Third Age Health (NZX: TAH), a national primary healthcare provider for older people’s health has appointed a new chairperson and welcomes a new member to their Clinical Advisory Committee. The Committee was established in 2022 to find solutions to bridge the gap created by the growing health demand and quality of care improvement needs in aged care and for older New Zealanders in the community.

Dr Joanna Hikaka (Ngāruahine), a pharmacist and health researcher with clinical and research expertise in Māori health, health service development, and older adult health, has joined the committee. Her extensive experience and knowledge in medication management and care for older people will complement the diverse expertise of the thought leaders and experts from various clinical and academic backgrounds, including general practice, nursing, psychiatry, palliative care, innovation, user experience, and solution design.

Dr Jackie Broadbent, who has been a member of the committee for some time, has been appointed as the new Chair, replacing Dr Peter Zink, who stepped down to focus on his practice and Aged Residential Care commitments. Dr Broadbent is a highly respected geriatrician with extensive experience providing interdisciplinary care for older people and will lead the committee to ensure that the group stays true to its purpose and focuses on finding actionable solutions to the challenges facing the sector.

CEO Tony Wai said, “We’re excited to welcome Dr Hikaka to our Clinical Advisory and to have Dr Broadbent take over the role of Chair. Their expertise will be invaluable as we work to find solutions to enhance the Third Age Health model of care and improve healthcare for older people.

“We’re also grateful to Dr Zink for his contributions as Chair and wish him all the best in his practice and care commitments.”

The committee will continue to meet six times a year and has a programme of work that covers clinical services and outcomes, quality assurance and improvement, workforce development, education, risk management, and advocacy. The group will be expanded to include additional expertise as needed, including input from consumers.

Chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee, Dr Broadbent, said, “It is a privilege to be a part of this rōpū (Advisory Committee) and work with a dedicated group of professionals passionate about creating change in the care of older people. The challenges facing the sector are significant, and we need to work together to find solutions that can withstand the intersectionality of resource shortages, digital silos, and funding limitations.”

Third Age Health’s Clinical Change Advisor, Lucy Wu, said, “The addition of the new member as well as a new chair are a testament to the progress the committee has made so far. We are excited to continue our work and collaborate with experts to change the way we deliver healthcare and re-imagine what aging well looks like.”