Programme is subject to change. Information will be added as it comes available.

The "NZRGPN National Rural Health Conference 2019, Blenheim" activities have been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and have been approved for up to 19.25 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.


Thursday 4 April


Preconference day

8.00am - 5.30pm  Registration desk open
Marlborough Convention Centre Foyer
4.00pm - 6.00pm Exhibition pack in
7.00pm  Doctors' and nurses' dinner
Yard Bar, 30 Maxwell Street


8.30am - 1.30pm

Rural Hospital Medicines update, AGM and Registrar Training Day 

4.00pm - 5.00pm 

Te Roopu Arahi Hui 

5.00pm - 7.00pm NZRGPN board meeting


10.00am - 5.00pm Third Annual Rural Research Day: who do we serve?

The Rural Chapter of the New Zealand Royal College of GPs calls for submissions of abstracts and posters for its Third Annual Rural Research Day: who do we serve? 

The theme for this years Rural Research Day is "who do we serve", looking at how we can focus our research to benefit our rural and indigenous communities and on the ownership of that research. 

Presentations should be on "rural health research", those wishing to present posters will be asked to speak to their posters for 3-5 minutes during the lunch break. 

We are excited to say there will be prizes on offer for the best Registrar presentation ($500), Student presentation ($250) and best poster ($250)!!    

To Submit your abstract please email Jenny,  Deadline for submissions is 3rd March.

Cost: $25 for students and registrars, $85 for everyone else, includes lunch and afternoon tea

10.00am - 12.00pm Talking about alcohol
Facilitated by John McMenamin and Sinéad McCarthy, Health Promotion Agency

Do you find it sometimes difficult to talk to your patients about alcohol?

This workshop will help you. We will present a straightforward way of thinking about alcohol as risk, harm or dependence, and present options for detecting alcohol issues both by screening and in clinical situations. We will help you identify if your patient is not motivated to address alcohol, might be thinking about it, or could be ready to change right now, and give you simple approaches to feel confident in each of those conversations. We will include motivational approaches for use with your Maori patients.

This is a non-threatening workshop, easy to participate, and you will leave with practical skills which you can  try out on return to your practice.

Cost: $30, includes morning tea

10.00am - 12.30pm  'Your community needs you to be prepared'.  Developing sustainability to manage your communities.
Facilitated by Deb Fitzpatrick, Order of St John

Are you and your organisation well trained and prepared for a disaster?

New Zealand lies in the Pacific 'Ring of Fire', a zone that encircles the base of the Pacific Ocean, making us particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  As an island nation in the 'roaring forties', we are also exposed to the risk of tsunami, storms and flooding.  In addition, other hazards such as fire, pandemic or terrorism have the potential to cause widespread damage and take lives. 

An Emergo Train System (ETS) exercise is an excellent opportunity in real time and without clinical risk for you to test processes and plans already in place or to develop required plans from the evidence gained from your exercise. 

A realistic scenario has been created for you, your team and fellow colleagues to test your practice preparedness now and to enhance moving forward sustainability managing across your communities.  This is an excellent opportunity for clinicians and rural practices to test their response plans for a significant emergency event, a pandemic scenario. 

Following your ETS exercise, players will have the opportunity for a hot debrief to discuss their exercise experiences and therefore moving forward to update or create new plans to enhance sustainability for their organisation and their communities. 

Cost: $30, includes morning tea

2.00pm - 5.00pm  Infant Resuscitation Workshop

Facilitated by Dr. Stephen Robinson

I'm a paediatrician with in interest in teaching life support. This will be a short session on newborn life support in an out of hospital setting. I'll cover some theory and will talk about and demonstrate current practice in newborn life support. Skills covered will be airway manoeuvres, bag-valve mask ventilation and will touch on premature as well as term infant resuscitation.

Due to the number of people wishing to participate in this workshop, the workshop will be 80 minutes long and repeated to ensure everyone can have more of a hands on experience. 

Cost: $30, includes afternoon tea

2.00pm - 5.00pm How to start managing and intensifying insulin 
Facilitated by Sanofi 

This workshop will cover;
- Starting insulin sooner rather than later
- Overcoming the barriers to taking insulin 
- Starting insulin
- Intensification options
- Insulin titration, basal plus, basal bolus & Premix
- Managing Sick day & travel
- Managing Type 1 patients in primary care
- Managing patients with renal disease taking insulin 
- Managing patients taking steroids and insulin

Cost: $30, includes afternoon tea

2.00pm - 4.00pm Nurses workshop

45 minute presentation from Michelle Boltz followed by nurses skills session

Cost: $30, includes afternoon tea

Followed by Rural Nurses NZ AGM


Friday 5 April

8.30am Conference opening
9.15am Minister of Health address
Dr David Clark
10.00am Rural District Health Boards and Health Workforce Production:  Can New Zealand lead the world?
Paul Worley
Australian Rural Health Commissioner

10.45am Morning tea
11.15am Trends in Type 2 Diabetes in New Zealand
Bryan Betty, Pharmac
Prostate Cancer Care for the Rural Healthcare Professional
Andrew Williams, Auckland Dhb, Moh, Prostate Cancer Foundation
Pioneers: Nurses Responding to the Changing Health Care Context
Jean Ross, Otago Polytechnic and Josie Crawley
Update on the National School of Rural Health
Felicity Goodyear-Smith, University of Auckland and Garry Nixon, University of Otago
Medtech update
12.00pm Developing cultural competence in a rural DHB: Early experiences of introducing the Takarangi competency framework
Brittany Jenkins, West Coast Dhb
Medicines Adherence – Are there unique issues for rural locations?
Dale Griffiths, Zoom Care

Caring in the community - changing tides
Siran Carter, Hospice Mid Northland
Whakakotahi and Turanga Health: reaching out into rural communities 
Jane Cullen, Health Quality & Safety Commission
Achieving Financial Independence
Rowena Millar, MFAS
12.40pm Lunch  
1.45pm Physician Associates in New Zealand: Where Are We Now?
Alexandra Kayat, New Zealand Physician Associate Society and Tiffany Hodgson, New Zealand Physician Associate Society
PRIME update Outback Australia
Juliana Williams, Te tai tokerau PHO

Creating Sustainable Rural health models utilising all the benefits a PHO has to Offer
Jude Macdonald, Whanganui Regional Health Network
Transitioning of Ashburton Hospital to a fully generalist medical model of care: a case study
Steve Withington, University of Otago

Golden Bay Community Health - Our story over the last five years as we settle into our new Integrated Health Care Facility in rural NZ
Hannah Cummins, Golden Bay Community Health
2.30pm 45 Years of Obstetrics in a Rural Hospital
Clare Ward, Hauora Hokianga
What's new in Cardiology 2019 
Dr Joan Leighton, Heart Foundation and 
Gerry Devlin, Heart Foundation
Injury prevention
Why an Interprofessional Program learning experience in the Eastern Bay is benefiting students and communities
Yvonne Boyes, Bay of Plenty District Heath Board
Navigating the immigration pathway to attract and retain migrant practitioners
Craig Walsh, Immigration New Zealand

3.10pm Afternoon tea
3.45pm Keynote TBC
4.30pm Health Care Home - retaining the rural values, extended care teams and staying connected
John Macaskill-Smith, Pinnacle - Ventures
5.15pm - 6.30pm Welcome function
6.30pm - 10.30pm Pat Farry Trust Fundraiser - 'She Shears' film screening

Saturday 6 April

7.30am Medtech breakfast session

ACC breakfast session
General Practice Connect project
9.00am Nurse Practitioners: Providing Sustainable Care Across Diverse Rural Populations In The USA
Dr Michelle Boltz
Nurse Practitioner, Montana, USA
Kindly sponsored by Mobile Health

9.45am Ki te kotahi te kakano ka whati, ki te kapuia, e kore e whati. When we stand alone we are vulnerable but together we are unbreakable. 
Isolation and connection in rural and remote mental health. An emergency for men.
Dr Hinemoana Elder
Professor of Indigenous Health Research at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and the Maori Strategic Leader for the Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) for the Ageing Brain
10.30am Morning tea
11.00am Rethinking depression and anxiety
Bruce Arroll, Goodfellow Unit
Sanofi workshop- Adolescent Type 2 diabetes 
Dr John Wilson, Endocrinologist 
Evaluating a model of delivering specialist palliative care services to a rural New Zealand community
Amanda Landers, Nurse Maude Association

Type One Strong: What my 8 year old would like you to know about diabetes
Marcelane Ballantyne, SCDHB
Medicolegal Issues in Rural Practice – the challenges of geographical isolation
Lucy Gibberd, MPS
11.45am Provision of chemotherapy in a rural hospital using an outreach model: Clinical audit and service review
Jane Wright, Ashburton & Rural Health Services
Sanofi workshop -  Overcoming the barriers to taking insulin
Dr Liesje Donkin, Clinical and health psychologist 
Rongoa Maori in the age of antimicrobial resistance: Light at the end of the tunnel?
Sarah Clarke, Northland DHB and Vijaya Rajakrishnan, University of Auckland

Community Engaged General Practice
Ross Lawrenson, The University of Waikato

The culture in Medicine and Nursing. Different, yet similar
Chelsea Willmott, Empowering Education and Dr Lucy O'Hagan
12.25pm Lunch
1.30pm Technological innovations for mental health: Are they making accessing a clinician remotely possible?
Leigh Anderson, NZ College of Clinical Psychologists
Bladder Cancer and Cxbladder: My experience as both a patient and GP
Tony Birch
Urban vs. rural health disparities in NZ. Can we conclude anything from the data?
Garry Nixon, University of Otago

Maori use of Health Services from a Work & Income perspective
Ann Dysart, Ministry of Social Development
Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship Experience
Tash Austin, Pat Farry Trust & Mark Owen-Cooper
2.15pm 'It's rare, but it's there': Diagnosing Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer
Dr Tristan Pettit, Aya Cancer Network Aotearoa
Improving equitable access to services that support mental health and wellbeing in a rural setting
Brian O'connell, Homecare Medical
Addressing mental health and lifestyle issues in Te Tai Tokerau youth, a co-design bicultural approach
Rhiannon Martel, University of Auckland
Undergraduate Rural Health Immersion Education: Good Medicine or Professional Placebo?
Emma Bilous, Otago Polytechnic
the Grow Your Own Rural Schools Visits program
Ben Alsop-ten Hove, Grassroots Rural Health Club
3.00pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm Keynote presentation
Dame Tariana Turia
4.15pm Future Student Leaders in Rural Health
Ben Alsop-ten Hove & Jibi Kunnethedam
5.00pm Conference close
7.00pm - 12.00pm Conference and awards dinner 

Sunday 7 April

9.00am - 12.00pm Network breakfast forum
10.00am - 12.00pm Student breakfast forum


 Breakfast session, Conference dinner, Coffee lounge
 Satchel and workshop   Water bottle and fill stations