After19 years, nurse practitioner Ingrid Cheer has bid farewell to the Takapau Health Centre, having moved into a new role with the Tararua Health Group.
Still working as a nurse practitioner, she will now operate across several sites from Norsewood to Dannevirke and Woodville.
When Ingrid was appointed as a rural health nurse in 1995 she says she worked 20 hours a week as a sole nurse but it "grew like topsy", with the centre, which had been started in 1989 by Takapau resident and nurse Anne Lloyd, taking on more contracts and staff.
"Lyla Koppen, who took a leadership role with Anne, has always been a stalwart and the wind beneath my wings," says Ingrid.
"The community has also encouraged me to practice to the top of my licence."
In 2000, Ingrid embarked on a Master of Nursing, which she achieved with first-class honours, in order to become a nurse practitioner.
It took 10 years to get there, she says, finding time to fit in study, but by 2010 she qualified to take on the role.
The Takapau Health Centre is still considered a unique nurse-led model, and over the years Ingrid has travelled around the country talking about how it operates.
Highlights of her time have included the centre being named supreme winner of the Hawke's Bay Health Awards in 2006, and the privilege of working with the community, she says.
"It can be like a big happy family in here sometimes with people chatting while they are waiting and I have had many precious moments with patients who take you into their hearts," says Ingrid.
Her last day at the centre was on Thursday last week, and a special farewell function was held for her at the Takapau Community Hall the following day.