Suzanne keeps Pohlen hum­ming along

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

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

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