Over the last fortnight Ko Awatea hosted drop-in sessions to support those interested in working on its proposed Health Equity Campaign.
The campaign focuses on two streams – workforce, and childhood obesity.
The workforce stream is intended to build the capability of Counties Manukau Health’s workforce and to support staff to apply a health equity approach in their work. This includes finding ways of attracting greater numbers of Maori and Pacific Island people to the health profession. Currently across the 7500 full time equivalents employed by CM Health only 112 are Maori and 240 Pacific.
The childhood obesity stream is focused on fostering healthy communities, healthy people, and whanau/families by identifying and accelerating the spread of effective interventions to address childhood overweight/obesity disparities. For example Māori children are 1.7 times as likely as those of New Zealand European/other ethnicities to be obese and Pacific children are 3.1 times as likely as those of New Zealand European.
From the workforce focused drop-in sessions, about 40 staff and partners from educational facilities and other stakeholders brainstormed project ideas to increase Māori and Pacific representation in the workforce, looking at areas including leadership and development, support /mentoring and dedicated education units, non school entry into CM Health, and school and tertiary pipeline into CM Health.
The drop-in sessions held last week for the childhood obesity stream were well attended by staff from within CM Health and other services and community organisations. One session was held in Otara where service providers (again from within CM Health and other community organisations) and community members came to network and collaborate.
Programme manager Tracey Popham says the deadline for proposals has since closed, and the depth and variety of interest, commitment, possible collaborations and pending projects is inspiring. Submissions will be reviewed and feedback will be given soon.