Meet your Committee

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On this page:

Louise Chan - Chairperson

 Louise ChanLouise is the Director, Mental Health and Addictions for Think Hauora in Palmerston North.

Her mental health nursing background includes:

  • working throughout Aotearoa and England;
  • adult inpatient and community,
  • older adult inpatient and community,
  • Mental Health ED (across the lifespan),
  • crisis and acute,
  • clinical nurse specialist and nurse educator roles,
  • clinical education (tertiary institutions), and
  • management roles.

Louise’s research interests include:

  • neuroanatomy,
  • neurological changes and the reasons behind age related processes,
  • neuropsychiatry,
  • neuroscience and biomarker research and development that could potentially diagnose and initiate timely treatment with better patient outcomes and prognoses. 

Louise also has a strong interest in management and leadership and organisational and workforce development. Following on the heels of postgraduate study in both nursing and law, she is soon hoping to commence her MBA and looks forward to the associated research project.

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Dr. Ruth Crawford - Secretary

Dr Ruth CrawfordRuth is a Principal Lecturer and Programme Coordinator of the Professional Practice suite of Programmes (PG Certificate, PG Diploma, Master of Professional Practice) in the School of Health at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua. Her nursing background includes: 

  • inpatient child and youth health,
  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation,
  • medical, and
  • surgical nursing. 

Ruth’s research interests focus on:

  • emotional communication in nursing practice,
  • child health,
  • health workforce development (specifically Māori and Pacific),
  • decision making in end-of-life care, and
  • interprofessional education.

Ruth is a strong advocate of research and evidence-based practice. Ruth has published nationally and internationally. 

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Dr. Priya Saravanakumar - TreasurerDr Priya Saravanakumar

I am currently a lecturer at the School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and have diverse clinical, educational, and leadership experience.

I have practiced, taught and led teams in adult and older person nursing in various settings in India, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and New Zealand.

I have also led and developed undergraduate and post graduate papers in Nursing in Sri Lanka and New Zealand universities. I teach undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Clinical Sciences, AUT and supervise candidates in Master’s, DHSc and PhD programmes.

I am a recipient of the Australian Leadership Award in 2010, and was awarded a PhD in Nursing from University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. I pursue research interests in:

  • older adult health,
  • complementary and alternative therapies for pain and symptom management in older adults,
  • mixed methods, and
  • integrated care.

I am a member of the AUT Centre for Active Ageing and New Zealand Association of Gerontology, and some of the current research projects I am involved in as a lead/co-lead/associate researcher are:

  • A multiphase, mixed method research project on ‘Wellbeing of older adults in New Zealand’
  • A pilot study evaluating the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive and person-centred interprofessional collaborative practice model in a primary care environment
  • Filial piety and care arrangements for ageing immigrant parents: adult children’s views in a New Zealand context
  • A systematic review of safety and dependence risk assessments for older adults living in independent-type residential care arrangements

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Eliazar Dimalapang

Eliazar DimalapangEli is currently the Biostatistician for the Physiology Department (Cardiology and Respiratory) of Auckland City Hospital (ACH).

In this role, he provides a comprehensive statistical analysis service, including the provision and advice for:

  • study design,
  • data management,
  • analysis and interpretation which supports the research activities of the department.

Occasionally, he conducts lectures for junior medical staff and interested staff members.

Eli has more than 10 years’ experience of consultancy work, providing:

  • statistical analysis,
  • training and support to clients ranging from graduate students,
  • government agencies to health professionals.

He previously worked in the Philippines and the Middle East as a statistics lecturer.

His research interests include:

  • statistical applications to medical and public health researches,
  • statistics education, and
  • machine learning.

To book for statistics advice from Eli email NRS Chairperson, Louise Chan

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Johanna Rhodes - Committee

Johanna RhodesJohanna is the Head of School of Nursing at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT). She believes that in this tempestuous period of change, embracing teaching pedagogies that reflect the ‘real world’ is critical to developing graduates who are equipped to work in the electrifying, intricate and fluctuating world of healthcare. Johanna is inventive, and seeks opportunities to develop her management, leadership, research and teaching, while maintaining focused strategies to create interesting and realistic learning opportunities.

Johanna’s nursing background includes:

  • Emergency nursing
  • Woman’s health
  • Surgical/medical nursing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Mental health

Johanna’s research interests focus on:

  • Simulation
  • Educator safety
  • Patient safety
  • Interprofessional education
  • Experiential learning

Johanna is currently a PhD candidate at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, Australia with her research focussed on; what is happening for educators who assume, play and de-role as simulated patients for the purpose of learning and teaching.

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Kylie Short - CommitteeKylie Short

Kylie is a senior nursing lecturer at Ara Institute of Canterbury. She holds an adjunct fellowship with the University of Canterbury, and more than 22 years’ experience in the field of nursing practice and education.

Specialist areas of teaching include:

  • Postgraduate education with a strong focus on Advanced Health Assessment
  • Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Acute Care Management.

Clinical background includes:

  • Intensive Care Nursing, most recently specialising in Cardiothoracic ICU.
  • Acute medical admissions.
  • General post-operative care.

Research interests include:

  • Looking at how healthcare professionals assess patient’s understanding of information
  • How understanding of information affects the legitimacy of providing 'informed consent'.
  • Why transition to a nursing career via a fast track option?
  • Looking at how we can develop students' skills of critical evaluation, of the information technology sites they are using to enhance their learning.
  • Looking at the outcomes of integrating a flipped classroom methodology into clinical practice preparation for the master’s programme.

Kylie is currently completing a PhD and exploring the topic; 'What do patients understand following the delivery of 'hospital' cardiac health education/information? A New Zealand Study'. This national scale research will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

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Dr Lorraine Ritchie - CommitteeLorraine Ritche

I am a Nurse Consultant at the Southern DHB, focusing on policy, projects and professional issues. I have been involved in nursing for over 30 years, and currently hold a role as Professional Practice Fellow at the University of Otago Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies where I teach and supervise Master’s students.

My nursing background includes:

  • Aged care and care of older people
  • Nursing education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels
  • Postnatal/antenatal nursing
  • Management of an aged care facility.

My research interests focus on:

  • Professional standards
  • Wellbeing of nurses
  • Older people’s health
  • Aged care
  • Social gerontology
  • Arts and health.

My primary research interest and experience is in qualitative methodologies, particularly narrative approaches. I am published in national and international journals, and edited “Listening with my Heart” (2017), the inaugural book of poetry written by NZ nurses.

I look forward to being a member of the NRS committee and promoting research and nurse researchers.

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Tasha Smith - MembershipNatasha Smith

I am a Nurse Educator for Specialist Mental Health Services at Canterbury DHB, and my nursing background includes:

  • Child, adolescent and family acute inpatient services,
  • Community youth early psychosis Intervention,
  • Clinical educator in under graduate nursing programme,
  • Clinical liaison nurse role in dedicated education unit, and
  • Adult acute mental health inpatient services.

I undertook my Master’s thesis in 2015, completing New Zealand’s first research on lesbian womens’ experience of grief and loss in New Zealand.

My research interests include Mental health and Wellbeing of people of diverse gender and sexualities, and Trauma informed care and least restrictive practice.

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Rachel Sayers

Rachel Sayers

Rachel is employed as a Lecturer at the School of Nursing, Otago Polytechnic.

With a background in Paediatric and Neonatal nursing, Rachel has been involved with Paediatric research since 1994. She was previously employed as an Assistant Research Fellow at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, Otago University, 1994-2019), and has been employed in student nursing education since 2012. Rachel qualified with a Master of Health Sciences in 2005. She also holds a position as a Facilitator for the Paediatric Sleep Medicine Clinical Network (New Zealand Child and Youth Clinical Networks, Paediatric Society of New Zealand). 

The main focus of research Rachel has been involved with is in paediatric sleep. This has included research on:

  • Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI),
  • safe sleep practices,
  • infant irritability,
  • sleep and obesity, and
  • infant sleep education.


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