PMA Scholar: Pursuing a grandfather’s dream in medicine

Twenty-year-old Lorenzo Havili remembers his grandfather always wanting one of his grandchildren to become a doctor. As the eldest of five siblings and the first person in his family to attend university, he decided it was up to him to pursue the medical dream. “My grandad is an inspiration for me. Before he passed away,… Read more »

Tofilau Bernadette Pereira: Queens Birthday Honour a recognition of a shared life journey

From providing sewing machines to women in Samoan villages so they can earn money to advocating for Pacific women at the United Nations. These are some of the many causes Tofilau Bernadette Pereira has championed throughout her life, which was recognised at this year’s Queen’s birthday honours, for her services to women and the Pacific… Read more »

Celebrating the Success of Our Medical Schools

International evidence suggests it is helpful for a nation’s health workforce to mirror the diversity in the population of its communities.  The global literature is unequivocal that concordance between the health care provider and user (patient) improves patient outcomes.  Health care users (patients) also report positive experiences of their interactions with health care providers of… Read more »

Over 73,000 Pacific people supported throughout COVID 19 crisis

As the country moves to Alert Level One the Pasifika Medical Association through Pasifika Futures – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families, reflects on the colossal effort from Covid 19 Support Partners who tirelessly worked throughout all the Alert levels to serve our most vulnerable Pacific families. The impact of this work: 17,755… Read more »

PMA SCHOLAR: Caring for grandmother, the inspiration for nursing career

As a 13-year-old, Simione Tagicakibau helped care for his fragile and ill grandmother in his homeland of Fiji. Now at 35, that experience as a teenager continues to inspire Simione in his nursing career and fuels his passion to care for the Pasifika community. “During my experience with my grandmother, I saw how the nurses did… Read more »

PMA Scholar: Success through adversity a testament to parents sacrifice

Twenty-six-year-old medical student Supilate Mikaele is the recipient of the Pasifika Medical Association’s Dr Leopino Foliaki University of Auckland Scholarship. Graduating from a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) from The University of Auckland School of Medicine she says it’s been a tough journey but the scholarship is an acknowledgement of her… Read more »

New norm funerals may be a long-term option for Pacific community

The Pacific community can be applauded for complying with strict funeral limitations during Covid-19 and embracing new ways to farewell our loved ones, says leading funeral director Francis Tipene. Last Friday 29 May, the New Zealand Government relaxed social distancing restrictions at funerals, which began at the start of lockdown to members of the deceased’s… Read more »

PMA Scholar: Pacific support network inspires success in health sector

After graduating from a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) at the University of Otago School of Medicine in December 2019, twenty-six-year-old David Nair has been working as a first-year health surgeon at Christchurch Hospital. He’s also the recipient of the Pasifika Medical Association’s Papali’i Dr Semisi Ma’ia’i University of Otago Scholarship… Read more »

PMA scholar: Gagana Samoa builds trust in patient-doctor relationship

Junior doctor at Middlemore Hospital, Tuipoloa Opetaia Aati is using his mother tongue — Samoan — to break down cultural barriers in medicine to help connect with his patients and better understand their medical needs or diagnosis. He has at least one medical consultation in Samoan a week and is happy he can be a… Read more »

PMA Scholar: Continuing a legacy of service

For Samoan nursing student Phyllein Pauli Taetafe, it’s learning from the failures in her life that have made her successful. The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) scholarship recipient admits her secondary education years were challenging at Otahuhu College, where she was part of the inaugural Science Technology English and Maths (STEM) programme, an initiative supported by… Read more »