Keriana Kingi-Nepe awarded Indigenous Health Prize

Our very own cardiac registrar Keriana Kingi-Nepe won the 2022 Indigenous Health Prize last week at the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2022 in the Gold Coast.

“It’s been an amazing experience and this conference has truly cemented Cardiology for me as a career," she said. 
"Everything about the heart fascinates me, and I look forward to working towards becoming a Cardiology Physician over the coming years."
"There’s a journey ahead, but I know I will enjoy every single day of it!”

Keriana's abstract was entitled ‘The impact of Sacubitril-Valsartan on Te Tairāwhiti region’. Keriana spoke to her work with a 10-minute slideshow and a 5-minute Q&A from the audience.

Sacubitril-Valsartan is a medication used for heart failure (where the heart is not ejecting as much blood as it should, with each heartbeat). Keriana presented the data collected by our Heart Failure clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner intern Kristen Willock since 2018 along with Cardiologists Dr Devlin, Dr Roberts and Nurse Practitioner Tracy Low who identify and manage this cohort of heart failure patients on the medication, as well as many other patients with heart conditions.

Sacubitril-Valsartan exhibited significant benefit for patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. It showed that the resource allocated to our nurse-specialist-led outpatient service commencing and up-titrating this medication had a positive impact on our patients, their quality of life and their clinical outcomes. What was also significant for us, was our cohort had a high indigenous and male gender population, and adding in rurality, meant that this service and medication combined was also a means to reduce inequity in heart failure outcomes. Knowing further the burden of comorbidity and mortality risk that these patients carry, our outcomes exhibited a meaningful impact on high risk, vulnerable individuals in our community.

Keriana expressed her gratitude to a number of our staff:
•    Her supervisor Dr Gerry Devlin Cardiologist consultant and Heart Foundation New Zealand’s Medical Director for believing in her and recommending our research project be put forward for the prize
•    Dr Timothy Roberts Cardiologist Consultant for his consistent support 
•    The amazing Cardiology nurses Kristen, Tracy, Katrina, Michelle and Renee for the work they do, the data they tirelessly collect, the patients they help every single day and the deep connections they make with these patients (Keriana's covered some of their clinics and the patients ALWAYS ask for them, ask if they’re ok, if their whānau is ok, etc)
•    Her husband and two boys (aged 2 and 3) for giving her the time to do this research alongside everything else they’ve got going on!
•    Ka nui te mihi ki a Ngāti Porou Hauora mō te tautoko pūtea, aroha me awhi ki ahau. Karawhuia!
Ka rawe Keriana! Congratulations from us all here at Te Whatu Ora Tairāwhiti on your achievement!

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