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CHT Events & News


CHT welcomes new staff members

CHT Healthcare Trust has recently welcomed three highly-experienced new staff members to the organisation, all in senior roles, two Unit Managers and a Maintenance Manager. Take a moment to learn a bit more about Nicki, Jodi and Hendrick.

Nicki Wallace – Unit Manager, CHT Royal Oak

As a Registered Nurse, Nicki has worked all over the world, even working as the head nurse looking after the Sheikh of Dubai. The past 10 years have seen Nicki move into management in aged care facilities and when she’s not working you’ll find her in the great outdoors. Nicki believes ‘we are all different and we each have different skill sets to contribute. A smile and kind words go a long way’.

Jodi Botting – Unit Manager, CHT Amberlea

With over 25 years nursing experience, Jodi brings extensive knowledge in both the clinical field and in management. But when she’s not at work, you’ll find her spending time with family, as well as taking her dog for walks, enjoying the beach, reading a good book, and finding somewhere for a great coffee!

Hendrick Churr – Maintenance Manager

Originally from South Africa, Hendrick has more than 10 years’ experience in the maintenance industry, holding senior positions at very large companies. The ever-changing environment within his role and interaction with the residents is what he enjoys most about his role at CHT. In his spare time Hendrick likes reading, camping and spending time with his family.

CHT Focus on Care Awards 2019

Each year the CHT Focus on Care Awards celebrate the very best in quality care, innovation and staff excellence. The 2019 Award are no exception, with inspiring winners standing out as worthy recipients who had clearly put considerable effort into their entries.

Registered Staff Award

Ana Figuerres, Registered Nurse at CHT Glynavon investigated the reasons for weight loss and reduced interaction amongst Alzheimer’s dementia residents. After determining the role sleeplessness played in energy levels, interest in food and interaction with others, a simple programme was introduced which led to improvements in food intake and time with others.

Non-Registered Staff Award

A non-clinical perspective on caring for our residents and providing excellent customer service, was the winning formula for this Award, submitted by Sylvia van Dyke, Receptionist at CHT. The judges were impressed by the level of research about dementia that underpinned the entry and for identifying the pivotal role a receptionist plays in our facilities.

Unit Award

This year’s winner, CHT Te Awamutu, put considerable effort into building a relationship with their local school and over five visits to the facility the children were encouraged to build intergenerational relationships, reinforcing the commitment to connection for our residents with their communities. From sharing morning tea, to games and activities, to the children interviewing and writing the life stories of residents, the programme was a collaborative approach that brought to life meaningful connections.

Manager of the Year – Runner Up

With impressive tenacity, courage and dedication, Unit Manager Jenny Vollmer has steered her facility through many changes and challenges and enhanced the culture at CHT St Johns since relocating to New Zealand from the UK in 2006.

Manager of the Year

Wynonna Faustino, Unit Manager at CHT Peacehaven, has performed very well against KPIs and leads a passionate team using her strong relationship, organisation and resident-focused skills – all outstanding qualities for a top manager. Having worked her way up through the ranks as a Registered Nurse and Clinical Co-Ordinator, Wynonna sets a wonderful example of how hard work can pay off with a rewarding career in Aged Care.

CHT Healthcare Trust celebrates International Nurses Day

Each year, on 12 May, International Nurses Day is an opportunity to recognise and thank our nurses for their passion, dedication and the great care they take of our older people in CHT facilities.

We’d like to introduce you to just a handful of our nurses, originating from all around the world, and contributing their wonderful skills to helping our residents and their families.


Sharmila Deveraj – Area Manager, Quality and Privacy Manager

Currently studying for a Masters in Nursing, raising a young family and in a busy role as Area Manager, Sharmila originally wanted to become a doctor as a young woman in India, but ventured into nursing. Providing direct care is a passion of Sharmila’s and her experience in emergency care is another special skill.

Her first role as a registered nurse at CHT St Johns in 2010 was swiftly followed by a charge nurse role at CHT Royal Oak, then a promotion to Unit Manager where she introduced a number of award-winning quality care initiatives.

Now in her Area Manager role, Sharmila loves getting out and about to visit Units, teaching and inspiring others to always strive for delivery of the best care possible.


Janice Reuyan – ICT Trainer

A passionate life-long learner and natural teacher, Janice has a very important job that connects her to our nursing staff through all our regions, at different levels, as CHT ICT Trainer.

Growing up with her grandparents in the Philippines holds special memories for Janice, especially taking care of her grandfather when he was ill, which is one of the reasons that motivated Janice to train as a nurse. With a background in aged care nursing giving her a strong understanding of the everyday tasks of nurses, Janice helps bridge the gap between hands-on nursing and the IT / software needed to correctly manage resident care.

In particular Janice loves the independence of her role and helping to problem-solve and upskill staff.


Marilyn Menezes – Unit Manager, CHT Onewa

Our youngest Unit Manager is seizing the day, as she masters her new role at CHT Onewa.

Growing up without grandparents of her own, Marilyn has a natural affection for older people and loves the chance to hear their stories and special memories, while also caring for their families.

The opportunity to put her hand up for new roles and challenges, and the support she received to reach her goals, is something Marilyn is very grateful to CHT for.

After training in Mumbai and spending many years as a nurse and Clinical Co-ordinator, Marilyn is passionate about
making sure our residents feel connected to their community and receive the best possible care.

Marilyn says she feels privileged to care for people at the end of their life and enjoys making a good impression on residents and families.


Stella Ma – Unit Manager, CHT Hillcrest

Since joining CHT, Stella has made a positive impact with countless staff members, residents and family members.

Originally based at CHT St Christophers for 10 years in a number of roles – from grad nurse to charge nurse, Clinical Co-ordinator and Unit Manager – Stella has recently taken the helm at CHT Hillcrest as Unit Manager.

Throughout Stella’s career she has enjoyed the extra training and talent progression at CHT and now finds herself seeking out opportunities for her own staff.

As a youngster Stella spent a large amount of time with her grandmother, giving her a real affinity with older people, an appetite to always learn something new and find joy in helping others.


Albert Principio – Clinical Co-ordinator, CHT Lansdowne

As Clinical Co-ordinator at CHT Lansdowne, Albert’s job keeps him busy and active – just how he likes to be!

After training at MIT seven years ago, Albert started out as a nurse in a rest home setting and found himself enjoying the chance to care for older people. Influencing others and having a wide impact through training is very rewarding for Albert, especially when he sees new nurses grow in confidence and capability.

In Albert’s view, the rewards of a career in nursing outweigh the challenges and it looks like helping others runs in his family – Albert’s brother is also a nurse.

CHT Healthcare Trust celebrates outstanding achievements

The annual Focus On Care Awards took place recently, where individuals and Units were recognised for their achievements throughout the year. In a special ceremony attended by the Board and Senior Management, four key award categories saw winners from across the group receive framed certificates and a warm congratulations for their exceptional work.

WO sept 1
CHT Residential Care Unit Award
CHT Royal Oak Home (Merit)

WO sept 2
CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital
Continuous Clinical Improvement Award
CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital (Merit)

WO sept 3
CHT Royal Oak Home
CHT Unit Manager Award
CHT Royal Oak Home – Sharmila Devaraj

WO sept 4
CHT Registered Staff Award
CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital (Merit)
Anu Mathew

CHT shares special stories in celebration of International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day, celebrated around the world each year on 12th May (Florence Nightingale’s birthday), raises awareness and recognition of the enormous contribution that nurses make to our communities.

For many families the end of a loved one’s life is an especially meaningful time when encounters with nurses leave indelible memories. We are very proud of the dedication, care and compassion of all our staff, in particular our nurses, in providing comfort and support to all our residents and their families.

Nursing in residential aged care can be both uniquely challenging and rewarding, with countless tales to be told. To celebrate International Nurses Day we are sharing the stories of just a handful of our many nurses – each with their own experiences and perspectives.

megan thorne

Megan Thorne, Unit Manager, CHT Acacia Park Home & Hospital

Taking on a Bachelor of Nursing degree at the age of 37 with her youngest child being 18 months old was a juggling act for Megan, but after her first couple of shifts as a caregiver it signalled a turning point in her life, and she is enjoying a rewarding career in nursing.
Starting out as a caregiver at Acacia Park 17 years ago, Megan has worked her way up as a Clinical Leader, Clinical Co-ordinator and now Unit Manager. She has also turned her hand to jobs as a kitchen hand, cook, cleaner and in the laundry – almost every role available.
Megan is also a volunteer Medical First Responder with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, a position that she is also very passionate about as it allows her to use her skills as a nurse and help those in need, finding it as rewarding as working with the elderly.
Megan attributes her love of nursing to having the empathy and drive to really give it her all plus having inspiring role models who encouraged her to follow her passion.

asena wainiqolo

Asena Wainiqolo, Senior Nurse, CHT St Johns Hospital

Growing up in Fiji, Asena was introduced to nursing at a very young age as she tagged along with her older sisters, both nurses, on hospital visits and even delivering babies in the outer islands.

After initial roles in theater and psychiatric nursing, Asena took a job at CHT St Johns Hospital and has been a steadfast member of staff for the past 17 years. As a resource nurse for last days of life, Asena feels a strong sense of privilege to be part of the end of their journey and truly believes that little things make a big difference for the residents she cares for.

jeanette coyle

Jeanette Coyle, Senior Nurse, CHT St Margarets Hospital

Literally part of the furniture, Jeanette began working at St Margarets 29 years ago after popping in to see if there were any jobs available and starting just two weeks later. Jeanette has worked in aged care for her entire career since training at age 16, firstly in Tauranga and then in Auckland including working night shifts in a rest home while raising her children.

Her favourite aspects of working in nursing include the opportunity to care for residents and their families and making life-long friends through nursing. Coming to work in a supportive, beautiful environment also makes it rewarding for Jeanette.

With a daughter now also in nursing, Jeanette says it takes a special person to work in aged care – you need to be a caring, compassionate and patient.

jenny vollmer

Jenny Vollmer, Unit Manager, CHT St Johns Hospital

As CHT’s longest service Unit Manager – 11 years and counting – Jenny reminisces about her early years as a young nurse in her native South Africa (a profession suggested to her by her mother, also a nurse) and her passion for working in aged care.

Starting off in general and surgical nursing, Jenny moved into frail care and specialised in geriatric care including nine years working in the UK. An opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand with her family to take up a CHT Unit Manager role gave Jenny a wonderful opportunity for a new challenge and now she even cheers for the All Blacks!

Social connection, learning about a person’s history and culture and getting to know the whole family are aspects of nursing that are very special to Jenny.

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