Suzanne keeps Pohlen humming along
Former Waikato Hospital Nurse Director Suzanne Lawes is settling into her new role as general manager at Pohlen Hospital.
She took over from outgoing general manager Greg Parker in August.
Reporting to a board is a new experience for Lawes, and a challenge she is enjoying.
Lawes’ roles at the Waikato District Health Board were varied, she was briefly a nurse on the children’s ward, then moved into a role that focused on the quality of nursing care across the organisation.
For the past six years she has been the Nurse Director of Waikato Hospital.
She says the idea of being involved in a hospital which is at the heart of a community was one of the attractions to the new job.
‘‘(When the position came up) I understood Pohlen is ‘owned by the community’ and Matamata is really proud of it. I was interested in coming to a job where it’s about the community; and the fact that this hospital is from the cradle to the grave.
‘‘It is a unique model and it works because of the hard work of the board, the staff and we attempt to be a one-stop shop.’’
Aged care is a new experience for Lawes, but she has faith in her staff who are widely experienced.
Lawes says the staff also have the understanding of what aged and end-of-life care means on an emotional level for the whole family, not just the resident.
‘‘In the six weeks I’ve been here, we have seen a few families go through the end-of-life experience and I haven’t seen any disap- pointment in the way we have journeyed with them.’’
Lawes speaks highly of the former manager Greg Parker and the way he managed the hospital.
She says it’s his processes that have enabled her to slide into the position with ease.
‘‘It was a nice time to come in because the hospital has shown that it is a sustainable business so I can start to look at what the health model might look like moving forward.
‘‘He put a lot of the infrastructure in and now I can put more of a team philosophy in.
‘‘People don’t come for the building, people.
‘‘We are now looking at how we will run Pohlen in 2025 and around what workforce we will require to do this.
‘‘I really welcome having so many of our staff born and brought up in Matamata.’’ they come for the