(l-r: Sophie Hazelhurst, Suzanne Bornman, Vanessa Minhinnick, Mereana Ruri)
The Dental Council undertook an HR review of the Council staff in March 2016. The review recommended the Council build capacity by recruiting staff with specialised skills in communication and engagement, strategic and operational policy development, programme management and business analysis. This will ensure the Council is able to deliver on its strategic plan and provide improved services to practitioners.
In response to the recommendations, the Council completed a restructure of the staff, which resulted in the loss of some staff and employment of several new staff members.
We will be introducing you to the new structure and staff members over the next few newsletters.
First up – the strategy and engagement group.
The strategy and engagement group comprises three specialists from a range of disciplines and an administrator. The main functions of this team include:
Suzanne Bornman – Standards & Accreditation Manager
Suzanne comes from a pharmacy background, with 10 years of pharmacy practice experience in South Africa and a Master’s degree in pharmacy practice. Her experience included four years as professional advisor for the pharmaceutical society. In moving to New Zealand at the end of 2008, Suzanne decided to further develop her interest in regulation and standards setting. She started with the Dental Council in mid-2010.
During this time Suzanne has led various consultations. She coordinated various working groups; including the TMVI, infection prevention and control, and sedation practice standards reviews; the oral health therapy working group; and most recently the orthodontic working group. Suzanne was one of the key contributors to the standards framework for oral health practitioners, introduced in August 2015.
Suzanne is also responsible for accreditation and monitoring of the 22 education programmes for oral health practitioners in New Zealand, and works closely with the site evaluation teams during programme site visits. Up to August this year she was also responsible for communication—this included the redesign of the new Council website and updated Council branding in 2014, and the introduction of electronic Council newsletters.
Suzanne manages one staff member, Vanessa Minhinnick, and the workload of one of our professional advisors, Duchesne Hall.
Duchesne is Professional Advisor–Standards, and works closely with Suzanne on the practice standard reviews. As a practising dentist, Duchesne brings clinical insight and valuable knowledge to the table. Duchesne will be introduced with the other professional advisors in a later edition of this newsletter.
Together, Suzanne and Duchesne have a focus of delivery related to the Council’s first strategic priority standards (complete and embed standards of clinical competence, cultural competence and ethical conduct).
Vanessa Minhinnick – Standards Administration Assistant
Originally from Canada, Vanessa worked in marketing for over six years before moving to New Zealand where she has worked in administrative roles in both the public and private sector.
She has worked as a Marketing Project Manager in a large entertainment company and in print media. More recently she has worked in sector engagement, ministerial administration and corporate administrative team support.
Vanessa provides part-time administrative support to the Strategy and Engagement team, while earning a bachelor degree.
Mereana Ruri – Senior Policy Analyst
Mereana comes from a strong policy background, involving almost 20 years of working in government and non-government organisations.
In that time, Mereana has worked across a broad range of sectors, with Cabinet Ministers, MPs, senior public servants and officials, researchers, service providers and practitioners and children and young people.
Mereana says her work has focused primarily on the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people, especially the experiences of children in New Zealand’s care and protection, youth justice and education systems.
Most recently, Mereana’s policy work has focused almost exclusively on the challenges facing some of our most vulnerable groups of children and young people, including children with disabilities, Maori, Pacific and ethnic minority children.
Mereana’s initial focus at the Council will be to achieve the third strategic priority of lifelong practitioner competence (introduce an effective, quality assured framework for ongoing practitioner competence).
Sophie Hazelhurst – Communications and Engagement Specialist
A former journalist, Sophie joins us after seven years working as a Senior Communications Advisor at Maritime NZ. While the maritime sector is vastly different to the oral health sector, there are still a number of parallels between the regulatory functions of the two organisations—with both organisations focused on ensuring those entering and working within the sector it regulates maintain the standards the organisation and wider public expect.
Sophie’s focus at the Council will be to help the organisation achieve its second strategic priority of engagement (grow understanding of, and engagement with, the Dental Council). She aims to do this by improving the Council’s publications and identifying and embedding new ways of communicating with practitioners.