Pegasus2025 – The Future of Health Challenge 2022

The Future of Health Challenge, held with the support of Pegasus Health and Te Papa Hauora, had students from the Universities of Canterbury, Otago, and Ara collaborating over the course of a weekend to tackle challenges facing the healthcare system 

“A Pegasus Health-backed event where students solve pressing real-world health challenges shows the promise and innovation of our future workforce,” said Director of Nursing and Allied Health, Michael McIlhone. 

Teams had two days to develop innovative proposals focused on one of three areas:

  • The recruitment, education, and retention of an effective health workforce 
  • Improving the equity of delivery of health services and equity of outcomes for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand 
  • Reducing the strain on our healthcare system by improving well-being and health in the wider community. 

 Michael was one of the mentors who helped teams hone their ideas. Pegasus Health General Manager Lisa Brennan was a judge, and board member Ben Kepes mentored students. 

“This is a great initiative and a very enjoyable programme to be part of. The projects very much have what it takes to influence future decision-making in health care,’’ said Michael.  

“Pegasus Health has a long-term commitment to supporting this programme and investing in both the next generation of healthcare professionals, and the development of innovative solutions to meet population needs. The calibre of ideas was so high Pegasus Health doubled the $2000 first prize money to allow for two winners, said Michael. 

They were: 

  • Acorn: A programme to enable nurses educated overseas to identify and fill any gaps in their experience or education so they can become quickly and effectively become registered nurses in New Zealand to alleviate chronic shortages in the aged care sector.
  • Hapū Hub: A maternal health and support hub built from the ground up to recognise the role of community, te ao Māori and close the gap in health outcomes for mothers. The model could also be used for other communities and areas of health. 

Photo caption: 

Winners: Acorn – Left to right: Lisa Brennan, Sophie MacLaren, Kirsten Gunn, Kylie Short, Pete Townsend