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Doctor Noel Karalus one of Waikato’s biggest patient advocates awarded Emeritus Consultant

Dr Karalus at the forefront with past Emeritus Consultants

He retired from the Waikato DHB in April 2017 and was in the process of packing for Samoa with his wife – where they plan to improve health services and stimulate research – when specialist Dr Noel Karalus was awarded title of Emeritus Consultant on 22 May at Waikato Hospital.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered at Dr Karalus’ award ceremony and celebrated his extensive list of medical achievements that were all guided by his faith and heart of gold for patients.

Waikato DHB’s chief medical officer Dr Tom Watson introduced the presentation by stating Dr Karalus’ had over 100 nominations from Waikato DHB senior staff for the title of Emeritus Consultant. The award recognises those who are held in the highest esteem for their clinical contribution particularly in leadership and innovation.

Dr Karalus had worked as a consultant at Waikato Hospital since 1986. His 31 years’ service at Waikato included 11 years as the clinical director of respiratory medicine.

Over this time he has been at the forefront of founding services including the Respiratory Department, advancing student

L/R: Dr Karalus’ son and DHB anesthetist Sebastian Karalus, wife Peta, Dr Karalus, and daughter Rachel who is chief executive of K’aute Pasifika Trust

training (four doctoral theses have been undertaken in respiratory), and has been a driving force in clinical research.

Respiratory clinical director Dr Janice Wong, said: “Dr Karalus’ vision helped the department to develop many facets including a productive research department, lung function laboratory and sleep service.

“His belief that clinical teaching and research are important in improving medical care for the community is evident in the number of people he’s influenced, papers he’s written and his work through the Waikato Medical Research Foundation.”

“As a well-rounded leader, Dr Karalus has mentored and inspired many junior staff to become physicians, including myself.”

“His special research interests include Mycobacterial Infection and he continues to be involved in high quality research with the Tuberculosis (TB) Laboratory and the University of Waikato.”

Dr Karalus was also in the TB working group for the Ministry of Health for four years, where he helped to write New Zealand TB guidelines.

He was also the chairman of Waikato Research Foundation for six years and now its patron. He is often involved in clinical research and is an active member in fundraising for the foundation.

More about Emeritus

Guidelines for recognition of Emeritus Consultant status include:

  • Minimum of 15 years continuous service at Waikato District Health Board
  • Retirement from permanent public hospital practice
  • Significant contribution to the maintenance of clinical excellence and standards of teaching and research at Waikato DHB
  • Active commitment to committees or other groups involved in the organisational/administrative structure of the hospital
  • Leadership in innovation, particularly in improving services to patients
  • Held in high esteem by his or her clinical colleagues

Past recipients:

  • Dr Stewart Brown, Paediatric Surgery Awarded: 2016
  • Dr Clyde Wade, Cardiology Awarded: 2016
  • Dr Geoff Long, Anaesthetics Awarded: 2016
  • Dr Hugh Spencer, Anaesthetics Awarded: 2005
  • Dr Peter Rothwell, General Medicine Awarded: 2005
  • Dr Denis Friedlander, Cardiology Awarded: 2005
  • Dr Peter Stokes, Gastroenterology Awarded: 2005
  • Mr David Clews, Orthopaedic Surgery Awarded: 2006
  • Dr Jack Havill, Intensive Care Awarded: 2010
  • Dr Alastair Haslam, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Awarded: 2014
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