Cultural competence is defined as the ability of practitioners, providers and organisations to effectively deliver health care and services that meet the social and cultural needs of patients.
The benefits of tailoring health services to suit Māori patients and increasing the acceptability and access to services has been a long-time research focus of Dr David Tipene-Leach.
David is Professor of Māori and Indigenous Research at EIT and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and health in 2018. He is based at EIT’s Research and Innovation Centre and also teaches a postgraduate programme in Māori and Indigenous Health.
Most recently, he has been working alongside a unique mental health service in Gisborne that increases access for Māori whānau through a single point of entry (SPoE) and presents its service in a uniquely kaupapa Māori fashion.
EIT staff from a number of faculties have been researching where practitioner performance lapses and how to improve Māori and Pasifika health outcomes.
David has also been involved in a project led by his EIT colleague Associate Professor Rachael Walker, which also examines services from the patients’ perspective. (LINK)
Dr Tipene-Leach is behind a significant reduction in sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) among Maori.
Over four decades, including academic postings and front-line general practice roles, he is probably best known for having developed and championed the wahakura, a woven flax bassinet that allows Māori mums to share a bed safely with their newborns.
In 2017 the Ministry of Health announced that they would run the Safe Sleep project nationwide.