo accompanying this story. Currently Heart Kids BOP has 130 kids registered, although that is not the complete number of children living in the Bay of Plenty with a heart defect. Heart Kids is set up to provide support for families. This support From the Chair 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 You have three weeks members who are able to fill in the forms and to work well as a team, return them, voting Sally Webb, Chair closes on 8 October. have the confidence to ask Bay of Plenty District I encourage you to questions, are able to think Health Board take this opportunity creatively, debate strongly, and make sure your and support the decisions vote counts. As you know the DHB once they are made. elections are held at the same time We need you to vote. So please as local body elections. However the take the time to read the candidate voting format differs; make sure you’re information and fill in your voting not caught out by this. papers – Have your say and get the The DHB uses the single transferable people you want on the board. voting (STV) electoral system. You For more information go to http:// need to number the candidates you want to vote for in the order of your preference, do not tick. board-and-committees/bop-districthealth-board/election-information/ You can vote for as many or as few election-candidates/ 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, Rachael says this can be just a 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. 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. Then as they slowly become aware of the enormity of what is facing them, they go through every emotion there is – loneliness, fear, shock, it wasn’t supposed to be like this, will my baby die? “This is when we can make ourselves known to the parents and be there for them, albeit unobtrusively, just there to support when they want to talk. Then as the baby grows into a toddler, child, teen, adult we can continue that support.” “Heart Kids members have a good understanding of the journey parents are travelling and are passionate about helping others with similar needs as they have been on the journey themselves.” August was Heart Kids month and with Joshua’s arrival back at Tauranga Hospital there was a lot to celebrate for the kids and their families. Fizzy drink free zone this season 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. can take the form of practical, emotional and psychosocial services. 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 As we head into the Junior Touch season in the Bay of Plenty, one of the biggest league’s YMCA Tauranga, has issued a challenge to others to get rid of fizzy drinks for sale on the sideline. Touch is one of the most popular summer sports children participate in across the region. In the YMCA Tauranga league alone, which covers Tauranga South, around 600 children from Under 7 to Under 14 played touch last season. Hayden Mason who organises it expects the numbers to be similar this year. He says it’s awesome to see the numbers of kids playing, getting exercise and there is simply no need to load up with fizzy drink after the game. “I just tell the kids to bring a drink bottle, and I point them in the direction of a tap,” says Hayden. The average can of fizzy drink contains six or more teaspoons of sugar. 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