The Patient Perspective

Thanks for joining Summit 2021.

If you missed it - watch the video below.

Summit 2021: The Patient Perspective.


For the third year running Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa is presenting a Diabetes Summit. This year, the focus is on the person: those at risk of diabetes, those with diabetes, and those around them.

An update on the analysis of the long running DCSS Audit of care in Primary Care will be presented by Professor Simmons, with other excellent speakers and most importantly a patient perspective panel. Check out the preliminary program below.

Hosts for Summit 2021

Selah Hart (Ngāti Kuia, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu) is the CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora, a Māori Public Health NGO.

Selah is also on the board of the Health Promotion Forum of NZ, and Health Coalition Aotearoa. Selah has worked in the Māori health sector for over a decade and is dedicated to advocating for system and policy level change that will address inequities that exist for Māori, Pacific and other under-served communities. Selah is a resident of South Auckland (Mangere East) and has 5 tamariki.

John is Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa trustee for more than 20 years and chairman since 2018.

John is a diabetes physician dedicated to improving standards of diabetes care and finding new ways to address the serious health inequities experienced by Maori and Pacifica peoples in our community

Program for 2021 Summit

1. Welcome to Summit 2021

Welcome by Pat Spellman (Board member, Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa, Ngāti Maru)
Hosted by - John Baker (Chairman, Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa) and Selah Hart (CEO, Hāpai Te Hauora)

2. The DCSS Primary Care Audit

Treatment of Type 2 diabetes in Tamaki Makaurau

Presented by Distinguished Professor David Simmons with commentary by Brandon Orr-Walker


3. Uptake of new medication

Project to increase uptake of new funded diabetes medications in our Community

Presented by Karen Pickering



4. The Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Project

Very-low-calorie-diet reverses or delays onset of Type 2 diabetes in overweight young patients

Presented by Brandon Orr-Walker


The Role of Bariatric Surgery

Video appearance by Richard Babor


Where the Words Meet Reality - Adolescent Experiences

Presented by Patricia Harry and Kate Smallman


5. Panel Discussion - The Patient Perspective

2021 Summit Guest Speakers

Distinguished Professor David Simmons

Distinguished Professor Simmons, MA, MBBS, FRACP, FRCP, MD (Cantab), is the Professor of Medicine at the Western Sydney University Macarthur Clinical School, Head of the Campbelltown Hospital Endocrinology Department and Director of the Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism Translation Unit (DOMTRU). With over 370 refereed publications, he has won several national and international awards including the American Diabetes Association 2020 Norbert Freinkel Award. He is a past president of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) and was a member of the World Health Organisation technical working group on the criteria for hyperglycaemia in pregnancy. He was previously the chair of the Diabetes UK Health Professional Education Steering Group. He is a Visiting Academic for the University of Örebro, Sweden, Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Guest Professor, First Affiliated Hospital, Zhengzhou University and Senior Medical Officer at the Middlemore Clinical Trials Unit, South Auckland.

Richard Babor

Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon Richard works as a general, upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board and Auckland Weight Loss Surgery. His practice includes Upper GI and hepatobiliary surgery for malignancy and benign disease as well as bariatric surgery including laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and revision of complicated band surgery.

Brandon Orr-Walker

Brandon is an Auckland-trained Endocrinologist who has been working at Middlemore Hospital since 2001 when he was recruited to set up an Endocrinology Service there. Currently the Clinical Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Middlemore, Brandon has worked in a number of roles relevant to Diabetes including Medical Director “Lets beat Diabetes” a large wide ranging program aiming to prevent diabetes in an ethnically diverse high risk population and improve care for those with diabetes (2005-2010), the Minister of Health’s advisor for diabetes and CVD (2010-2012), and served on a number of advisories and guideline groups nationally and internationally. He is the immediate past President of the NZ Society for the Study of Diabetes, the nationally recognised clinical advisory and reference group on matters Diabetes. He was part of the expert group who produced updated guidelines for diabetes management in 2021.

Karen Pickering

Karen Pickering has been the Manager of Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa since 2000. Karen has a nursing background and spent years working at Middlemore Hospital and in other public and private facilities. She developed a passion for preventing diabetes and it’s complications which led to her to studying Public health.

Kate Smallman

Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Designated prescriber. MSc. Originally from UK, Kate has been living in NZ for last 20 years in South Auckland. Shés the mother of a daughter and grandmother to two beautiful boys. Kate has worked in diabetes for the last 35 years and is passionate about prevention of type 2 diabetes and its complications. Kate has worked for the Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa for 20 years, recently involved with research WORTH study and Weight loss in adolescents. She teaches at Auckland University on diabetes paper and prescribing papers. Also working in 2 Primary care diabetes clinics seeing patients with diabetes and long-term conditions. Kate is on several committees, is Honorary Secretary NZSSD (New Zealand society for the study of diabetes), is an accreditation moderator for Aotearoa College of diabetes nurses, and is on the Pharmac Ptac Sub committee.

Patricia Harry

Patricia Harry was born in New Zealand and her nationality is Niuean and Tongan. Trish has worked for Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa for nearly 30 years with experience in different fields, Data manager for the DCSS Audit, community health promoter/Lay Educator and Research Assistant. Trish is mother of two beautiful children with partner Brett and is passionate about her line of work and love working in the community and helping our people.

2021 Summit Patient Panel

Ruby McGill

Ruby McGill (Te Atiawa) Blogger, business owner, mum and Type 1 diabetes (T1D) warrior is determined to live a long, full and healthy life, while sharing her experience to help others thrive with T1D. Ruby was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 14 years old. And has become a staunch advocate for people living with diabetes being able to access the tools, medicines and support needed to live well. Believing strongly that it shouldn't be a luxury to live well with diabetes in New Zealand.

Robert Clark

Robert has been inundated with unwell family members from the young to the elderly and will reply with this. Manawhenua i tamaki makaurau trust board chair/ Counties Manukau Heaelth treaty partner. Robert specialises in Governance/kaitiaki for Iwi, Haapuu, Marae. He has type 2 diabetes and has participated in recent trials.

Graham King

Ko Rangitoto toku maunga.
Ko Wairoa toku awa.
Ko Waitemata toku moana.
Ko Ngaati Tai toku iwi.
Ko Ngati Kohua toku hapu.
No Mataitai ahau.

Most of Grahams working life he has worked for the NZ Police as a sworn officer (15 years) and as a non-sworn employee (13 years). He worked in a management role in Scotland (2 years), private investigator (12 years) and Commercial Finance (6 years).

Married with two adult children and have 5 mokopuna Graham was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1990 while living and working in Scotland. Graham has been involved with some medication trials and currently sits on the Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa Board.