Goals for the new year
And so, another year draws to a close. Another year in our new pandemic normal, where we redefine ‘normal’ on a weekly basis. It has been another year of uncertainty and change in our healthcare system, where sometimes the only certainty is change.
December becomes a time of deadlines, end of year events, celebrations and a little bit of chaos. Traditionally it’s also a time for reflection on the year that was, and goal setting for the year to come.
Advocacy – 2023 will be a big year of planning with Te Whatu Ora. The NZSA is working fiercely to continue having a seat at the table. This is a watershed moment for planned care in Aotearoa and there is much work to be done alongside being an active voice for our members through workforce planning and the health reforms as these develop.
It will be a year to continue to nurture the valuable relationships we hold with many stakeholder groups and in particular to work closely with ACC for our SPMP members. The NZSA will also continue to advocate for environmentally sustainable practices to improve health policy and look after our wonderful natural resources.
Community – The fantastic networks the NZSA supports already add so much value to the anaesthesia community. I look forward to working alongside the Chairs to further enhance these connections and provide them with a platform for broader connection to the communities they represent. We also look forward to rebooting the trainee events via the Anaesthesia Trainee Collective (ATC). The recent Private Practice Survey will offer much assistance in where we can further provide value for our members in this area and in 2023 we will be undertaking our full membership survey for more feedback on how we can best support our members.
Our international community and connections are so important and in 2023 we look forward to continuing these through our work with and support of our colleagues in the Pacific and our connection with the WFSA as our own Associate Professor Wayne Morriss enters his second year as their President.
Education – Our established and ongoing commitments to education will be a key focus area for 2023. I am deeply passionate about flexible education – providing information and learning for people where they are, and how they want to receive it. In 2022 we launched both a webinar series and a podcast; making corridor conversations and connections accessible to everyone in our network. In 2023 we have plans to further diversify both of these channels; equipping all of our members – from those starting training to nearing retirement – with information and tools to support their decisions, and better inform them of what’s happening in the global anaesthesia community. Further than that we are also committed to developing a suite of tools for our patient community. To help our membership walk alongside their patients, the people of Aotearoa, throughout the perioperative journey. To support our tamariki and rangitahi having surgery, our hapū whanāu having babies, and people from all across the motu making choices about their health, with a diverse and comprehensive set of tools collated for Aotearoa. In addition to the NZSA’s support of our leading NZ Anaesthesia events including the 2023 Aotearoa ASM in Ōtepoti in November.
Underpinning all of these pillars is the final, most overarching goal: to embed the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all that we do. This includes embedding te ao Māori into our structure and policies and applying a bi-cultural approach in our work.
Much of these and our intentions for the next four years are outlined in the NZSA’s 2023 – 2027 Strategic Plan. The full plan can be read on the NZSA website here.
On a personal level my goals for 2023 fill me with joy. I recently discovered the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath”. The concept describes being in nature, connecting with it through our senses, and is the perfect phrase to describe my favourite form of self-care. In 2022 I walked my first multi-day hike (the Milford Track) and was reminded how incredible shinrin-yoku is for me – especially when coupled with an absence of digital connection. In 2023 I hope for more forest bathing, especially another multi-day hike. I also plan to do more of what brings my whānau joy – travel. Whether it’s to our favourite secret camping spot in the hunua ranges (fresh water! fire! canvas!) or exploring new cultures, broadening our concept of what it is to be a citizen of this world. Adventure awaits.
The remainder of my personal goals are intricately interwoven with those of the Society. I am energised and ready to work alongside our fantastic office staff and executive to bring meaningful benefits for our membership and community.
And finally, reflection – what a fantastic year we have had. Thank you – to our membership for continuing to support us. We are only ever as strong as our membership, and I urge you to reach out with any thoughts at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org. To our executive – who give so selflessly and tirelessly their time and thoughts to this mahi – you are what makes this work all possible. And to our wonderful office staff – after a few years of shifting chairs we have got the most incredible team both in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and remotely, and I am so deeply appreciative of your work and time.
I hope your summer brings moments of sunshine and peace, time for reflection and goal setting, and maybe a little bit of shinrin-yoku of your own.