Last week, our Equally Well Lunchtime gathering was held, and we are eager to present the key points to you.

The primary focus of this space was to revisit the ‘SEE US’ initiative, with Simon Kozak leading the discussion. Simon shared a compelling personal case history illustrating how biases and past health histories can overshadow the care provided to individuals. Despite his decade-long sobriety and successful recovery, he faced challenges when admitted to the hospital, where his addiction history took precedence over his present condition, highlighting the importance of addressing biases in healthcare.

Following Simon’s impactful story, the discussion transitioned to an introduction of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (PGNZ) exciting pilot program to put the ‘SEE US’ campaign in action, presented by Martin Lowis.

Some key points about the significance of this campaign were:

  • Acknowledgment of the vital role of pharmacy in primary care.
  • Emphasis on pharmacists embracing the campaign’s message at the first contact level to set a positive atmosphere for patients.
  • Encouragement to set aside biases and ensure equal access to the services.
  • Recognition of possible issues but a shift in focus towards holistic patient care.
  • Highlight the ability of pharmacists to collaborate effectively with other healthcare professionals.
  • Understand the importance of involving whānau, community, and support groups in patient care.
  • Emphasis on pharmacists as community and patient advocates.
  • Online training module for staff to ensure a successful rollout.
  • Introduction of customer-facing materials in-store for the first time.
  • Promotion of networking with other practitioners to build local support networks for the campaign initiative.

PGNZ is leading the change by implementing this initiative, deploying it as an activation campaign. The pilot will be implemented in early November this year.

The meeting also featured a Q&A session, during which attendees discussed their efforts to integrate mental health into healthcare education and how to extend the “SEE US” campaign to a wider network. The attendees were challenged to consider how they could apply similar initiatives in their spheres of influence, and the importance of confronting biases and promoting the right course of action was reiterated.

We invite you to check our website regularly for updates and we encourage you to share your organisation’s actions in the Equally Well space.


Additional resources shared by participants: