New RWHS midwifery director well placed for role

From left to right: Elysia McKay with baby Quylla, regional midwifery director Leona Dann and midwife Lynn Richardson.
19 July 2013
Recently appointed regional midwifery director Leona Dann is enjoying meeting Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) midwifery team.
Mrs Dann says she’s been made to feel very welcome in Whanganui and, in Taihape and Waimarino where she and Regional Women’s Health Service change manager Janine Ingram recently met with midwives working in the region’s rural areas.
“It helped us appreciate the challenges that our geographically remote areas experience and to hear first hand from the midwives who live and work there,” Mrs Dann said. “It’s a trip all new maternity staff should experience in order to appreciate the complexities of providing maternity care for these women and their families/whanau.”
Mrs Dann says there are many parts to her role – all of them linked to promoting the best quality maternity service to women and their whanau who access hospitals/birthing units provided by the WDHB and MidCentral DHB. Providing advice on professional midwifery matters while implementing the Regional Women’s Health goal of “one service, one population” is another area of focus for her.
“I will continue to support the development and maintenance of a midwifery practice culture which is based on the principles of evidence, professionalism, clinical best practice, continuous quality improvement, woman-centred practice and interdisciplinary teamwork,” Mrs Dann says.
“It’s vital to be constantly reviewing the maternity care we provide to women, what went well, what could be improved and what changes are required to achieve this. This includes having the right midwife, at the right time providing care where the woman is accessing the service.
“I am passionate about midwifery and will often be heard advocating for midwives and the women in our care. I believe in, and promote, one of the best maternity models of care in the world where continuity of care is important for the woman and her whanau.
Mrs Dann has experience working in primary care as a Lead Maternity Care Midwife (LMC) and midwifery in a secondary care hospital. She had a strong rural focus while working as an LMC assisting women to birth at their venue of choice (including home).
She was appointed MidCentral Health charge midwife in 2003 followed by part-time midwifery director and part-time charge midwife from 2008 to the present.