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Applications have now closed on for the 2017 Rural Women New Zealand and Access Community Health scholarship programme.
$39,000 has been awarded to rural health professionals in scholarship funds over the past 12 years. 

 

The $3000 scholarship is aimed at applicants who are working in a professional health field with rural connections, and who wish to further their studies in health or disability studies.

"Access Community Health is proud of its 90 year heritage providing home care to New Zealand communities. We are very pleased to support the progression and ongoing development of health professionals and services in New Zealand's rural communities." says Simon Lipscombe, Access Chief Executive.

The scholarship represents the ongoing special relationship between Access, now a member of the Green Cross Health group, and its founding organisation, Rural Women New Zealand.

“Since 2004, scholarship recipients have ranged from paramedics through to nurse practitioners,” says Fiona Gower, Rural Women New Zealand National President. “They have a common aspiration to undertake further training and develop their professional knowledge, so they can continue to provide quality health services in rural communities.”

Applications for the Rural Women New Zealand and Access Community Health Scholarship closed on 1 July 2017. Preference will be given to applicants who are studying at post-graduate level. 

 

The 2017 Scholarship recipient will be announced shortly.

For the first time in the history of the Access Community Health and Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) scholarship there are two recipients.

The standard of applications was very high and the review panel could not separate the top two applicants. Felicity Lallier from Horowhenua and Jo Tiller from Greymouth will each receive a $3,000 fund to help support their health-related post graduate studies.

For Jo Tiller, caring is very much in the genes. Her father was a consultant physician and her mother worked as a nursing sister, exposing Jo to the world of health care from an early age. Jo plays a crucial role at Greymouth hospital where, having specialised in post anaesthesia care and recovery, she will be consolidating all her skills through her Post Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences - Rural Nursing.

“I'm very passionate about my nursing and consider it a gift to be able to help people recover. We help treat people from across the entire West Coast. Many people in our rural community have seasonal and outdoor livelihoods and often want their care and treatments catered around that. I am really inspired by the patient’s motivation and commitment to their role in the community.”

Felicity Lallier entered the health profession as a paramedic fairly late in life. Originally from New Zealand, she trained in the United States where she saw many differences in the types of emergencies compared with her home in Horowhenua. “There were a lot a big trauma situations whereas, here with such a large population of older people, we see a lot of falls and wound care,” she says. “In the United States we had access to closer facilities unlike here where patients can be 45-60 minutes away from emergency care.”

Felicity has a Paramedic Bachelor’s degree from Whitireia and is now studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Science Paramedicine while working part time as an Intensive Care Paramedic with St John. Felicity's qualification and training will mean she will be able to provide an invaluable and extensive service to the rural community, consolidating a number of clinical skills including being able to use antibiotics and treating patients on the spot.

Access Community Health Chief Executive, Simon Lipscombe, says both women reflect the importance of the services provided, by helping support people to remain independent in their communities and homes. “We were impressed by the passion they both showed for their rural areas and their desire to continue their studies. We recognised the great benefits this would bring to the rural communities they serve.”

To ensure each recipient would receive $3000, Access Community Health and RWNZ contributed extra funds towards this year's scholarship. RWNZ’s Health Portfolio spokesperson Margaret Pittaway says “both women were outstanding in their commitment to their profession and very focused on using post-graduate health studies to improve care and treatment of patients in the rural community.”

 

Photo caption: Access Community Health and Rural Women New Zealand Scholarship winners Jo Tiller on the left and Felicity Lallier on the right.


 

A $3000 education scholarship is available for health professionals with an interest in the rural sector. 

The Rural Women New Zealand and Access Scholarship is aimed at applicants who are working in the health field with rural connections, and wish to further their studies in health or disability studies. Preference will be given to applicants who are studying at post-graduate level.

“Access is proud to support ongoing professional development for health professionals working in the rural community, and we are pleased to continue to offer the scholarship alongside Rural Women New Zealand,” says Simon Lipscombe, Chief Executive of Access.

Wendy McGowan, National President of Rural Women New Zealand says the organisation is committed to offering the scholarship to rural health professionals. “We advocate for equity in health services in rural communities on a par with urban areas. That includes upskilling our health professionals to offer quality information and advice to rural patients,” says Wendy McGowan.

Last year the scholarship was awarded to Heather Leong, a Community Registered Nurse based in Waikato. Heather intended to use the scholarship to fund her studies to complete an International Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate in the United States.

Heather planned to apply the skills gained from her studies in her nursing work in the Waikato rural community.

Applications close on 1 July 2016.

Click here for application information and form.

 

Applications closing soon for health education scholarship

Friday, April 22, 2016

A $3000 education scholarship is available for health professionals with an interest in the rural sector.  Read More

Applications have now closed for the Access NZ and Rural Women NZ scholarship. Watch this space for an update on the recipient for the 2015 scholarship.

“This $3000 scholarship will be awarded to a health professional to help further his or her studies,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Wendy McGowan.

We encourage health professionals, especially those studying at a post-graduate level, to apply before the closing date of 1 July.

“Given our rural focus, we are keen to support someone who has an interest in providing health or disability services in rural communities.”   

In 2014 the scholarship was awarded to Bay of Plenty nurse Ellen Walker (pictured above). Ellen is studying to become a rural health nurse practitioner, and used the $3000 scholarship to help fund her post-graduate diploma studies at the University of Auckland. 

Applications closed for Rural Women & Access Homehealth scholarship

Friday, May 01, 2015

Applications have now closed for the Access NZ and Rural Women NZ scholarship. Watch this space for an update on the recipient for the 2015 scholarship. Read More

We warmly welcome the appointment of Dame Margaret Millard DCNZM, JP to the board of Green Cross Health.

 

This will bring a rural perspective to the company’s operations, reflecting the original focus and unique strengths of Access Homehealth Limited, which Rural Women New Zealand sold to Green Cross Health on 1 December 2014.

 

“We are delighted that Dame Margaret has accepted this position on the Green Cross Health board,” says our national president Wendy McGowan.

 

“Dame Margaret is a visionary leader and thinker who will ensure that the rural voice is heard during the many changes taking place, particularly in the homecare sector.”

 

Dame Margaret is a past president of Rural Women New Zealand, and served for nine years on the board of Access Homehealth Limited.

 

She brings not only a rural focus, but also a strong health and community background to the directorship with Green Cross Health. Amongst other governance roles, she has been a member of the NZ Red Cross Board and has also served on the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

 

Dame Margaret Millard was awarded the Dame Companion New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for services to the rural community. She has a farming background through her involvement with family beef and dairying operations in the Manawatu, and represents the Rural Support Trust in Manawatu-Rangitikei.

 

Green Cross Health chairman, Peter Merton says, “We are honoured that Dame Margaret Millard has accepted our invitation to join the board of Green Cross Health.  Dame Margaret’s experience and knowledge will be a tremendous asset to us as we focus on developing and delivering seamless primary health services to benefit everyone in New Zealand. Dame Margaret brings a wealth of experience in the care sector, nursing and awareness of the issues affecting rural communities.”

 

Dame Margaret Millard appointed to Green Cross Health board 17-Dec-2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We warmly welcome the appointment of Dame Margaret Millard DCNZM, JP to the board of Green Cross Health.  Read More

It was an historic moment when our National Council made an announcement to members on Monday 17 November that it has accepted an offer from Green Cross Health for the purchase of Rural Women New Zealand’s shares in Access Homehealth Limited. There are a number of Conditions Precedent to meet which we are confident will be satisfied. The change of ownership is expected to come into effect in December.



This was a significant decision for our National Council given the origins of Access Homehealth, which evolved from the bush nurse and housekeeping schemes, set up in the mid-1920s by members of the Women's Division of the Farmers Union. The pioneering work of our members, and the tireless work of Access CEO Graeme Titcombe growing the business to what it is today is acknowledged. He is pictured above with outgoing chair, John Ayling, board member Pamela Storey and Green Cross chairman, Peter Merton.



Access is now one of the largest providers of homecare services in the country, contracted to DHBs, the Ministry of Health and ACC. Today the business is a sophisticated one, requiring significant ongoing investment in technology, a commitment to training and a move towards an integrated service model of delivery.



In considering the $18 million offer from Green Cross Health, National Council looked at whether Access remained a core service for Rural Women New Zealand. Could we make better use of the capital for the benefit of our members and the wider rural community?  We believe so.



The offer from Green Cross Health was an attractive one, as the company saw the value in acquiring a national homecare provider that serviced both urban and rural.  Green Cross Health is committed to continuing Access’ proud tradition of providing specialised home-based care and support. It has also undertaken to fund our present rural scholarships and awards.


Green Cross Health has invited Rural Women New Zealand to propose a member for consideration for appointment to the Green Cross board. 


Green Cross Health will retain the name and brand of Access Homehealth and will provide continued employment to all its staff. Green Cross Health is listed on the NZ Stock Exchange and is a leading primary healthcare provider through its pharmacy, medical and community healthcare divisions. For its part, the purchase of Access Homehealth will enhance its ability to offer integrated healthcare solutions nationwide. 



While the sale of Access is a significant step, Rural Women New Zealand's National Council believes it is the right one and offers exciting opportunities and a strong financial future for our organisation.


Media links:

Green Cross NZX Announcement

NBR announcement

NZ Doctor

Access Homehealth website






The 2014 Rural Women NZ/Access Homehealth scholarship has been awarded to Bay of Plenty nurse Ellen Walker.

Ellen is studying to become a rural health nurse practitioner, and will use the $3000 scholarship to help fund her post-graduate diploma studies at the University of Auckland.

Ellen’s goal is to become a rural nurse practitioner in Opotiki, the community she grew up in and where she currently works in general practice.

“I am immensely grateful for the support from Rural Women NZ and Access Homehealth,” says Ellen. “Born and bred a country girl I understand what it is to be rural and what it takes to deal with illnesses in a rural setting. Distance can be a big issue. My aim to improve access to quality health care for rural New Zealand.”

Access Homehealth CEO, Graeme Titcombe, says, “Ellen was chosen for her academic excellence, professional dedication in providing medical care to rural communities, and for the potential benefit her study can bring to the rural sector she serves.”

The annual Rural Women NZ/Access Homehealth scholarship is given to health worker who wishes to further their health or disability studies at post-graduate level, with a focus on the rural sector. Ellen was chosen from a strong field of 20 applicants.

Ellen has already completed a non-prescribing practicum and is an advanced nurse in rural practice, having completed a Masters of Nursing last year.

Her new studies will enable her to prescribe medications, following changes to the New Zealand Nursing Council’s scope of practice for nurse practitioners last year.

Opotiki nurse wins Rural Women NZ-Access Homehealth scholarship 15-Aug-2014

Friday, August 15, 2014


The 2014 Rural Women NZ/Access Homehealth scholarship has been awarded to Bay of Plenty nurse Ellen Walker. Read More

Enjoying eighty 

At 80 years old most people are winding down, enjoying a well earned rest and perhaps settling into a comfortable routine. Not so Northland support worker Rongo Curry who recently celebrated her 80th birthday.

Rongo joined Access as a support worker at the sprightly age of 69 in 2003, where she remains an inspiration, actively working 3-4 days a week split between day and night shifts. 'Turning eighty, I couldn't have enjoyed it as much were it not for being able to continue working with Access,' she says. 'It keeps me active.'


Recounting her birthday celebration - attended at her Marae by over 100 people including her large and supportive family of seven grown children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren - she says her family are glad she still works. They see the benefits it brings to her sense of personal achievement and well being.

'I always say to people "don't grow old before you are old". Age can be as much about how you think as how you feel.' 

Rongo is a credit to people of her age. Articulate, smart, witty, this former teacher of Home Economics for over 40 years is a great believer in always growing. 

'Having completed my Level 2 and 3 (National Certificate in Health, Disability and Aged Support delivered by Access' in-house training provider Amida Training) I went on to do an advanced Level 4 specialising in Dementia. Now I'm keen to explore more spiritual studies so have a 'day off' a week to do a course with the Anglican Church concentrating on pastoral work. I've gone full circle in my walk of life and my spiritual studies help me feel grounded and give me personal growth. Being an active learner helps my brain so I don't tend to get tired. I tend not to discuss my studies with my clients though as I respect their individual spiritual beliefs.'

When asked about what she enjoys most about her work, she says 'I think a lot of my clients find I can relate to their stories. It's always easy conversation and we are very compatible. We often converse about radio programmes, gardening or current affairs and it inspires us all to keep more active, both mentally and physically. I can see my clients twice a day and they look forward to having someone listen to them.'

While talking with Rongo her other line rings in the background. It's her Whangarei Access office asking if she can help with another client tomorrow night. She gladly accepts. 'I have three regular clients in their 90s who I help with medication, security checks and preparing meals. I also help other teams with nine people ranging in age from late 70s to early 90s, three nights a week.'

Rongo parts with some surprising words, 'If you're not 80, look forward to it! I still have my driving licence, I go to the doctors and nurse regularly for check ups and this helps keep me able to do what I do. But at my age I'm free to do exactly what I want to do. And that's no bad thing.'

Applications are now open for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship 2014.


“This $3000 scholarship will be awarded to a health professional to help further his or her studies,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Wendy McGowan.


We encourage health professionals, especially those studying at a post-graduate level, to apply before the closing date of 1 July.


“Given our rural focus, we are particularly keen to support someone who has an interest in providing health or disability services in rural communities.”


Last year the scholarship went to Otago paramedic, Annabel Taylor, who has furthered her studies with a postgraduate diploma in specialty care.


Click here for more information and applications forms

Rural Women/Access Homehealth Scholarship open 28-Apr-2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Applications are now open for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship 2014. Read More

Annabel Taylor is no stranger to rural medical emergencies and farm accidents, and now she’ll be even better equipped to deal with them, thanks to winning this year’s $3,000 Rural Women NZ/Access Scholarship.

As a St John paramedic based in Taieri, Annabel works for both the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter and the Dunedin ambulance service, responding to calls for help from the rural community.

The scholarship will help cover Annabel’s expenses as she studies for a year-long Postgraduate Certificate in Speciality Care, Advanced Paramedic Practice at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua, near Wellington.  The course includes distance learning and she’ll also be flying to Wellington six times a year for block courses.

Access CEO, Graeme Titcombe, says, “Annabel was chosen for her academic excellence, professional dedication in providing medical care to remote and isolated rural communities, and for the potential benefit her study can bring to the rural sector she serves.”

The annual Rural Women NZ/Access Scholarship is given to health worker who wishes to further their health or disability studies at post-graduate level, with a focus on the rural sector.  Annabel was chosen from a strong field of 30 applicants.

Annabel says she is absolutely delighted to be awarded the scholarship. When she’s completed her training she will be apply to become an intensive care paramedic.

 “I believe the rural sector is deserving of the most highly educated and skilled health professionals available, whether this be in the form of a rescue helicopter crew or a metropolitan ambulance meeting a rural crew on the side of the road to help in a crisis.”

Annabel already holds a PRIME nursing qualification and post graduate diploma in health sciences.

Annabel's win was featured in the ODT.  More






Otago Paramedic wins RWNZ/Access Scholarship 02-Aug-2013

Friday, August 02, 2013

Annabel Taylor is no stranger to rural medical emergencies and farm accidents, and now she’ll be even better equipped to deal with them, thanks to winning this year’s $3,000 Rural Women NZ/Access Scholarship. Read More

Read All NewsRecent news


(Pictured above: Minister Damien O'Çonnor meeting with RWNZ Chief Executive Officer Penelope England, National President Fiona Gower, National Chair Penny Mudford and Manager of Government, Public Sector and Academic Relationships Angela McLeod.)

 

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release supporting the recent announcement to reintegrate rural proofing into policy development. Please read the media release below. 

 

RURAL PROOFING IS BACK ON THE TABLE

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is pleased to see rural proofing is back on the table and being included in the Government’s policy work.

“Understanding the impact that Government policies, service delivery and business behaviour have on our rural communities is not only vital to the success of the rural economy, it builds and maintains our rural social fabric,” says RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ has been calling for rural impact analyses to be carried out in both the public and private sector because decisions have, and are being made that have a detrimental effect on rural communities.

“As a member of the advisory group that supported the development of the Government’s new Rural Proofing Guide for Policy Development and Service Delivery Planning, RWNZ is encouraged by the final document.

“RWNZ will continue to work alongside the Government, its agencies and entities to ensure successful implementation of the Rural Proofing Guide.

“The Government’s new rural proofing policy guidelines will go a long way to alleviating poor policy development and service delivery, and RWNZ is looking forward to seeing better outcomes for rural communities,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

For further information, please contact National Office:

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

Rural Proofing Back On the Table

Thursday, June 14, 2018


 Read More

 

Rural Women New Zealand would like to congratulate Alison Van Wyk for her appointment as CEO of Access Community Health. 

 


 

Alison has a background in nursing and possesses sales, marketing and management experience within the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare supply chain markets both within New Zealand and internationally. Instrumental in establishing professional programmes of clinical care and advice in pharmacy and the reclassification of medicines for Green Cross Health, Alison has taken a leadership role in advocacy for pharmacy and government relations within the health industry.

Alison commenced her new role effective 18 June 2018.


 

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement this morning that the Government are giving a funding boost to help improve child and family wellbeing. 

 

Read the relevant media here.

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND BACKS GOVERNMENT SUPPORTING FAMILIES

The announcement this morning that the Government will be giving family violence services a boost of $76.2 million is a step in the right direction for our women and families, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“New Zealand’s rate of violence against women and children is unacceptable – it is great to see the Government increasing support services for women, families, and communities in need," says RWNZ National Chair, Penny Mudford.

The Government also announced that additional funding in 2019/2020 would enable services to expand into areas where there is currently no support.

“Women and children living in rural New Zealand have particular challenges and can be vulnerable to physical and psychological abuse due to their geographic and social isolation.

“For some, living rurally means they are some distance from their families and whānau and do not have the support that the wider family can provide.

“Family violence victims in rural New Zealand do not have the same level of access to psychological and legal support as urban women and children do, due to living rurally.

“RWNZ hope that this boost announced by the Government will be used to empower our rural communities by giving women and children who are victims of violence the help and support they so badly need,” says Ms Mudford.

Ends

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.

Please read the media release below.

CENSUS DATA COLLECTION INTEGRITY QUESTIONED

This year’s census is in danger of not providing the data needed to make good decisions, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Whilst we understand and support the excitement of capturing our census data online, our concern is that many people still do not have access to internet while others might not have the capability or capacity to do so,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“The timing of the delivery of access code letters, which indicate that New Zealanders can opt for paper forms presents challenges for our rural communities, given that delivery of mail is taking longer and might only be delivered three days a week.

“The chances of a rural household without internet or with unreliable internet, receiving census paper forms in time for Tuesday, 6 March is slim, and that is concerning.

“RWNZ is doing everything possible to ensure our networks are aware of the new way of doing the Census although surely more thought should have gone in to how the valuable information about the lives and status of New Zealanders would be collected.

“Maybe this year, there could have been a concerted effort to use both electronic collection and paper collection to ensure integrity of the data,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

Please contact the National Office for more information.

 

 

National Office

Rural Women New Zealand

 

[email protected]

04 473 5524


 

 

(image source: www.census.govt.nz)

Census Data Collection Integrity Questioned

Monday, February 26, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding.

Read the announcement here.  

 

 

ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to see that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will cease operating if it does not receive government funding next week.

 

“RWNZ supports the work already done by RHAANZ in bringing together various rural groups and rural health providers to develop initiatives for rural communities,” says RWNZ Board Member and Health Portfolio Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Remarkable work has been done to deliver the Rural Health Road Map which sets out a plan and priorities for achieving healthily rural communities.

“Being geographically isolated, often with significant distance to the nearest town or health centre means that rural communities have an immediate need of affordable and reliable access to all health services.

“The Government has committed to rural proofing government policy, and RHAANZ has a vital part to play in this development – without the continuation of RHAANZ, and the work it does, rural communities will go backwards.

“There is no other place where issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural communities are considered concurrently, and the loss of achievements met and efforts made by RHAANZ will be detrimental for our rural people.

RWNZ urges the Government to recognise the good work that has been done by RHAANZ and to support its continuation," says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

Another setback for health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release regarding our involvement to help support communities affected by the M.bovis outbreak. With 38 farms currently infected, and others under movement control, we encourage farmers to contact their local Rural Support Trust and visit MPI’s website for advice and support.

 

Read more about this here.

Read the media release below.

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND OFFERS FULL SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT

 

  Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has offered their full support to the Government for communities that are affected by the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) outbreak. This announcement was made in a meeting earlier this week with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity Damien O’Connor, and Waikato dairy farmers, then reiterated with industry leaders.

 

“Our rural communities are really hurting in this unprecedented biosecurity outbreak – it is vital they are supported throughout this response, no matter what future plan is decided next week,” says RWNZ National President Fiona Gower.

“From what I saw on Monday and what we are hearing from our members and others in the industry, it is clear that the response to M. bovis is upsetting and we are pleased to have been able to offer our support.

“Since 1925, RWNZ members have been the glue that holds rural communities together and nearly 100 years later we continue by working with Rural Support Trusts, visiting farming families, and offering funding for adverse events.

“The decision to offer our full support comes from recent meetings with industry leaders and the Minister, and from our many years’ experience supporting rural communities.

“We are pleased that RWNZ can continue our tradition of charitable giving and we look forward to working with the Government and industry to ensure rural communities are fully supported through the M. bovis outbreak,” says Ms Gower.

Ends