The week-long conference [27 Sep – 2 Oct] is the largest respiratory meeting in the world, bringing together professionals from all areas of respiratory medicine.
Mrs Rapana, who was one of two successful recipients of an Asthma New Zealand scholarship to attend ERS 2019, says it was an honour to be selected.
“It’s great the work we’re doing in the community has been recognised and reflected in the awarding of this scholarship,” she says.
“Without the support Te Arawa Whānau Ora has given through the Whaimua respiratory project, we may not have had the opportunity to bring national awareness to the significance of using this model in health.
“The current model doesn’t suit Māori, so it’s time we look at how we can achieve better self-management for those with long-term conditions. Australia use the Flinders model which has proven highly successful for engaging with Aboriginal people in health. The Whānau Ora model is similar but works for Māori.”
Mrs Rapana says she is excited to attend the conference to learn the latest research from overseas and bring it back to the community.
“The conference is huge – boasting over 500 workshops and presentations, and I’m looking forward to being able to deliver up-to-date research and education to local GPs and nurses when I return. This is aimed to have a flow-on effect in the best respiratory treatments that trickle down to our whānau.
“I’ll be representing Korowai Aroha and Te Arawa Whānau Ora’s kaupapa Māori services at the conference, so this is a great networking opportunity to share the model we’ve developed within the Whaimua respiratory programme.”
ERS 2019 provides a scientific and educational programme to address the needs of researchers, clinicians, general practitioners and allied health professionals. The event will also benefit Mrs Rapana’s role on the National PHARMAC respiratory inhalers advisory committee.
“Having access to world-class education and up-to-date medication information is fantastic. Combining this with a whānau-determined health journey and supporting the things that matter most to them is what really matters.”