The 2019 Lakes DHB Registered Nurse of the Year is Joanna Price, from the Mental Health and Addictions Service.

A senior nurse, Price is recognised for her thoughtfulness, energy and deliberate practice, and her ability to grow and maintain professional collegial relationships.

Price has undertaken extensive post graduate study including a PG Diploma, Clinical Supervision training and a Master's degree.

She was the first credentialed Registered Nurse trainer of Feedback Informed Consent after undertaking intensive training at the International Centre of Clinical Excellence.

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She is a compassionate, caring and highly skilled nurse who is valued not only by her area of work but also the wider DHB, a statement said.

Lydia White, Clinical Nurse Specialist was highly commended in this category.

Midwife of the year, Leanne Leggett is described by her manager as a competent and energetic midwife who practices at a high level. Her approach consistently puts women and their families at the centre of safe and appropriate midwifery care.

A very experienced midwife, Leggett demonstrates great leadership within the team and willingly shares her knowledge and skills with students and new staff. She is a valuable team player and works hard to be a highly effective communicator.

Midwife Stephanie Bailey was highly commended in this category.

Two recipients are joint winners in the Cathy Cooney Nursing / Midwifery Leadership Award for this year, thanks to the high calibre of the nominations.

The first is Chrissy Rees, Associate Nurse Manager of the Day Stay Unit.

Rees is responsible for the day to day activities within her unit but has also been instrumental in the development, education and provision of the National Bowel Screening Programme roll out at Lakes.

She has also ensured that the systems and processes are in place to meet the requirements of the new programme that started in February. Rees is now responsible for the management of this service across two sites.

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Rees' warm compassion towards patients is evident in how hard she works to make sure the service provision is of the highest quality.

Nina Dobson, Associate Director of Nursing for the Professional Development Unit is the other winner in this category. Dobson is an outstanding organiser and leader who puts patients at the forefront of everything she does, encouraging and guiding her staff to extend their knowledge and step out of their comfort zones.

Nina is the lead for a number of quality projects in which she works closely with nurses, midwives and the wider multi- disciplinary teams within the hospital. She is also involved with groups that drive the development and expansion of programmes for nursing across New Zealand.

Dobson has also been part of the small team responsible for contingency planning for the DHB for the multiple industrial actions over the last year. She ensures that safe patient care is kept as the main driver of every aspect of contingency planning.

Ben Martin, Staff Nurse in Taupo ED was highly commented in this category.

Samantha Wisemantel is the New Graduate Nurse of the Year (2018). This award recognises an outstanding participant in the Lakes DHB Nursing Entry to Practice programme (NETP programme). Wisemantel has demonstrated an enthusiasm to progress, learn and develop as a new graduate based in the Taupo Inpatient Unit.

Wisemantel has stunning feedback both from her peers, her manager and those she provides care for, the statement said. Her charge nurse says Wisemantel brings an intelligent, energetic can-do attitude to the workplace, and notes she regularly receives compliments about Wisemantel's work and her care for patients and their families/whanau.


Delwyn Edmonds from Korowai Aroha is the Health Care Assistant of the Year.

Edmonds is described by her manager as a huge asset to the clinical and community teams. She has developed very strong relationships with other providers, services and managers to ensure that the whanau she serves have the widest support possible to attend to their health needs. Edmonds goes the extra mile to ensure all well checks and immunisations are up to date in the tamariki her service sees.

Edmonds is also a strong advocate for women's health, assisting with the planning and delivery of the "Smear your Mea" clinics. Edmonds' role as a clinical health care assistant is seen as an essential and pivotal role within her clinical team.

Darren Stevens was highly commended in this category.


Rachel Everest, Theatre has won the Best Nursing / Midwifery Innovation Award. This award is to recognise the teams or individuals that have developed and implemented a significant change to practice or service process in order to provide improved services for patients/service users.

Everest has put a huge amount of time and energy into sustainability, and has played a major role in changing the practices of sustainability within the whole department.

As a member of the sustainability group for Lakes DHB Everest already had a focus on reducing waste and recycling for the wider DHB but starting this within the theatre department has resulted in the recycling of a huge amount of paper, plastic, glass and cardboard. This recycling initiative is helping the organisation financially but is also helping the environment.

Natasha Kemp, Emergency Department is the winner of the Best Maori Development Award:

A staff nurse, Kemp has built and developed a Māori driven health group made up of staff who work together to look at how Lakes can better support its 'front door' service to Māori.

Kemp is the Māori liaison between the unit and the Manawa Pou staff in Te Aka Matua. She regularly meets stakeholders to ensure any issues that have been raised are addressed and uses a partnership philosophy to implement best practice that supports Māori patients.

An important focus of the group is to empower its members, while ensuring the patients and whanau are receiving a quality driven and culturally appropriate service. This is a very important factor as Lakes strives for a healthcare service that is in tune with what our community wants and needs.

Kemp has significantly contributed in implementing a more culturally enriched service within the Emergency Department, the statement said.

Kay Towers, Midwife has received the Outstanding Contribution to Nursing / Midwifery Professional Development Award. This category recognises a staff member who has significantly contributed to the professional development of colleagues and others.

Towers willingly gives her time to assist others in their learning. Towers has really stepped out of her comfort zone to become an instructor on a major course run within the DHB. She has since become adept as teaching her peers as well as those within the multi-disciplinary team.

Towers has undertaken a number of personal development courses to assist her to grow her skills in instruction and these have helped her to develop a very effective and well received teaching style.

The Lakes DHB Nursing and Midwifery Awards are held every year to celebrate the excellence, innovation and achievements of Lakes DHB nursing and midwifery professionals over the past 12 months.