Meet our Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year 2014, Dr Lance O’Sullivan. Lance’s passion is improving healthcare with a particular focus on eradicating poverty-related illnesses and making basic healthcare more accessible to Northland people.
Together with his wife Tracy, Lance is one of the main supporters and initiators of the low-cost health clinic Te Kohanga Whakaora ("The Nest of Wellness"). Te Kohanga Whakaroa offers flexible forms of payment and walk-in appointments, meaning that even the most disadvantaged people in the area have the right to good health.
Lance also has a focus on improving child health, and has been instrumental in establishing programmes such as the Manawa Ora Korokoro Ora (Moko) programme, based at Kaitaia Primary School. The Manawa Ora Korokoro Ora is Northland's first full-time, school-based health clinic. It aims to give medical care to up to 2,000 children at 14 primary and intermediate schools.
But Lance’s expertise and willingness to initiate positive change extends right into his community’s homes. His Kainga Ora ("Well Home") initiative fixes run-down homes in the community, underpinned by the belief that good health starts in warm, safe homes.