The 2014 Peter Snow Memorial Award will be shared by two recipients: Dr Janne Bills, a former rural GP based in Hanmer and former midwife and RN Kamiria (Kim) Gosman of Turangi.
The accolades were announced at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s annual conference in Wellington (March 12-16). They were presented by one of last year’s winners, far north rural GP, Dr Graeme Fenton. In 2013 he shared the award with New Zealand Institute of Rural Health CE Robin Steed.
Both Dr Bills and Ms Gosman were nominated under the “Innovation or Service” category which recognises their “outstanding service to rural general practice and to rural communities for many years, and their endless enthusiasm and drive in nursing and education”.
The nominations noted that:
“Anyone who knows Janne will be aware of her tirelessness and exuberance for all things rural, her patients, her family, her friends, her knitting and the speed with which she tackles things. Once someone suggested something she already had her angel wings. She is incredibly altruistic having routinely gone far and beyond the call of duty for which she claims no reward or acknowledgement (e.g. sleeping over in her sleeping bag when supporting parents through their child’s end of life; stripping off on the side of a state highway to climb down a bank to someone trapped in a crashed vehicle). She does it because she is genuinely passionate and compassionate. She is passionate about the contribution of nursing, about attracting young doctros to rural, about finding solutions to the difficulties and challenges of rural.”
“Kim’s continual dedication for the improvement of rural health care services has been ongoing since her involvement as Chief Executive Officer of Tuwharetoa Health Services 1996-2009 when she developed and implemented a range of rural community health care services. Kim has extensive experience and expertise in a range of disciplines, particularly in Women, Child and Family Health, Maori Health including the introduction of culturally safe practices and organisational management.”
Janne has given 25 years’ service as a GP to North Canterbury and has also been a rural health advocate. She trained in Australia completing three years in New Zealand as a House Surgeon and Registrar. Janne undertook her rural registrar training on the north west coast of Tasmania before taking up a practice and residence in North Canterbury in 1979 in Rotherham. This area had been without a permanent GP for the previous 15 years. She initially set up a clinic in her own home until the council helped out building a new centre. She took on the Hanmer Springs Health Centre in 1996 when no-one else would do it, enduring a one in two on-call. She continued to support Hanmer when, unable to get GPs to work there due to the poor facilities, she forfeited time in her own practice, and later committed to providing services in Hanmer. She encouraged community involvement to develop a new centre which led to the establishment of community-owned, trust-operated practices both in Hanmer and Rotherham. She was supportive and encouraging of nurses to extend and expand their roles in rural health and continues to advocate for nurses. She left the area for a number of years to pursue her desire for travel returning for another four years as sole GP in Hanmer from 2008-2012. She continues to support the area through locum services.
She was integral with her husband in setting up the Hurunui Kaikoura IPA, and with a number of her peers self-funded this initiative.
In 1988 she was approached by David Kerr and became the South Island representative and “the voice of rural” on the CGPC (GP arm of NZMA), replaced by the NZGPA in 1990. At this time she was asked to become the conduit for hearing and addressing the rural issues raised with the NZMA. Through this she met Dr Martin London and together they created the Canterbury Action Group fighting for equality of services for rural in comparison to their urban counterparts. National awareness grew around these issues which led to the inaugural conference of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network in 1992 in Rotorua. Janne was the founding Chair and the first elected Chair, a position she held from 1992-1994 before moving into the Treasurer and Executive member role until 1997, and conference convenor from 1995-1998. She was the rural representative on the NZGPA of the NZMA from 1992-1993; a rural general practitioner representative on the RNZCGP educational committee 1998-2000 and until a few months ago was member of the RNZCGP rural faculty since 2008.
Kim Gosman (RN, RM, Dip. ComH):
Kim is of Nga Puhi, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa and Ngati Tautahi descent and has lived in the Central North Island Plateau for 31 years, currently residing in Turangi. Kim is highly experienced, respected and influential practitioner within the discipline of rural health care. Kim has demonstrated her dedication and commitment to supporting and retaining services to maintain and improve the health and well-being of people living and working in rural New Zealand. Kim’s particular focus has been general practice in the southern North Island. Kim is a central North Island-based nurse and midwife.
Kim has recently been working with a small management group to support a venture in Turangi with a new model of maternity care and early parenting education and support that links with existing providers in Turangi. This service will provide women and families with an integrated pathway through pregnancy and early parenting. Likewise, Kim has been a member of a local governance group working with the Waikato DHB to shape the future of health care and develop an integrated and sustainable health care model for the northern Ruapehu district.
Kim’s continual dedication for the improvement of rural health care services has been ongoing since her involvement as Chief Executive Officer of Tuwharetoa Health Services 1996-2009 when she developed and implemented a range of rural community health care services. Kim has extensive experience and expertise in a range of disciplines, particularly in women, child and family health, Maori health including the introduction of culturally safe practices and organisational management.
In the early 2000s Kim became Co-Director of Rural Health for the North Island with Dr Graeme Fenton. These positions were situated within the Institute of Rural Health (currently New Zealand Institute of Rural Health). During this three-year term Graeme and Kim worked with Dr Pat Farry, Director of Rural Health South Island and Co-Directors of the National Centre for Rural Health (based in Christchurch) with Dr Martin London and Jean Ross. Key achievements during this period were raising the profile of rural health within the Ministry of Health, representation on key committees responsible for the Rural Premium currently available to rural general practices and the report Implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy in Rural New Zealand (2002) supporting the Primary Health Care Strategy (2001).
Kim is a member of Te Kaunihera O Neehi Maori and is currently an Independent Reviewer for Quality Improvement & Accreditation. Kim is the Rural General Practice Network current board member (co-opted) representing the Southern North Island since 2009.
Kim was a foundation member and inaugural Vice-President of the College of Nurses Aotearoa for five years and Secretary of the Hutt Valley Branch of the New Zealand Nurses Association. Kim has worked as a nurse educator at Waikato Hospital and was a foundation tutor at Parumoana Polytechnic now known as Whitireia in Porirua.