A young nurse serving the high-needs Aranui community in east Christchurch has won an award for emerging health care leaders.
Hannah Laughton, a neighbourhood nurse working for the Aranui Community Trust, received the Health Quality and Safety Commission's Open for Leadership award from Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne earlier this month.
Laughton, who only graduated three years ago, had worked hard to build relationships in the Aranui community and kept health consumers and their families at the centre of everything she did, said Dave Meates, the chief executive of Canterbury District Health Board.
“Hannah has developed links with a multitude of local providers, including General Practice teams, schools, Non-Government Agencies, Public Health, Social Welfare providers and most importantly the families of the community themselves, and all the while as the sole registered nurse in a geographical area that has its own unique challenges.”
The HQSC leadership awards aim to recognize and celebrate the work of emerging health care leaders who have made a difference to patient care.
The initiative of the young nurse was praised by her mentor, Director of Nursing for Pegasus Health, Michael McIlhone who nominated her for the award. “As a young RN, Hannah has actively sought out mentorship and inclusion in to a multitude of forums and as a result of this she has established significant links and presence in the local community, no easy task,” said McIlhone.
Aranui has had a neighbourhood nurse since 2003 when former nurse academic Jackie Cooper won funding for a three-year pilot project to deliver health care from a base at the community trust's office as well as reaching out to local schools and early childhood centres. When funding ran out the Trust went hunting for alternative funding sources and Laughton follows in the footsteps of other Aranui neighbourhood nurses including Jenny Herring
Laughton is also chair of the Aranui Health Networking Forum that brings together different agencies that work in the area to share information and pool resources. She received a trophy and will also be sponsored to attend an upcoming HQSC event.