Community, News

Otara Health committed to health and wellbeing of community

“Otara Health (OH) walks its talk and strives to encourage the organisations in the systems across all the sectors to lower their barriers to work better together.”

OH’s Operations Manager Mark Simiona made the comment in an interview with HPF’s Hauora newsletter to discuss the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the organisation’s services and what are some of its current major collaborative projects.

Can you please tell us about one or two current ‘health promotion’ initiatives/collaborative efforts that Otara Health (OH) is engaging in to build a healthier community and how they are progressing?

Te Ora Puāwai Collective – This is funded by Counties Manukau Health led by Otara Health. This is a collective of eight organisations to design with patients a model of care for people with long-term conditions. This collective is made up of Otara Health Charitable Trust (lead organisation), Health Promotion Forum, Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA), The Heart Foundation, Disability Connect, Pro Care, ZOOM Pharmacy, Otara Family Christian Health Centre.

Once the design is completed and submitted it may become a model of care to deliver for the next five years.

Project NEMO – This is a collaborative initiative birthed as a Covid-recovery plan with the Thriving Otara movement for the Otara community by those who live, learn, work, play and pray in Otara. This will be a community hub made up of a collective of organisations serving to meet the needs of community impacted by Covid-19 by providing coordinated referrals to key agencies based on the need of people including a foodbank and wrap-around services including support with business, education, employment and getting connected.

: How did Otara Health respond to the Covid-19 crisis and has this had much of an impact on how you now deliver your services?

Throughout lockdown Otara Health adapted quickly to work remotely from home and continued to provide its services virtually. Staff attended daily online check-ins via ZOOM and utilised phone, Facebook and any other means to connect with participants. Now in level 1 OH is applying much of the learning to deliver services better providing a mixture of face-to-face and online delivery.

Otara Health places a strong emphasis on building community leadership and advocacy skills to empower people to lead change within the community. Can you please elaborate on this?

Mark: Otara Health uses Twyford’s Power of Co and Results Base Accountability (RBA) for the delivery of its services, systemic influence and collaborative engagement. Our challenge to organisations is to look at what they can do differently to get a different and hopefully better result. OH continues its work through Thriving Otara to lead a change of thinking about how to improve delivery and who you need to work with to do it. This is also based on the principles of the Ottawa Charter.

In our frontline delivery OH uses strength-based, whanau-led approaches like, Fono Fale, Te Whare Tapa Wha and appreciative Inquiry to look at what is important to whānau when making contact and doing in-home assessments.

In short OH walks its talk and strives to encourage the organisations in the systems across all the sectors to lower their barriers to work better together.