Hokianga doctor Katharina Blattner has been named the Peter Snow Memorial Award winner by the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network.

Dr Blattner received the award at the Network's annual conference in Rotorua and she was presented with the award by one of last year's winners, former mid-wife Kim Gosman. Dr Blattner was nominated under the "Innovation or Service" category.

Her nomination was based on her work in her primary workplace in Hokianga, her work as one of the lead organisers for the Postgraduate Diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Medicine and also as a primary instigator of the DRMNZ/Cook Islands Initiative.

Dr Blattner said she was committed to the concept of excellence in provision of clinical care in rural New Zealand hospitals.

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She is particularly committed to the value of integrated primary and secondary care and the role of rural GPs in the provision of hospital-based care. She has worked for Hauora Hokianga since 2004 where she has been the lead clinician for the hospital in patient facility as well as working in rural general practice.

During 10 years, she has been instrumental in advancing the diagnostic capabilities of Rawene Hospital and also of performing the research which demonstrates the usefulness of these capabilities in terms of clinical management and the provision of patient-centred care so that patients can be managed in their local environment safely where possible, thereby saving travel and expense to patients and their whanau and also reducing costs to the local base hospital.

Dr Blattner is also a senior lecturer at Otago Medical School.

The Peter Snow Memorial Award was set up to honour the life and work of Dr Peter Snow who died in March 2006.

Dr Snow was a rural general practitioner based in Tapanui.