Geographical Classification for Health Team

This team includes researchers who have previously worked together from the University of Otago and the University of Waikato, with expertise in rural health, health geography, Māori health, biostatistics, data management and population health.

Prof  Garry Nixon – Rural Health

Garry is in clinical rural practice in Central Otago (31 yrs )  and is the Associate Dean for Rural at University of Otago. He teaches the postgrad rural diploma which provides regular contact with the next generation of NZ’s rural doctors. He brings expertise is rural health and in leading project teams that are geographically dispersed. Garry is PI on the project.

Associate Professor Gabrielle Davie 

Gabrielle is Research Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago. With a background including a master’s in Biostatistics from the University of Melbourne and 20 years of involvement in quantitative research projects, Gabrielle has a diverse range of research experience and interests. The use of routinely collected datasets for health research, in particular in the area of injury, is a key research area of hers. She has considerable expertise with accessing and analysing New Zealand’s hospital discharge data, mortality collection, coronial case files and injury compensation claims for research purposes. Gabrielle leads a team of data managers / programmers that provide crucial expertise to researchers across departments and campuses of the University of Otago. In this research project Gabrielle is leading the Dunedin based team, providing biostatistical and generic research advice and leading the analysis of the administrative health data.

Dr Jesse Whitehead

Jesse is a health geographer at Te Ngira Institute of Population Research at the University of Waikato, with a background in geography and GIS analysis of health services. He has been responsible for liaising with Statistics NZ and working on the rural-urban classification. Jesse is well connected in the NZ and overseas rural health communities and will have an important role in translating the geographic aspects of the findings for those in the rural health and health research sectors.

Senior Research Fellow Brandon De Graaf

Brandon is a Research Fellow (Data Manager/Programmer), University of Otago. His expertise is in information science including programming, geocoding, process optimisation and automation. Brandon will provide data management, geospatial and machine modeling and analysis, and produce physical maps for publications.

Professor Sue Crengle

Sue is a GP, Public Health Medicine Specialist and senior Māori health researcher at University of Otago.  She has experience in co-design studies and helped develop the NZ Index of Multiple Deprivation. Sue will advise on the Māori specific analyses, interpretation of data and facilitate engagement with Māori stakeholders including implementation in the Māori health research community.

Professor  Ross Lawrenson

Ross is  Professor of Population Health (University of Waikato), Population Health Advisor Strategy and Funding at Waikato DHB as well as a  former NZ Rural GP network board membe. He brings expertise in epidemiology and health services research with a long history in rural health research including co-design studies with rural/Māori communities.

Michelle Smith RN

Michelle’s role on the project is as a  research nurse/assistant. Michelle is a Senior Registered Nurse  at Dunstan Hospital, Central Otago for the last 15 years. She has experience working as a Research Nurse on a project looking at  Rural chest pain management pathways.

Dr Rory Miller

Rory is a rural doctor at Thames Hospital, a University of Otago Teacher and early career quantitative researcher. His current PhD focuses on Rural Chest pain management pathways using POCT and equity analysis.

Maori advisory Group: 

Dr Rawiri Keenan Te Atiawa; Taranaki is an experienced Māori academic GP, investigator on previous HRC projects and Foxley Fellow (2019-21) with a strong equity and rural focus.

Dr Rachel Thomson Te Whānau-a-Apanui who is a longstanding GP in Te Kaha with a Master of GP.

Dr Jason Tuhoe Hauraki; Ngāpuhi; Ngāti Pikiao has worked as a rural GP in Tokoroa, and is currently at Papakura Marae Health Clinic. His RNZCGP roles include Clinical Lead Northern and is Deputy Chair for Te Akoranga a Maui.

Academic advisors:  Professor Peter Crampton is a senior lecturer public health researcher from the University of Otago New Zealand Deprivation research team.

Dr Katharina Blattner is an Associate Professor of rural health University of Otago, and Senior Medical Officer for Hauora Hokianga. Kati brings expertise in rural health service delivery research, and a Hokianga perspective (a remote, predominantly Māori, Northland community). She is well placed to assist with the uptake of the GCH in the rural sector.

Australian Advisors: Prof John Humphreys, (Emeritus Prof Rural Health Geography, Monash Uni.) and Prof John Wakerman (Menzies School of Health Research, Alice Springs) are recognised Australian authorities in this field. They developed the Modified Monash classification (MMM) that has recently been adopted by the Australian Govt. for the allocation of rural primary care funding. They have published extensively, including on the development of the MMM and research translation in evidence based rural health policy.