Inspiration, validation and motivation for recipients of 2019 Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarships

Twenty-one students from a wide variety of health studies received Pegasus Health scholarships last night (Tuesday 14 May) at a community event held at Tūranga.

Vince Barry, CEO of Pegasus Health says “Each year, as we award these scholarships, I am so impressed by the work of the applicants and the challenges some of them have overcome to be studying health. Yet again we have a tremendously wide diversity of personal stories behind each success. Pegasus Health is proud to support them in their quests.” says Vince Barry.

Personal health issues inspirational

Meihana Ngatai’s nursing journey has been deeply touched by personal health issues. He had to undergo a three and a half year treatment plan for leukaemia from the age of 15 and he still remembers the professionalism and empathy of staff at Christchurch Hospital. His treatment successfully finished two years ago.

He takes his inspiration for nursing from this experience and a desire to help Māori gain better access to the health care they need. Meihana is particularly keen to work in mental health in rural settings where resources for Māori are especially limited.

He feels that enabling Māori to access these services rurally will contribute to the overall use of services and therefore enhance Māori health outcomes.

“I’d really like to increase Māori representation in the health workforce,” says Meihana who is in his final year of nursing study at Ara. The financial benefit of the scholarship will certainly help him reach his goal.

Great validation of efforts

Keke Avia wanted to work with people and saw a need in Pasifika social work. The 3rd year student feels the scholarship has provided extra incentive to continue with her social work studies.

“It is great validation of what I’ve been doing and really supportive,” says Keke.

She is currently in a placement in the General Medicine ward at Christchurch Hospital and hopes to investigate work with older people or Oranga Tamariki once qualified. The scholarship has also helped her make connections.

“Networking with others in health creates a much greater awareness of opportunities out there,” says Keke.

Primary health care focus

Deepti Raturi says she was always interested in health care.

The third year nursing student really enjoyed biology at school and when she learned that her mother was quite unwell as a child, Deepti’s desire to care for others grew.

Born in a small northern Indian town, Dehradun, Deepti, her mother and siblings joined her father in New Zealand when she was 15 years old. After completing three years at Marian College in Christchurch, Deepti worked full time for six months to build up funds before starting her nursing studies. She still combines casual work at Vbase with her current work placement at the 24 Hour Surgery and study. The scholarship will provide some welcome financial support.

“I can’t do paid work at the same level now that I am on placement. I’ll use the scholarship to pay for Nursing State Final fees in July and some extra resources,” says Deepti.

Following completion of her studies, Deepti would like to work as a practice nurse in primary care.

“The thing I most enjoy about my career choice is the chance to empower patients with knowledge. Primary care is the perfect place to share this knowledge, where you have the time and opportunity to work with them,” says Deepti.

Pegasus Health established the Māori scholarships in 2001 and followed up with Pasifika scholarships in 2007. Scholarships for CALD health students became available in 2014.

Photo Above: Pasifika  Scholarship Recipients

From left to right:

Keke Avia (Social Work), Danni Ryan (Medicine); Marita Naoupu (Nursing); Raina Tekii (Nursing); Ateca Sher (Nursing); Theresa Fitzpatrick (Medicine). Absent: Lynley Bowler (Nursing)

Photo Above: CALD Scholarship Recipients

From left to right:

Minien (Jessie) Cheng (Nursing); Sirwan Mohamadi (Social Work); Deepti Raturi (Nursing); Jan Dela Cruz (Nursing); Salaamah Shah (Nursing); Sanil Karithadathil Sahadevan (Nursing).

Absent: Hafsa Abdulhamad (Nursing)

Photo Above: Māori Scholarship Recipients

From left to right:

Tea Elliott (Ngāi Tahu, Te Arawa, Kāti Māmoe) – Medicine; Shahana Truscott (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine) – Nursing; Te Koha Russo-Greig (Ngāpuhi) – Midwifery, Jimi MacMillan (Ngāti Awa) – Medicine, Courtney Sullivan (Ngāti Awa) – Medicine, Vanilla Tillman (Uenuku, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) – Social Work, Meihana Ngatai (Ngāi Te Rangi) – Nursing .