Celebrating Smokefree!

Congratulations and best of luck to our Living Smokefree service which is a finalist the Te Hāpai Hapori -Spirit of Service Awards 2022 in the Service Excellence category.

The Spirit of Service Awards celebrate outstanding public sector governance, young leaders and initiatives that deliver great outcomes motivated by a spirit of service to the community, with the winners announced on Thursday, 15 September.

Our Smokefree team were nominated in the Service Excellence category, recognised for achieving equitable Smokefree outcomes for Maaori and Pacific peoples by providing holistic, client, and whaanau-led approaches.

Dr Gary Jackson, Director of Population Health at Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau, says the team goes above and beyond and the recognition is just reward for their dedication.

“I am so proud of this team. They take a holistic wellbeing approach that is responsive and client/whaanau-led, with a view to reducing the persistent population health inequities in Counties Manukau.

“It is of no surprise that they are nationally recognised given their innovations to support priority populations, community engagement, collaborations with various health sectors, high quit rates, low cost per quitter and workforce development through training as well as recruiting a team of Smokefree practitioners reflecting the community we serve.”

Our Living Smokefree service is also recognised for its recruitment of a high number of New Zealand Maaori and Pacific practitioners (around 73% of our total practitioners), for their great connections with the community, and their understanding of the challenges the community face.

Basil Fernandes, Smokefree Portfolio Manager, says the team’s community ethos enables them to deliver an incredibly high functioning, appropriate whaanau-led service.

“The team works hard to get the Smokefree message out to the community, holding 30 weekly drop-in clinics right across Counties Manukau and visiting over 10 workplaces, community organisations and events weekly to engage those who we haven’t been able to reach through the health system.

“These efforts help to make stop smoking support easily accessible to whaanau in our community, generating 7,000 referrals a year, (5,000 during the 21/22 period with COVID-19) with 70% - 80% of these referrals being Maaori and Pacific populations.

“One of the most important statistics, is the 200 waahine hapuu that engage with the service every three months.”

These statistics highlight just some of the great work the Living Smokefree team is doing to help to create a healthier future for South Auckland and the Counties rohe.

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