A Whakatāne healthcare administrator was named 2019's accidental IT hero award at last night's New Zealand Charities Tech Awards.

Amanda Cooper works for the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand and has been a leader in the organisation's move to a digital cloud-based way of working over the past 18 months.

The accidental IT hero award pays tribute to people who have excelled in the technological field despite it not being part of their everyday work.

Her work has contributed to improving processes and capturing data intelligence for the Hepatitis Foundation's community nurses and administration staff.


She started with the Hepatitis Foundation 25 years ago as a data entry person and has since held various positions with the organisation, none of which has involved IT.

Hepatitis Foundation chief executive Susan Hay said Cooper had also developed high-quality searches to identify  where patients could fall through gaps, which had helped them find patients lost by mainstream healthcare such as specialist services and general practices.

"By moving to electronic records we have become more efficient, holding real-time data that we can share with our staff, board and funding partners, as well as other health providers or researchers," she said.

Cooper said she was pleased with the win and proud to play a part in positively impacting people's lives.

"There's nowhere else I'd rather work."

The Hepatitis Foundation of NZ is a charitable organisation funded by the Ministry of Health to provide a community-based hepatitis B monitoring programme.