Branch Manager, Healthcare NZ Community Health, Tauranga (2014 recipient)

Healthcare NZ Community Health Tauranga Branch Manager, Peni Hillman had been thinking about studying for a few years but was put off by the thought of student loans and debt. So when the opportunity to gain further education through a HealthCare NZ scholarship came up, she jumped at the chance. Not originally from a health background, Peni was keen to learn more and chose to take on a three-year Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Māori Health at Massey University.

For anyone new to tertiary study, Massey offers a supporting course – Introduction to Academic Writing that really helps learners to understand what is expected of them and how to go about it. Peni found this course particularly useful at the beginning of her studies.

Still part way through her degree, the course has helped Peni to look at ways of improving services for Māori and attracting a larger number of Māori clients as well as an improvement in her Te Reo conversational skills.

Her studies have also taught Peni to look at the bigger picture of what Healthcare NZ Community Health does within the community – it has changed her focus from the day to day running of her branch, to thinking more about the services delivered within the community, and ways of improving these.

The HealthCare NZ scholarship has opened Peni’s eyes to all of the possibilities for her staff and she’s now encouraging them to take on further education so that they too can grow their skills. She has encouraged them to see a career pathway within the organisation; and the opportunities to work across other entities within HealthCare NZ.

“Within Healthcare NZ Community Health, I always thought I had room to grow, but now because of this scholarship, I realise there are other opportunities across entities within the organisation – this is very attractive.”

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