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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.

Lest we forget – CHT commemorates ANZAC Day

CHT Units throughout the Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions commemorated ANZAC Day with a number of special events and activities. From visits by local RSA and Probus members to retired serviceman residents, to church services and wreaths, right through to creating memory walls and entertainment from the war-time era, this special day was a chance to remember and be thankful for those who fought for our freedom.

Hand-made treasures bring in a crowd at CHT St Margarets




Local artists and crafters made up the 20 stalls at the CHT St Margarets Hospital Community Craft Fair on Sunday 18 March, attracting a steady stream of visitors during the event. Refreshments and a sausage sizzle were also popular as visitors browsed and bought from sellers boasting a myriad of hand-crafted items including knitting, soaps, toys, ornaments and jewellery.

CHT Lansdowne Home & Hospital – Chinese New Year Celebrations

CHT chinese New Year 1

CHT chinese New Year 2

CHT Chinese New Year 3

In celebration of Chinese New Year, CHT Lansdowne Home & Hospital staff created a captivating display at a community festival to drive awareness and engagement amongst the local people. Free blood pressure tests, treats for kids and information packs, as well as professional looking decorations made their participation hugely successful with over 200 people visiting the CHT stall during the festival. Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff were also on hand to ensure that communication with festival visitors was as welcoming as possible.

CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital hosts special wedding

cht wedding

cht wedding 2

An extra special afternoon was in store for CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital residents and staff as the celebrated the wedding of Howard and Lia. Howard’s grandmother raised him as a youngster and as she was unable to travel to his home in Australia, they brought the wedding to her! The CHT Hillcrest team transformed a lounge area, decorated the space beautifully and provided afternoon tea for nearly 60 guests.

stuff.co.nz Story Link

CHT Amberlea bring joy to locals at Christmas


car boot gifts

car boot gifts 2

CHT Amberlea Home & Hospital created an unique way to make sure no elderly people on their own went without a gift at Christmas, by packing shoe boxes with treats and helpful items. Members of the community, including local businesses, donated items and packed the 40 boxes which were then distributed throughout the community by Dr Warwick Palmer.

Orewa Santa Parade Stars CHT Farmyard

CHT van

CHT pony

CHT farmer and cow

CHT Halldene staff wowed the crowd at the 2017 Orewa Santa Parade with a wonderful group of farmyard friends, inducing miniature ponies and Clydesdale horses, in celebration of their community.

Te Puke youngsters sprinkle kindness on CHT Glynavon residents

Te Puke Children

With strong harmonising voices, nine children from Fairhaven Toitoi Manawa Immersion Unit visited to sing to CHT Glynavon residents on Tuesday 12 September, choosing tunes that the elderly reisdents remembered from days gone by.

hand massage

The children also made Kawakawa massage oil and massaged the resident’s hands while they talked to each other about their lives and experiences.

These children are learning the value of Manaaki Tanga – caring for others, and putting this into practice by learning massage and to be gentle and caring. The children said it is one of the best things they have done , commenting “we have sprinkled kindness” onto the older folks.

CHT Glynavon residents, and kids alike, spent the morning smiling, laughing and will be returning soon for another visit. A couple of the kids mentioned they didn’t have grandparents of their own and wanted to adopt the residents as their own!

CHT Newsletter

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