Three finalists were recently announced for this year’s Excellence in Digital Health award – one of the New Zealand Excellence in IT Awards that will be announced at the awards dinner on July 12.

The first, the Allied Health Informatics team, is based at Canterbury District Health Board and comprises Rebecca George, an occupational therapist and Clinical Lead for Allied Health Informatics, Garth Munro, Director of Allied Health, and Holly Wang, an information analyst.

A fellow finalist is Aliesha Staples, managing director of Staples VR, which has been working  with Starship to develop virtual reality experiences to help reduce child patient anxiety levels. The awards judges said what made Staples work stand out was her proven desire to help the community and that her work was making a difference to children in hospitals around the world.

The third finalist is Kevin Ross, general manager of Precision Driven Health and Director of Research, Orion Health, who the judges said was a leading figure in data science and analytics and the results achieved by his organisation were ‘significant and life-changing’.

The judges said of the Allied Health Informatics’ nomination that the work and leadership demonstrated by the team showed “great commitment and expertise to deliver an innovative solution for workforce within Allied Health” which would have “far-reaching, positive impacts”. Rebecca George co-founded the National Allied Health Data Collaborative and co-authored the recent Allied Health National Minimum Data Set Proposal.

The sector-wide New Zealand Excellence in IT Awards says the focus of the annual awards is to recognise the “unsung heroes and champions” of the IT sector and focuses on the “real people” that make software and information technology work rather than focusing on companies and vendors.

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