A unique space that expresses manaaki and aroha opened yesterday at the heart of Waikato Hospital in ceremony that included waerea (a protective recitation), kōrero, wonderful kapahaka by pupils from Te Kopuku High, followed by kai.
The idea behind Hauora ihub is to give people coming into the hospital a really easy and welcoming place to get reliable health information and some on-the-spot health checks and advice.
Hauora ihub is on Level 1 of the Meade Clinical Centre, Waikato Hospital. It is centred on the Māori value of manaakitanga (caring, hospitality, respect) and is like a tourism iSITE, with friendly staff who provide on-the-spot service, make referrals or point people in the right direction for treatment or support. It is designed to be warm and welcoming, and it includes some stunning artwork from local Māori artists Nichola Te Kiri and Daniel Ormsby, and Lucy Gauntlett from Auckland. The architect was Mark Wassung from Design Engine who worked in collaboration with the artists.
The friendly face at Hauora ihub is clinical nurse specialist Natalie Lewis, who is supported by a number of volunteers. The on-the-spot services offered include health self-assessments, reliable health information and advice, health screening including cervical smears, plus immunisation, blood pressure tests, smoking cessation support and help to get registered with primary care services or make contact with other organisations.
Hauora ihub joins the cafes and community pharmacy already located in the retail zone on Level 1 Meade Clinical Centre. The hospital campus is like a small town, with thousands of people there every day. Often they are thinking about their health or the health of a loved one. So Hauroa ihub is an opportunity to engage with people – particularly Māori and Pasifika people, those on lower incomes and people from rural areas – about health in a way that is convenient and welcoming to them while they happen to be at the hospital anyway.