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About Community and Public Health/ Nga Korero Ra

Community and Public Health (formerly known as Crown Public Health) serves as the Public Health Unit (PHU) for three District Health Boards:

  • Canterbury District Health Board (Canterbury DHB);
  • South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB); and
  • West Coast District Health Board (WCDHB).

Community and Public Health provides public health services to those people living in these three regions as well as the Chatham Islands, and is a division of the Canterbury District Health Board (Canterbury DHB).

Over 120 staff are located at offices in Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru and Greymouth. They aim to create environments, policies, communities, and families/whānau that support healthy choices and lifestyles.

Visit the Canterbury District Health Board website for information on other divisions or departments including the Public Health Nursing Service, and School and Community Dental Services.

Community and Public Health’s goal is: Improved health and wellbeing based on Te Tiriti, equity, and planetary wellbeing.

The principles of Community and Public Health’s work are:

  • Focusing on the health of communities rather than individuals;
  • Influencing health determinants;
  • Prioritising improvements in Māori health;
  • Reducing health disparities;
  • Basing practice on the best available evidence;
  • Building effective partnerships across the health sector and other sectors; and
  • Remaining responsive to new and emerging health threats.

COVID-19 is new a public health priority for Community and Public Health to address alongside our existing priorities.

Community and Public Health works on collaborative projects and initiatives with councils, government agencies, community organisations, and other members of the health sector like PHOs.

Community and Public Health programmes for the 2020/21 financial year.

Local public health response to novel coronavirus COVID-19

Community and Public Health stood up their EOC in just two hours in late January 2020 in response to COVID-19 with staff ceasing ‘business as usual’ work. Every effort, hour and individual has been focused on the response since then, and will likely be the last organisation to wind down. Our staff have been involved in the local COVID-19 response in many ‘behind the scenes’ ways across Canterbury, South Canterbury, West Coast and the Chatham Islands.

How Community and Public is structured

Community and Public Health is divided into teams that reflect regional diversity and core public health functions.

Change in leadership at Community and Public Health

Canterbury DHB CEO Update: 21st June 2021

This week marks the end of an era as the leader of Community and Public Health, Evon Currie is retiring. Evon has had a strong influence in the public health space locally, regionally and nationally.

Canterbury DHB CEO Peter Bramley said that Evon has “done an amazing job of building and supporting the Public Health team. You and the team have played such integral roles in our community’s response to COVID-19 over the past year and a bit – not to mention every other communicable disease outbreak that’s occurred over the past 24 years. All the best Evon for this next phase of your life.”

Tanya McCall was announced as the interim Executive Director at Community and Public Health. Tanya is of Cook Islands Māori (Aitutaki) and Samoan (Siusega) descent. She has considerable experience in the health sector and in the Pasifika community and has worked for the Canterbury DHB since February 2003 in a variety of roles but most recently as the Manager of the Policy Team and Health Protection Team (Environment).

Tanya holds a number of governance roles across the health sector particularly focused on Pasifika and Public Health and is a public health consultant to the Ministry of Health in the Cook Islands. Tanya’s compassion and empathy for public health and Pasifika communities are evident in her work.

Teams in the Canterbury office of Community and Public Health

The main office in Christchurch has the largest number of staff and so is arranged into the following work streams to provide the core public health functions:

  • Communities – working to prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes by addressing the behavioural and environmental risk factors, through environments and schools sub-teams.
  • Information – identifying and providing information about the population’s health status, including what factors affect health. Includes an Information Systems sub-team.
  • Policy – using the Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach and health impact assessment (HIA) to influence change.
  • Protection – protecting health and wellbeing in communities, with environmental health and communicable disease sub-teams.
  • Smokefree ABC – providing smoking cessation support at Canterbury DHB hospitals and facilities.

The Canterbury office also provides services for the Chatham Islands and hosts the staff responsible for the All Right? wellbeing campaign.

Regional Offices: working hard for their communities

There are also regional staff meeting the specific public health needs of their respective communities:

  • Mid-Canterbury – based in Ashburton;
  • South Canterbury – based in Timaru; and
  • West Coast – based in Greymouth.
Page last updated: 22/06/2021

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