11 May

Celebrating our amazing Nurses, this International Nurses Day

Pictured top left to right: Kate ChiTar, Heather Laxon, Tracey Wihongi
bottom left to right: Michael Brenndorfer, Toby Hilton, Liz Hosking-Clemont

International Nurses Day is set on the 12th of May to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of modern nursing.

We want to celebrate some of the amazing Nurses that we have the honor of working alongside not just as SYHPANZ but also as part of the extended mahi we do.

Kate ChiTar is a Nurse Practitioner with Counties Manukau Health, providing youth health services in a range of secondary schools and supporting Registered Nurses in School Based Health Services. She is also a member of the SYHPANZ Executive Committee, the SYHPANZ Secretary, and a member of Te Tatau Kitenga which is working on the Enhancement of School Based Health Services alongside the Ministry of Health. To learn more click on the links throughout or scroll to the bottom of this story.

Liz Hosking-Clement has worked in child and youth mental health within the DHB, NGO, and private sectors and across the spectrum of health promotion to secondary mental health crisis support. Liz now works at the University of Auckland working as Manager of Student of Conduct and Care across a number of health wellbeing clinical case management and misconduct services. She is also a member of the SYHPANZ Executive Committee.

Michael Brenndorfer is a Youth Health Nurse Specialist and Nurse Educator supporting secondary school nurses and is currently working towards his qualification to become a Nurse Practitioner. He also works at the Youth Health Clinic in West Auckland. He has been nursing in primary healthcare for over 8 years and is also a member of the SYHPANZ Executive Committee.

Heather Laxon is the Charge Nurse Manager at the Kidz First Centre for Youth Health. Prior to her current role, Heather was a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Youth Health in the School Based Youth Health Programme. She also spent 10 years working as a school nurse in a low decile high school in South Auckland, and is passionate about ensuring that our rangatahi have access to appropriate youth-friendly, equitable health care. Heather is co-president of the Auckland School Nurses Group and is a member of the SYHPANZ Executive Committee.

Tracey Wihongi is based in Tai Tokerau and her role is Specialty Clinical Nurse – Youth, Rural, Family and Community Services for Northland District Health Board. She also works at Northland Youth Health Collective and is a member of Te Tatau Kitenga and Te Rōpū. She has been a nurse since 2002 and is a passionate advocate for our rangatahi and ensuring equitable health outcomes for all.

Toby Hilton is currently a Team Leader for the School Based Nursing Services. He has worked in child and adolescent mental health, paediatric medical placement, School Based Nurse at Halswell Residential College, and as a Registered Nurse at Paediatric High Dependency Unit at Christchurch Hospital. Toby is currently completing a Post-graduate Diploma in RN prescribing which will lead to further Nurse Practitioner training at Ara. Toby is also a member of Te Tatau Kitenga.

Ngā mihi maioha for all that you do for our rangatahi and your whanau, your commitment to health and wellbeing in Aotearoa is truly inspiring and we are grateful to be working alongside each of you. Ka pai.

Te Tatau Kitenga has been established to provide expert advice and recommendations to the Ministry of Health on youth-related topics and services, especially for our priority groups: rangatahi Māori, Pacific young people, rainbow rangatahi, rangatahi in care and rangatahi with disability. Te Tatau Kitenga is a group of youth health professionals selected for their expertise in working with young people, their wider contributions to the youth health, their expertise in te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori sector, and their experience with School Based Health Services. Te Tatau Kitenga includes Te Rōpū Mātanga o Rangatahi (Te Rōpū)