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Health and iwi identity named on district health board
Tui Ora Tamariki Ora nurse Patsy Bodger was named this month as a ministerial appointment on the Taranaki District Health Board.
A highly experienced nurse with five decades working in health and iwi sectors, she joins other ministerial appointees Cassandra Crowley (board chair) as well as Bridget Sullivan (deputy chair) and Carla White.
Patsy is a familiar face at Tui Ora and in Taranaki health and iwi circles. Currently, she is the District & Public Health Nurse in Mokau.
Among her many achievements are establishing Piki Te Ora with her sister Christine Nicholas in 1991. The nursing health service eventually became part of the Tui Ora kaupapa.
Interestingly she started her working life at Taranaki nursery and horticultural business Duncan & Davies.
She applied for nursing training in 1965 at the suggestion of her mother and following registration, worked in the operating-theatre and completed a post-graduate theatre certificate in Wellington. Since then she has worked in various nursing roles.
Twenty-two years ago, Patsy came home to Taranaki, working for Te Puni Kokiri before the establishment of Piki Te Ora which provided care to all ages, pēpē to kaumātua.
Her current colleagues in Tui Ora – Roina Graham, Airingi Matuku, Janine Lineham, Jo Bertram and Tamariki Ora members Sonya Popovich and Dee Weir - were part of the Piki Te Ora team.
With another Māori health provider, Manaaki Oranga, Piki set up GP practice Te Aroha Medcare on site at Tui Ora, a precursor to Tui Ora Family Health.
Asked about her assessment of Māori health, she says: "Disparities for Māori remain high and we need to be brave enough to make effective changes that will hopefully see Māori health improve."
Patsy is pleased to be playing a part in the governance of the district health board.
"Those inequalities are a community problem not just a Māori health problem. Embedding equity and dedicating resources will reduce disparity."
Outside her Tui Ora work, Patsy is the Manukorihi hapū chair and is involved in other hapū, iwi and community activities. She has four children and 16 mokopuna. Her whakapapa links includes Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga, Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāruahine and Ngāti Ruanui iwi.
Read the Taranaki Daily News story about the TDHB ministerial appointments. https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/118001527/new-chair-and-board-member-appointments-announced-for-taranaki-district-health-board