Following over three years chairing the Well Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) Quality Improvement (QI) steering group, Michael McIlhone is officially stepping down from the role. “It’s been a real privilege and thoroughly enjoyable,” he says. “I take pride in the collective and meaningful work that the South Island WCTO has completed during this time.”
With a new WCTO QI facilitator taking over the role earlier this year, Michael felt it was an opportune time for new thinking and leadership. “Three years is a good time to evaluate my effectiveness and relevance to the group. Our previous facilitator, Anna Foaese, has done fantastic work over the years and I equally appreciate the enthusiastic and different perspective that our new facilitator, Marijke Dryfout, has brought with her.”
He says the voice of the consumer and Māori is imperative for WCTO QI, which has been well- served and represented over the past few years. While Michael resigned as chair earlier this year, he has been guiding and supporting the group over the COVID-19 response, until a new chair is appointed.
He says chairing the group is a juggling act between individual DHB priorities and the overall needs of whānau and pepi across the South Island. “There’s still plenty of work to be done on adapting, adopting and not reinventing the wheel if it’s already been done somewhere else. Over the years, I have enjoyed the collaboration and willingness of everyone from the South Island to contribute and learn from each other.”
Michael has an impressive 40-year nursing background and was appointed in his current role as Director of Nursing for Pegasus Health in November 2014. He also sits on several other committees and health care working groups, including the South Island Mental Health and Addictions Service Level Alliance, Nurse Executives of New Zealand, Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, Kaikoura Health Te Ha o Te Ora facility Clinical Leadership Group, Canterbury Clinical Network Leadership Team and the Canterbury Infection Prevention Control Executive Committee.