Capital and Coast District Health Board logo

Published Tuesday 8 Dec 2020

Two local clinical leaders have been recognised and celebrated for their tireless efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that has dominated the health landscape this year.


Hutt Valley DHB (HVDHB) and Capital & Coast DHB (CCDHB) recently held their Ngā Tohu Angitu/Celebrating our Success Awards ceremonies, which saw HVDHB Infection Prevention & Control clinical lead Dr Matt Kelly receive the Outstanding Leadership award, and CCDHB Infection Services clinical lead Dr Michelle Balm receive the Chief Executive’s award.

“It was an unexpected honour to be chosen from all the amazing work done this year,” said Michelle who, as clinical lead for the 3DHB Incident Management team, provided technical advice on infection prevention and clinical management of COVID-19.

“We worked with the clinical teams to develop fit-for-purpose processes to screen and manage patients, and minimise risk to staff. Meanwhile, our lab team developed and scaled up COVID-19 lab testing. My role in each of these areas was mostly enabling others to get on and do their jobs.

“I’m proud of the way people pulled together. Every service across the two DHBs stepped up, adapted, and got on with the job.”

Matt agreed that teamwork was at the heart of the DHBs’ COVID-19 response.

“A huge amount can be achieved very quickly when everyone is working together for a common goal,” said Matt, who was also clinical lead for the HVDHB Emergency Operations Centre.

“The hard work was really done by the others in the Infection Prevention & Control team, the COVID-19 response team, and the frontline services – much of my role was about keeping staff informed, listening to feedback and providing advice.”

Both agree, however, that there is always more to learn. With COVID-19 likely to be a key part of the country’s health landscape for months to come, the work continues.

Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571