Taupō family doctor Dr Glen Davies has won a top medical accolade, being named General Practitioner of the Year at this year's New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards.
Dr Davies was among the stars of primary healthcare celebrated last Saturday night at a black-tie awards ceremony in Auckland which showcased the innovations and collaborations from general practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, medical suppliers, practice manager, and researchers who are transforming primary healthcare throughout New Zealand.
There were 22 categories and the awards' supreme winner was Professor Bruce Arroll who is the head of Population Health at Auckland University, a director of the Goodfellow Unit, and a Manurewa GP.
Health Minister Andrew Little, who was a speaker, thanked everyone in primary care for their hard work through the coronavirus pandemic and talked about the restructured health system, saying the real measure of success of the new reforms will be the extent to which primary healthcare is improved.
"We need more ways that are relevant to different people. We need to see better, and different, and innovative things," said Mr Little.
Dr Davies, from Taupō Medical Centre, won the General Practitioner of the Year award for his engagement with diabetics and pre-diabetics and encouraging them to follow a low carb diet.
The judges noted that after significant research, Dr Davies established Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Taupō (RT2DT) group to promote a lifestyle that includes nutrient-rich whole unprocessed foods and natural fats, and avoids processed carbohydrates, industrial seed oils and sugar.
"Not only has he helped 103 of his patients reverse their type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, the RT2DT group is inspiring a whole community to take better care of their health."
Speaking to the Taupō & Tūrangi Weekender, Dr Davies paid tribute to the other category finalist Dr Lily Fraser, a GP from South Auckland, who also promotes a low carb diet to her patients who have a high Pasifika ethnicity.
"There are less than 100 general practitioners in the country who actively promote a low carb diet as a solution to diabetes. This award really demonstrates how powerful nutrition is when it comes to health," said Dr Davies.
"The award is an acknowledgement that we now have a tool that works. As Dr Fraser has demonstrated, diet is a tool that also works for Māori and Pasifika people."
For the Taupō community, Dr Davies said being awarded General Practitioner of the Year was also a reflection on the hard work carried out by RT2DT contributors Lee and Dean Tindle. He said the group helped people make "challenging" changes to their lifestyle.
He also said Taupō cafes had got on board, with many serving low carb or keto dishes.
"Taupō is now known as the Keto Capital of New Zealand."
People who want more information can contact the RT2DT group via Facebook messenger @ReverseT2DiabetesTaupō.