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Reflections From the 2012 APAC Forum

By Kathryn Crimmins | Wednesday, October 10, 2012
jo ko awatea

Last month, I travelled 8,995 miles to Auckland, New Zealand to do three things:

  1. Visit some local universities
  2. Attend the APAC Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care presented by IHI and Ko Awatea
  3. Find a kiwi!


On Monday, I joined the Ko Awatea IHI Open School Student Chapter launch with Jo-Inge Myhre, the Regional Chapter Leader of Continental Europe. The event took place at Ko Awatea, the Centre for Health System Innovation and Improvement for the Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB). The learning center is an amazing resource for employees and students rotating through CMDHB. The building houses a cafeteria, open meeting space, a long row of computers to access information, two floors of meeting space, and an innovation room. Check out this video to learn more about the center.

apac conference


Wendy McKinstry, Chapter founder and leader, hosted more than 30 occupational therapy and physiotherapy students for a morning session about how to get involved with the Chapter and the existing improvement efforts at Ko Awatea. Jo and I provided an overview of the IHI Open School and ways to engage with the content, community, and quality improvement projects. I have presented about the IHI Open School thousands of times in multiple countries, but I still find great energy from meeting new students in the field and watching the program spread—in this case to the other side of the world. The Open School overview was followed by David Grayson, Clinical Lead of the 20,000 Days Campaign, who provided an overview of the Campaign, a community collaborative aimed at reducing hospital usage by 20,000 days by July 1, 2013.


On Wednesday, we went to the University of Auckland campus to join an interdisciplinary group of students, faculty, and health professionals interested in quality. Jerome Ng, Michael Hammond, and Moses Jin, a group of students at the school, facilitated the session with the help of many volunteers and faculty. After an overview of quality improvement and the IHI Open School, Hammond and Jin presented about their improvement projects.


apac performance


The APAC Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care general conference opened on Thursday with an official Powhiri, a formal welcome from local Iwi (Ngati Whatua) to acknowledge visitors who came from near and far. It was fascinating to be exposed to a part of the local culture and witness the mutual respect the participants had for one another. More than 30 students attended the two-day conference and convened in the student lounge to debrief sessions and have a discussion with Maureen Bisognano, IHI’s President and CEO; Don Berwick, IHI’s former President and CEO; David Grayson, Clinical Lead, 20,000 Days Campaign; and John Whittington, Lead Faculty, IHI’s Triple Aim.


apac kiwiAfter a long and busy few days, it was time to find the North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryz Australis Mantelli).  A group of IHI staff visited the Auckland Zoo, home to 138 species and more than 875 animals, in search of the flightless bird only found in New Zealand. In the very back of the zoo, we found the Te Wao Nui, or night habitat for nocturnal species. Unfortunately that meant that the kiwis were  sleeping in burrows and unable to be photographed. We did however get to see one small kiwi dart across the cage on our way out and that was enough to check it off my list.


Then, exhausted, but inspired, I flew 8,995 miles home to Boston, Massachusetts.

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