Anita Balhorn


My journey has really evolved around my children. I started in Paediatrics, Neonates and then as I started to have my own children I kept going along that path. I went into Public Health once they started school and then really stumbled into youth health. I stumbled into developing a school-based health model and then it just kept growing from there but it was also about the fact that I really liked working with young people. I love their unique passion, their genuineness and their hopefulness. I really enjoy working with Māori and Pacific and it would really be disappointing when you could see that young people were floundering and often there wasn’t actually anything seriously wrong, except the anxiety of not having someone they could talk to.
So that drove me to look at what other services we could develop for young people and how can they be involved in it. It just kept growing from there, my network with all these wonderful people and others that have really helped shape my knowledge and skills. It has been a wild ride and I have loved every minute of it!

My journey includes:

  • Developed first comprehensive school-based health centre in South Auckland (AIMHI project) including pilot research (access to school-based health care) for Youth 2000 – published in Medical Journal
  • Project Coordinator to improve access to health services for CYFS (now Oranga Tamariki), including Developed youth health services in CYFS residences
  • Wellbeing Outcomes Model for high risk and vulnerable young people in the care of Oranga Tamariki & Police (YCAP)
  • Supported Hawkes Bay DHB with Youth Health Strategy 2016 -2019
  • Provides consultancy/ project management
  • Health assessments and Wellbeing profiles for young people supported by Oranga Tamariki
  • Facilitates Youth Health training workshops nationally