What started as a ‘passion’ to achieve equity for Maaori has evolved into a clinic providing better outcomes for Maaori patients and whaanau in the Emergency Department (ED).
Te Amo Huia, meaning ‘Sanctuary of Care’, is the first clinic of its kind in the Northern region, and the brainchild of Carly Brown, a then nurse in our Emergency Department.
Carly saw gaps in acute care for Maaori and was passionate about bringing change.
After meeting with other Maaori ED nurses, she started working with Te Kaahui Ora, Maaori Health services to start the clinic as a pilot trial in 2019.
“I wanted to create a safe space within the ED for Maaori, so that they had a place they could have their needs met and feel heard” says Carly, Clinical Lead - Te Kaahui Ora.
“We know that compared to other ethnicities, Maaori have higher rates of self-discharge from Emergency Department. This clinic means we can follow up with those patients who self-discharge and support them and help reduce the rates of patients re-presenting to ED. “
An official blessing ceremony was held on Monday 28 February 2022 in the clinic’s new premises within the Emergency Department at Middlemore Hospital.
It was a proud moment for Carly and the team who now feel the clinic has a proper home to bear its name, Te Amo Huia, which the CM Health Tikanga team gifted the clinic.
“The amo are the beams of the whare which store the important koorero of the people and to the Tikanga team, it symbolises us supporting our Maaori patients.
“Huia were treasured birds whose feathers were worn by nobles and Ariki to show a high ranking status and this represents the respect we have for our Maaori patients and that our priority is to make a difference in their health choices and reduce inequalities.
“I am proud of the mahi the team are doing here and that Counties is leading the way in this equity space, “says Carly.