The winners of this year's Nursing and Midwifery Awards for the Lakes District Health Board have been announced.

A large crowd gathered in the CSB conference room at Rotorua Hospital this afternoon to find out had won the annual awards.

Registered Nurse of the Year for Lakes DHB is Taupo Emergency Department nurse Vicki Townley.

"Vicki brings great expertise to her department with a blend of knowledge, research and practical skills, always keeping the patient central in all her care," a press release stated.


"Vicki maintains her professional development and shares her knowledge with others, while also encouraging and challenging others to think about their own practice and patient outcomes.

"Focused on quality, Vicki has been instrumental in the availability of evidence-based guidelines to ensure each Taupo ED nurse is following best practice and delivering optimal care to patients."

Other nurses nominated in the category were Sheila Stopher, Ann Maree Vos, Carlie Picken, Sandra Bentley and Janet France-Goss.

The Lakes DHB Registered Midwife of the Year Award has gone to Helen Shaw from Maternity Services at Rotorua Hospital.

Helen is described as a reliable and accountable practitioner with a sound knowledge base, which she loves to share with mothers and families.

"Helen continues to embrace the many changing elements within midwifery with a practical and enthusiastic approach. She finds ways to integrate new learning styles, initiatives and teaching within her practice."

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Other midwives nominated were Aimee Blatchford and Janet Taiatini.

The Associate Director of Nursing - Primary and Community and Clinical Nurse Manager of Public Health Nursing and Screening Service, Sharon Andrews, won the Cathy Cooney Nursing & Midwifery Leadership Award.

"Sharon is described by her colleagues as and intelligent, dedicated and committed nurse manager.

"Sharon's roles see her acting as a co-ordinator, organiser, mentor, advisor, educator and advocate, with expert leadership skills. Solutions-focused, Sharon empowers and supports her team to undertake further education. She does not shy away from difficult decisions, makes a point of finishing things and is the 'voice' for community nursing."

Others nominated in this category were Karin Norman, Jan Malcolm, Annie Morley, Ros Rowarth, Frances Rajasingham and Nancy Littler.

Lyn Smith is the Health Care Assistant of the Year Award winner.

"Lyn is an integral part of the team across Maternity Services. She has a thorough and conscientious work ethic, makes herself available in emergencies and takes initiative to help with patients and staff.

"She is an excellent role model and advocate for her colleagues while working to enable the smooth running of the service."

Others nominated in this category were Mavis Wilson, Chanelle O'Bryan, Lorraine Meagher and Ian McGrath.

Amy Wray, Kia Wana Breastfeeding Services, has won the award for Best Nursing/Midwifery Innovation.

"Amy's knowledge, expertise and support has seen the service she helped launch in April 2016 have a positive effect on women, their babies and their whanau.

"Amy was an integral part of the design, implementation and development of this special community service to help mothers and shares her extensive knowledge at workshops.

"Her best practice and education sessions are relevant for whanau and health professionals. Amy is noted for her ability to build and maintain good relationships with mums, their bubs and whanau."

Others nominated in this category were Owhata Surgery and the Piropiho Service, ICU Outreach Team, ED CNS Team, Woman, Child and Family Maternity Unit and Roz Prestidge.

Renee Marsters has won this year's New Graduate Award.

"Renee had a full year coping with the demands of the new graduate programme, that included the successful complete of a post grad paper Clinical Practice Development.

"Renee has been an active participant in the new grad programme, utilising a reflective practice philosophy when considering issues of clinical and ethical concern. She is described as having a compassionate and empathetic style of engagement with some complex, challenging patients."

Mary McLean, Western Heights Health Centre, has won the award for Best Maori Development.

"Mary has spent many years developing and delivering health services for Western Heights, one of the most deprived areas in the Lakes DHB area.

"Mary responds to her community's needs and uses a range of innovative measures to keep people well and healthy. She has developed and led a team of nurses delivering services across a range of settings including general practice, community clinics, early childhood centres, kohanga reo, Rotorua School for Young Parents and home visiting.

"Mary role models nursing leadership and management, expertise in clinical settings and the art of collaboration with other agencies or services."

Others nominated in this category were Kia Wana Community Breastfeeding Service and Owhata Surgery and the Piropiho Service.

Gary Lees, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said he and his team were excited to see the diversity of nominations for this year's awards.

He said the range of nominations points to the range of wonderful work and initiatives in community, primary and hospital settings.

"These awards help us recognise the range of terrific work of all nurses and midwives across the Lakes district. They are a high spot on the annual calendar and help to remind us all why it was that we entered the nursing and midwifery professions in the first place," he said.