Pinnacle celebrates 30th birthday with awards ceremony

21 Nov 2019
Pinnacle celebrates 30th birthday with awards ceremony

Pinnacle Incorporated’s story started in 1989, with a brown Ford Cortina and a couple of GPs travelling around the Waikato and bringing together their like-minded colleagues – fast foward thirty years and Pinnacle Incorporated has grown to become the parent company of organisations covering primary care, technology and practice ownership.

180 guests came together on 19 November at Claudelands Events Centre to celebrate Pinnacle’s 30th birthday and honour the innovation, dedication and delivery of high quality healthcare services in our region with an awards ceremony.

Pinnacle celebrates 30th birthday with awards ceremonyKaumatua Tumohe Clark

After a beautiful opening by Kaumatua Tumohe Clark, Dr Shez Partovi, Amazon Web Services (AWS) lead for healthcare, life sciences and genomics, delivered an inspiring keynote speech about where AWS is heading with health. Shez has a unique perspective on the opportunities to transform healthcare worldwide, and shared some examples of how technology can be a game changer in helping people successfully manage their own health.

A group from the Waikato Rivertones Chorus entertained the crowd with their soulful harmonies. A highlight was chorus musical director and Pinnacle member Kate Sinclair’s special rendition of ‘My favourite things’, customised to celebrate indici™ practice management system – penned by a fellow Pinnacle member.

At the heart of the evening was a special awards ceremony. General practice is the cornerstone of our communities, and the Pinnacle network has some of the highest calibre people and practices found anywhere in New Zealand. A huge number of nominations were received across multiple award categories, and it was truly heart warming to hear about the people and teams in our network that are working so hard to achieve the very best health outcomes possible.

The GP service excellence award was given to Dr John Burton, Kawhia Health Centre. John and his team demonstrate the true value a family doctor can bring to a community – going above, beyond and then some. True to his style, John accepted his award reflecting on the areas he still hoped to improve on, such as working on his te reo to further his work in marae clinics.

Pinnacle celebrates 30th birthday with awards ceremonyDr John Burton, Kawhia Health Centre recieving his award from board members Dr Frank Cullen and Dr Brendon Eade.

Dr Mike Tombleson from Lake Surgery Taupō received a long service contribution award for his GP practice and liaison role. Mike has shown enormous commitment and passion, and is a true leader as recognised by his peers. Mike has been with Pinnacle since it’s inception, and spoke of his pride in the Taupō -Turangi practices and the collaborative relationship they have. “Collaboration is the secret of the future for general practice. Without taking away autonomy we work as a collaborative to make things better for our communities. Pinnacle has been a great driver for this,” said Mike.

The practice nursing service excellence award celebrates practice nurses who show outstanding contribution to general practice. Chrissy Simmonds, designated nurse prescriber and practice nurse at Glenview Medical Centre, received this award for her outstanding achievements in practice nursing. She was humbled to be selected as the winner, and gave an emphatic shout out to all her nursing colleagues in the network.

The team at Health Te Aroha is described as nothing short of amazing, and that’s why they received the teamwork award. The team is known for its whole team spirit, which drives fantastic results and helps to bush boundaries in a positive and supportive way. Practice manager Dwayne Stewart accepted the award, surrounded by his team. “I’ve been with the team for two and a half years. From day one it has been amazing, and that is because of these people,” he said.

Pinnacle celebrates 30th birthday with awards ceremonyThe team from Health Te Aroha

Dr Fraser Hodgson, Mahoe Med, received the outstanding contribution to the future of general practice award. A GP for over 30 years, Fraser also embraces his role as an educator and is noted as an exceptional mentor, working tirelessly to ensure a challenging and nurturing environment for his students. Fraser relected fondly on his career, stating “I’m in my 60s and I still have passion for it. We get a tough time from the specialists in the hospital that we are failed specialists which is certainly not true. I look out at you and I see so many great doctors who know about their patients and their medical history. We have continuity of care, coordination of patient health needs, and the ability to help them in so many ways.”

A special second prize in this category was sponsored by James and Wells and awarded to Dr Javad from Valentia Technologies, the company Pinnacle partnered with to design, develop and deliver the indici™ patient management system. “I look forward to growing it [indici] into a big strong entity that will transform health, and help us make a difference in healthcare for the next generation,” said Javad.

Pinnacle celebrates 30th birthday with awards ceremonyDr Javad from Valentia Technologies enjoying the performance of "My favourite things - the indici version"

Outstanding services to rural health was awarded to Dr Keith Buswell and team at Te Kuiti Medical Centre. In a true reflection of the challenges of rural medicine, Keith was unable to attend the awards ceremony as he was attending a medical emergency. The team accepted the award on his behalf, and acknowledged how Keith’s leadership has contributed to creating an outstanding model of integrated, community engaged rural practice in Te Kuiti.

The clinic at Waikohu Health Centre, Gisborne, received the outstanding services to Māori health award. The impact of the whanaungatanga demonstrated by the clinic and its staff, who know all about every person they care for, their whakapapa, their connections and community is phenomenal.

Reverse T2 Diabetes Taupō received the outstanding services to the community award. The free community group, with the input of Dr Glen Davies, assists patients to reverse their type 2 diabetes and prediabetes with dietary changes and other supports, through a Facebook page and weekly community meetings. In his acceptance speech Glen shared his expectation that type 2 diabetes is very much a reversable condition for all his patients – a big vision with big changes needed.

The final award of the evening, sponsored by Frank Risk, was a special mention for a practice that received many, many nominations across multiple categories. Whangamata Medical Centre is a standout practice providing 24/7 cover to 4,500 residents over a large catchment area in the Coromandel, and scales up remarkably each summer when the population of Whangamata swells to 100,000+ people over the holiday season. Practice manager Rebecca Townsend was surprised at the ‘extra’ category that was added to the night, and accepted reflecting on the fact it was nice to be recognised as once more the practice geared up for their summer influx.

The Pinnacle Board and staff once more extend their congratulations to all winners, and everyone who was nominated for an award.

Further celebrations to mark 30 years as a network will be held in New Plymouth for Taranaki practices and Gisborne for Tairawhiti practices in 2020.

Awards and nominees

GP service excellence award

This award recognises GPs who show outstanding contribution to general practice through tireless dedication, genuinely making a difference to the health and experience of his or her patients and community.
  • Winner: Dr John Burton, Kawhia Health Centre.
  • Dr Frank Cullen, Fairfield Medical Centre.
  • Dr Lesley Topping, Little London Medical Centre.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre, Dr Froyen, Dr Gomez and Dr Hill.

Long service contribution

In addition to the GP service excellence category, this year a long service contribution award was introduced, and awarded to Dr Mike Tombleson, Lake Surgery Taupō.

Practice nursing service excellence

Awarded to a practice nurse who shows outstanding contribution to general practice through tireless dedication, genuinely making a difference to the health and experience of his or her patients and community.
  • Winner: Glenview Medical Centre, Chrissy Simmonds.
  • Hillcrest Medical Centre, Cathy Fraser-Reading.
  • Te Awamutu Medical Centre, Sally Davies.
  • Taupō Medical Centre, Sarah Poupard.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre nursing team - Debbie Casso, Mahara Haitana, Meryl Sharp and Margaret Shaw.

Teamwork award

In recognition of exemplary performance and commitment by a practice team. This could be in recognition of quality, improved patient outcomes and/or being ‘a great place to work’ through efforts in employee wellbeing and overall job satisfaction.
  • Winner: Health Te Aroha.
  • Beerescourt Medical Centre.
  • Hauraki Plains Health Centre.
  • Mahoe Medical.
  • Phoenix Urgent Doctors.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre.
  • Whangamata Medical Centre.

Outstanding contribution to the future of general practice award

Awarded to any individual who shows one or more of the following qualities:
  • vision, a willingness to embrace innovation and push the boundaries
  • an appetite to lead and embed change within their practice
  • leading or participating in primary health care research
  • an outspoken general practice, raising their voice on the important issues.
  • Winner: Dr Fraser Hodgson, Mahoe Med.
  • Special mention to Dr Javad, Valentia Technologies, for the indici™ patient management system, with thanks to sponsor James & Wells
  • Dr Frank Cullen.
  • Dr John Morgan.
  • Dr Dave Maplesden.
  • Dr Kerry Macaskill-Smith.
  • Hamilton East Medical Centre.
  • Health Te Aroha.
  • Kawhia Health Centre.
  • Raglan Medical.
  • Whangamata Medical Centre.
  • Taupō Medical Centre: Dr Vanda Nobre and Dr Glen Davies for work with Type 2 diabetes, Hine Loughlin, nurse practitioner and Dr Tess Meihana – Marae clinics, Tracey Liddle, nurse practitioner, Dr Giles Turner and Dr Glen Davies for Shared Medical Appointments.
  • Te Awamutu Medical, Tiffany Hodgson and Jackie Sartorius, physician associates.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre as a practice, with special mention of Dr Gomez and clinical pharmacists Helen Cant and Murray Foreman.
  • Wendy Harris, business manager Cambridge Medical Centre.

Outstanding services to rural health

Awarded to an individual or practice that regularly goes above and beyond the norm of general practice, delivering excellent services in the increasingly challenging rural environment.
  • Winner: Te Kuiti Medical Centre, Dr Keith Buswell.
  • Coromandel Family Health Centre.
  • Hauraki Plains Health Centre.
  • Kawhia Health Centre.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre.
  • Whangamata Medical Centre.

Outstanding services to Māori health

Awarded to an individual or practice that works in a variety of different was to achieve equitable outcomes for Māori.
  • Winner: Waikohu Health Centre.
  • Kawhia Health Centre, Dr John Burton.
  • Pihanga Health, Dr Rebecca Brandon.
  • All Taupō-Turangi practices and the extended care team.
  • Te Awamutu Medical Centre — the practice as a whole was nominated, alongside a special mention of Rangi Paraha, community health worker.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre.
  • Waihi Beach Medical Centre.

Outstanding services to the community

Recognising groups or organisations for the vital role they play in connecting the social and health needs of people, creating a more healthy and vibrant communities to live in. Winners of this award will regularly demonstrate innovative thinking and creative solutions to improve wellbeing, including initiatives to target hard to reach populations, overcoming social and/or culture barriers and creating unique solutions to those 'wicked' healthcare problems we all face.
  • Winner: Reverse T2 Diabetes Taupō.
  • Mahoe Med.
  • Pihanga Health, Dr Rene Lenoir.
  • Pinnacle, Dr Maree McCracken.
  • South City Health, Dr Dave Ewen.
  • Te Awamutu Medical Centre - special mention to Dr Mary Ballantyne.
  • Tokoroa Medical Centre — the practice as a whole with special mention to Helen Cant, clinical pharmacist.
  • Turanga Health.
  • Whangamata Medical Centre.

Special award - multiple nominations across numerous categories, with thanks to sponsor Frank Risk

A special award was given to Whangamata Medical Centre who were recognised as being an outstanding practice that featured in multiple categories.