Health students supported by Scholarships
This year’s Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarships were awarded to 23 students from a wide variety of health studies at a community event on Thursday 31 May.
Pegasus Health established the Māori scholarships in 2001 and followed up with Pacific scholarships in 2007. Scholarships for CALD health students became available in 2014. Health students who identify as Māori, Pasifika or from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, studying medicine, nursing or allied health are invited to apply for the scholarships.
Seungjun Lee, known as Steve to his friends, has just finished a nine week work placement in Ward 19 at Christchurch Hospital. The placement is part of his Bachelor of Nursing Degree. Choosing exactly which area of nursing to focus on once he completes his degree is going to be hard for Steve who has volunteered and worked in many health areas from the deaf community to aged residential care and supporting people with autism.
“I have really enjoyed all my work experiences. In my last placement I was able to watch a patient having surgery and then be responsible for helping them through their post-operative care. I was impressed that the nurses had so much knowledge and they were willing to share it with me. The teamwork was amazing. My intention though, has always been to help people with disabilities. I’m so glad I chose nursing as a career,” says Steve.
Medical student Lucy Munro has a deeply personal interest in healthcare. As the oldest tamaiti in her whānau, Lucy was around while her mother was pregnant and during the birth process (with her siblings). She has enjoyed helping with them as they grew.
After studying health science for a year in Dunedin, Lucy decided she wanted a more ‘hands-on’ medical career. She is currently in her fifth year of medical study and will graduate as a doctor at the end of 2019.
“I’m looking forward to moving more towards the practical application of my knowledge,” says Lucy who plans to go on to specialise in obstetrics which she finds “fascinating”. She is also keen to help make health care for Māori and Pasifika people easier to use.
Currently living in her home town of Christchurch, Lucy has plans for a rural general practice placement and a medical elective in Tanzania next year.
“The plan was always to come home and practice medicine in Christchurch. The rural placement and overseas elective will be wonderful experiences. However, they do cost and that’s where the Pegasus scholarship will be so useful,” says Lucy.
One scholarship recipient, Raina Tekii will be using his skills in the area of mental health nursing. At last night’s ceremony Raina spoke of the support he had received from his tutors and family as he “battled his way through” his Bachelor of Nursing Degree. He also said that being a Pasifika male in what was predominately a career for Pakeha and females, was quite daunting but highlighted the need for more Pasifika and Māori males in nursing.
Suli Tuitaupe, who is already a Registered Nurse and is about to complete a Master of Health Sciences, said he was looking forward to using his clinical expertise to advocate for Pasifika health.
“My voyage of becoming a Pasifika nurse has the goal of improving health equity for all,” says Suli.
Māori Scholarship recipients:
Māori scholarships: Matthew Sollis (Medicine), Nikola Fraser (Medicine), Lucy Munro (Medicine), Kylie Walker (Nursing), Leigh McConchie Nursing), Savanah Stewart (Medical Imaging), Talei Stuart-Eason (Social Work).
Pacific Scholarship recipients:
Mosana Evagelia (Medicine), Raina Tekii (Nursing), Marita Naoupu (Nursing), Jessica Tolo (Nursing), Faamele Tuipulotu (Psychology/ Education), Samsara Guillemot-Mene (Science/ Psychology), Alice Makaafi (Speech/ Language), Suli Tuitaupe (Health Sciences).
CALD scholarships recipients:
Kemintra Phongkaso (Nursing), Rakhi Kuttikattu Prakash (Nursing), Dilsa Davis (Nursing), Seungjun Lee (Nursing), Maria Zawari (Medical Imaging), Sirwan Mohamadi (Social Work), Phillipa Muza (Health Science), Zane Stankuna (Science Nutrition).