A “milestone” for Te Korowai and “groundbreaking” for the Hauraki rohe – a new preventative and health screening hub has opened in Thames.
Pito Hauora, introduced by Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki and the Waikato District Health Board, will offer breast and cervical screening for wāhine (women), and a dental service for tamariki.
At its opening on June 20, following a karakia and whakatau (welcome) led by Dr Korohere Ngapo, former Te Korowai chief executive Riana Manuel told her successor Tammy Dehar that the new hub was “a goodie”.
“[They] are going to be ground-breaking for women, children, and whānau of this rohe.
“Remembering that there is a lot of Hauraki past Thames, there are a lot of people who live an hour, two hours, past this destination, so you can appreciate what it meant to have to go further to get to these services previously,” she said.
“There’s nothing I like better than when we say we’re going to do something, and we follow through. That’s the most impressive part about it, all of this kaupapa.
“We’re saying what we’re doing and we’re putting it into practice.”
Pito Hauora’s aim is to reduce barriers by providing access to health screening and other intervention services closer to home.
Its mammogram machine was installed at the centre in May this year, and the service has already performed more than 400 screenings in its first four weeks.
Chief executive of Te Puna Hauora Matua o Hauraki (Hauraki PHO), and Pito Hauora project lead Taima Campbell said she was “really pleased” to be able to offer a service for all of Hauraki – but the job was not done yet.
“We’ve got plans for more here,” she said.
“We’re really looking at an opportunity to grow our workforce as well, and for us, having any kind of ear, nose, and throat services for our babies is really important.”
There was also an opportunity to do something similar in Paeroa, she said.
“We need to have these hubs and these spaces for whanau to come to in a number of different places. This is a really good start for us.
“Improving access to preventive screening services and early treatment for our population is part of what we put into our locality-based proposal, so this is just the beginning of that journey.”
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki is the only Iwi health provider within Pare Hauraki, and the largest provider of holistic whānau-centred services within the rohe.
Pita Hauora’s ingoa (name) was gifted by Dr Korohere Ngapo and Matua Wati Ngamane, and symbolises the potential of growth and, in this context, refers to the promise of a healthier pathway.
It will be staffed with a mix of Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki and Waikato DHB staff on weekdays.