Around 200 allied health professionals from across New Zealand will gather at Waikato Hospital next month (March 2014) for the country’s fourth National Allied Health Scientific and Technical Conference.
This is the first year the biennial three-day conference will be held in the Waikato region and it has been timed to coincide with New Zealand’s famed ‘Balloons over Waikato’ event.
With the premier hot air ballooning event in mind, this year’s conference is aptly named ‘ballooning issues’ and covers four themes; innovation, patient safety, advanced care planning, and bariatric (weight) care.
Waikato DHB Allied Health group manager and conference committee member Di Peers said the conference, at which Minister of Health Tony Ryall is providing the opening address, provides a unique opportunity for national allied health, scientific and technical professionals to come together.
“Allied Health refers to a group of qualified health professionals other than doctors and nurses who work directly with clients and closely with other health specialists.
“Attendees are coming from all over the country to network with colleagues, share their latest research findings, and recognise the professional achievements of those within our workforce,” said Ms Peers.
Waikato DHB alone employs more than 20 dietitians, 80 occupational therapists, 70 physiotherapists, 50 psychologists, 90 social workers, 10 speech language therapists and 30 therapy assistants.
“These allied health professionals are a critical component within our health sector. The conference allows them to celebrate the huge contribution they make to patient care and to the overall health of the community.
“Given the timing of the event, attendees can also spend the weekend prior to the conference enjoying, with the rest of Waikato, the Balloons over Waikato event and other regional attractions.
“We’re proud that our DHB is at the core of such an exciting week of events,” said Ms Peers.
This year’s keynote speakers include Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust governor Dr Robert Jones and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board executive director of Therapies and Healthcare Scientists Fiona Jenkins, who are flying in from the United Kingdom to present on leadership in Allied Health.
Hamiltonian and award winning New Zealand satirist, documentary maker, writer, stage and screen director Te Radar will provide entertainment at the conference dinner.
The conference is a collaborative of Directors of Allied Health Group New Zealand, Waikato District Health Board, Midland Region DHBs, and the Midland Allied Health Network and will be held at Waikato Hospital’s Bryant Education Centre, from 30 March to 1 April.
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