One of the country's largest primary health organisations – Auckland's ProCare – has appointed its first ever nursing director.
Lorraine Hetaraka-Stevens began her new role today as nursing director for the ProCare primary health organisation, which has about 500 GPs and 600 nurses, and more than 800,000 enrolled patients.
ProCare clinical director Dr Allan Moffitt says the PHO took some time to select the right candidate for this position because nursing leadership was "integral to the future of general practice and primary care in New Zealand".
Hetaraka-Stevens comes to her new position from Auckland DHB where she was associate director of nursing and an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Auckland's School of Nursing. She is the last appointment to ProCare's clinical directorate of six clinical leaders.
The former nurse leader for Tamaki PHO is also a clinical teacher and mentor for Māori nurses and other health professionals, including her work with Ngā Manukura o Āpōpō. Moffitt says Hetaraka-Stevens has been an effective change manager, especially in the area of Māori workforce development which includes her work with Ngā Manukura o Āpōpō, and sits on several national committees, including the Ministry of Health’s Primary Care Nurses Advisory Group. She is also a competency assessor for the Nursing Council.
Dr Moffitt says Hetaraka-Stevens has a good understanding of general practice and the issues facing nurses on the front line: “Lorraine is passionate about primary care, especially the role nursing can play". She will continue as a member of ProCare’s Māori Advisory Committee.