WDHB's re-established clinical board introduces new consumer reps

5 October 2015
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New WDHB Clinical Governance Board consumer representatives Carla Donson (left) and Dr Gill White
The Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) recently re-established Clinical Governance Board has two new consumer representatives - well known Whanganui Women’s Network manager Carla Donson and former midwife and retired professor with the Ministry of Health in Oman, Dr Gill White.
Following the board’s second meeting this week, chair Kim Fry said besides being delighted to have Ms Donson and Dr White on the board, she believed the decision to have two consumer reps rather than one, would auger well for the future.
“While WDHB, MidCentral DHB and Whanganui Regional Health Network employees bring huge value to the table, the two consumer reps have a special place in supporting the organisation’s patient and whanau-centred approach,” Ms Fry said.
“The community viewpoint that Carla and Gill will bring to the clinical board cannot be underestimated. When appropriate, they can take key messages from the board to the community and then feedback how they believe the community will view the direction we are considering. Essentially, their role is to ensure we remain in touch with the community we serve.”
Ms Fry said the board was humbled to have received applications from 14 very strong community candidates eager to add input and value to the board’s strategic focus across all DHB functions.
Meanwhile, Dr White said she felt very privileged to bring a consumer perspective to the decision-making of the clinical board. “My responsibility, as a board member, will be to use my background and experience in the health and education sectors effectively on behalf of the clients the board serves, and in the best interests of the organisation’s objectives, functions and intentions. I look forward to joining the clinical board to address clinical problems, through the building of constructive solutions and policies that really work for our community and the organisation.”
Ms Donson said having served the community in a variety of governance roles, as well as her current position as manager of the Women's Network, she’s excited to be working “at this level of representation” for the Whanganui District Health Board.  “Wearing this hat, along with my others as consumer and community representative for the local Maternity Quality and Safety Programme, and the national Maternity Consumer Advisory Group, I have a wonderful opportunity to advocate for the individuals and families/whanau who receive our health services. I genuinely believe our community and the health sector have to work in partnership to determine and shape how our health services are delivered.”
The 14-member Clinical Governance Board has also welcomed a further seven new members including WDHB surgical services clinical director Mark Stegmann, patient safety manager Lucy Dunlop, regional midwifery director Dr Leona Dann, nurse manager Wendy Stanbrook-Mason, clinical nurse manager Amanda van Elswijk, pharmacy manager Megan Geertson and Whanganui Regional Health Network board member Dr John McMenamin.
They join WDHB director of allied health Kim Fry, chief medical officer Dr Frank Rawlinson, geriatrician Dr John Rivers, director of nursing Sandy Blake and director of Māori Health Rowena Kui.