Ko Awatea’s new senior clinical fellow Dr Lance O’Sullivan described his first day on site as like being a new entrant on his first day of school.
The Kaitaia GP and former New Zealander of the Year made his comments as he was officially welcomed to Ko Awatea at a powhiri this Monday.
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“I have lots to learn but I am very passionate about what I can bring,” he told a group of Ko Awatea and Counties Manukau Health (CM Health) staff at the formal welcome which was immediately followed by a poroporoaki for departing clinical fellow Mataroria Lyndon.
“Expectations are on my shoulders and I hope I can live up to them,” Dr O’Sullivan said.
CM Health chief executive Geraint Martin said it was a fantastic honour to partner with Dr O’Sullivan and emphasised the commitment of both Ko Awatea and CM Health to the local community.
Mr Martin says this commitment will be reflected by an ongoing focus on health equity – an area which Dr O’Sullivan will be heavily involved in.
Echoing Mr Martin’s sentiments, Ko Awatea director Professor Jonathon Gray described Dr O’Sullivan as an “unstoppable force” with a lot of energy for health promotion. Professor Gray acknowledged Dr O’Sullivan’s expertise in primary care, and his enthusiasm for the use of technology in health innovation.
Professor Gray also took the opportunity to farewell Dr Mataroria Lyndon, who will spend the next year working on a Masters’ Degree in Public Health at Harvard University.
“He is humility and leadership in action,” Professor Gray said.
Winding up the ceremony, Dr Lyndon said he was grateful to Ko Awatea for providing him a pathway in his journey in health.
He also welcomed Dr O’Sullivan to Ko Awatea.
“You’re part of my succession plan – another impact player to carry the mantel for health equity,” he said.