May 19 is World Family Doctor Day, a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors to our community, and Te Hiku Hauora would like to acknowledge all of the wonderful doctors that are in our employ.

Our Medical Director shares some words about one doctor in our Te Hiku Hauora GP Clinic, Kathy Bakke.

“Next month we will celebrate seven years of having Dr. Kathy Bakke with us at Te Hiku Hauora.

I really like working with Kathy.  And patients love her.  She is smart and really detail oriented.  She takes personal responsibility for patients’ wellbeing, and spends so many hours, nights and weekends making sure no detail gets lost.  She’s a great diagnostician and very practical in designing the treatments to match the patient.  Every single person she cares for gets an approach unique to them, so that even though she practices with a focus on evidence based medicine, she adjusts each treatment plan to fit the patient’s needs.

Kathy is fellowship and vocationally registered in New Zealand, as well as board certified in Family Medicine in the U.S.  A permanent resident of New Zealand, Kathy has lived in Ahipara ever since coming to the area and has raised her two children here.

Kathy is the Kaitaia representative to the Service Level Alliance Team for Rural Funding and has fought for health funding to keep medical care and after-hours access sustainable in Kaitaia.  She is also Te Hiku’s education champion.  She interfaces with Auckland University medical school and teaches visiting medical students and registrars, training the next generation of GPs.

I  first met Kathy in 1995 during our post-graduate hospital training days.  We had our babies in the same bed of the same hospital six months apart and have been good friends ever since.

Kathy practiced in Oregon in both private practice and a residency programme training resident doctors.  She worked in both hospital care and outpatient care, delivering babies, managing patients in the hospital, ICU, and ER.  It was so exciting when she agreed to join me at Te Hiku Hauora in 2009.

A great example for all of us when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising lifestyle, Kathy is also artistic and enjoys learning new crafts and skills, as well as spending time with her husband on their sail boat

She talked me into joining her in the Iron Maori in 2011 but that was pay back for me talking her into joining me in belly dancing lessons. We tend to go back and forth each year taking turns to convince each other to take on a new project.

She delivers medicine with compassion and focus.  I love having a colleague on whom I can rely, knowing that every patient who sees her is getting the best care possible.”