There’s a buzz around Gisborne Hospital at the moment with the arrival of Dr. Vipul Shah, an experienced Critical Care Physician (intensivist).
An intensivist is specialised in critical care medicine, caring for patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It has been around 20 years since Tairāwhiti has had an intensivist based here.
Dr. Shah has come directly from Birmingham Alabama in the United States and intends to spend at least twelve months in Tairāwhiti. He has previously held roles such as clinical and medical director in places such as Washington DC.
“I chose Tairāwhiti because I was looking for a small critical care unit where I could share my knowledge and make a difference in a region that needs it,” he said.
“Equity of care is an area of interest for me and I’m keen to learn about the challenges in critical care here and how I can help.”
“If I can support the team to build capacity and keep more critical patients here closer to whānau rather than transferring them to larger hospitals, then I’ll be achieving my goal.”
Anne Aitcheson, Te Whatu Ora Tairāwhiti Interim Lead for Hospital and Specialist Services, said the team is excited by the learning opportunities provided by having Dr. Shah here.
“This is an opportunity for our excellent nursing and medical staff to learn new skills from someone at the top of their scope,” she said.
Vipul was born in Florida and grew up a short drive from surfer Kelly Slater’s childhood home.
Although he didn’t know Slater personally, it wasn’t unusual to be at social occasions and surfing with the likes of Damian and CJ Hobgood.
“Being somewhere near the surf was definitely an aim for me and I’m keen to get out there whenever possible.”