Health Fund PLUS | Northland DHB

Health Fund PLUS

What is Health Fund PLUS?

Health Fund PLUS has been set up by Northland Community Foundation and Northland District Health Board (DHB) to provide a way for people to give back to the DHB by way of donations or endowments.  These donations enable the DHB to get the “optional extras” in equipment and services that can make all the difference in providing the best quality healthcare possible. Note: It is never an alternative to Government funding.

Who can give to Health Fund PLUS?

Absolutely anyone can give. All kinds of gifts have been received through Northland Community Foundation over the years. Thousands of people gave to “Project Promise” to build the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre – some gifts were very large, some were very small. All were greatly appreciated. Other people have made bequests to services and departments of the DHB in recognition of their support and care. Others have given specialised equipment or “optional extras” for patient comfort.

One of the special programmes that Northland Community Foundation coordinates annually is the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal. Last year the Appeal donated  $81,000 to Northland DHB who will purchase all kinds of extra equipment specially designed for children.

How can I give to Health Fund PLUS?

Giving is easy. The first thing is to contact Northland Foundation to talk about your idea for a gift. You can phone 020 4139 8518 or 021 558 224 at any time for all the information you need. The staff will help you to decide what is the best way for you. Some people give a regular donation, some give a one-off gift, some prefer to make provisions in their Will. We can discuss all of these options with you.

Or email Northland Community Foundation.

Jim Carney Cancer Treatment CentreJim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre

For several years Northland Community Foundation focused on completing the huge task of working with the community to raise $3million through the ‘Project Promise’ appeal to build the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre for Northland. This goal was achieved through the wonderful support of individuals, families, service groups, businesses and organisations.

The Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre opened in November 2014. It’s not too late to give. A donation to the Cancer Treatment Centre or any other part of Northland DHB’s health service could be your way to say ‘thank you’. If you are interested in talking to us about Health Fund Plus, or about any other aspect of the work of Northland Community Foundation, just give us a call on 020 4139 8518 or email: Northland Community Foundation.

‘Buy a Brick’ To Support Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre

The BNZ Community Wall inside the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre was part of the Project Promise fundraising programme. More than 400 bricks were sold during the campaign. Now that the Centre is built, bricks are still available for purchase for $1,000 to support the ongoing work of the Centre.

Every brick has a message on it. You can choose your own message (up to 40 characters) so that ‘your’ brick is special and personalised.  The gift of a brick is greatly valued by the team at the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre as it is a visual reminder of the people who have supported their work, as well as a reminder of the funds that have been raised.

To buy a brick email Northland Community Foundation.

Northland Foundation News
I Have a Dream Charitable Trust New Zealand

I Have a Dream is one of Northland DHB’s payroll giving recipients. You can make regular donations through Payroll Giving that will benefit children from Tikipunga/Otangarei who are a part of the local I Have a Dream programme.

Not only is it an easy way to donate, but there is also the added bonus of an immediate tax benefit. If you donate $7.50, the government pays $2.50 of that, meaning only $5 is deducted from your pay packet (only one coffee per week). Download this form and then email it to

The I Have a Dream Charitable Trust’s mission is to inspire and enable children from low-decile schools to reach their full potential, by promoting from an early age, values of higher education, career engagement and life success. To achieve this I Have a Dream establish long-term wraparound academic, health and social services, building partnerships between their schools, families and the community to ensure every child has the resources and networks they need to succeed.

Full-time Navigators follow each year-level of children from early primary, through secondary and into tertiary education to provide mentoring, academic oversight, advocacy and support. Navigators have a formal relationship with the participating schools, work alongside the children’s families, and help coordinate community services.

I Have a Dream’s launch of the Ngātahi Education Initiative (Ngātahi means together, in unison, as one) to the four schools in the Tikipunga/Otangarei communities in Whangarei will inspire the dreams and enable the futures of 1,500 children growing up in material hardship.

15 August, 2019
Northland Babies Sleep Safely Thanks to Lions Club

The Mangakahia Lions Club have kicked off their 50th anniversary celebrations by donating funds to Health Fund PLUS to purchase lifesaving equipment for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Whangarei Hospital. 

The funds were used to purchase a new sleep apnoea monitor for use on premature babies in SCBU.  These monitors check the respiratory rate of infants, and if they stop breathing for more than 20 seconds, an alarm will sound. 

SCBU associate clinical nurse manager Merophy Brown said having a new sleep apnoea monitor to use in the Unit means they can share other units they have with the Children’s Ward and lend them out to parents who need to monitor their babies after they leave the hospital.

Little Jay Junior (JJ) Thompson has been using the new monitor since it arrived in the Unit. JJ will be heading home today for the first time since he was born in March at just 27 weeks at Auckland Hospital. 

He weighed 805 grams at birth and spent his first two months in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Auckland before being transferred to SCBU where he has been for the past four months.  Now JJ is a healthy nine pounds, his parents John and Tania Thompson get to take him home with the aide of oxygen and a monitor. 

Tania said it means a lot to have this equipment donated and she is extremely thankful to all the staff that have helped them out since he was born. 

The Club raised the $1880 required for the equipment by cutting and selling over 100m3 of firewood and held several golf tournaments all with the goal of supporting children in hospital.  Club president Ray Webb said because nearly all their club members have children and grandchildren, they understand how valuable equipment like this is for the community.  

The anniversary isn’t until October, but Ray said they have several other projects planned to commemorate their anniversary.  

The money they donated was distributed by Northland Community Foundation through Health Fund PLUS which has been set up by Northland DHB and the Foundation to provide a way for people to give to the DHB by way of donations or endowments. 

Health Fund PLUS enables Northland DHB to purchase equipment and services over and above what can be purchased through Government funding, helping the organisation provide the best quality healthcare possible to the people of Northland.

Giving is easy. People can give a regular donation, a one-off gift, or there is an option to make provisions in your Will. The first thing is to contact the Northland Community Foundation to talk about your idea for a gift and discuss how you would like to contribute. 

Call Northland Community Foundation on 021 558 224 at any time for all the information you need.


Image: JJ Thompson is now ready to go home after four months in SCBU.  

7 August, 2019
2019 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal

The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal 2019 was aptly launched on 7 August with a fantastic performance from the Whangarei Primary School kapa haka group at the Child Health Centre in Whangarei. 

Paul Maxwell acting group manager of Countdown attended the launch and said he hoped the passion that the Kapa Haka group had for their performance would be reflected by the community for the Appeal which runs until 27 October.  

Paul said that Countdown work hard to make Kiwis lives a little better every day and at the heart of that support is the Appeal.  

Since the Appeal first began in 2007, Countdown customers and staff have raised $12.8 million to support thousands of sick kiwi kids and their families around the country.  

Northland DHB Child, Youth, Maternal, Public & Oral Health general manager Jeanette Wedding told the audience over those 12 years Northland DHB has received $860,000 of those funds.  

The Face of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal for 2019 is four and a half year old Zane Williams.  Zane is one of five New Zealanders diagnosed with a rare genetic variant that affects how his brain works and because of this he has been diagnosed with global developmental delay, intellectual impairment and autism. 

Zane’s mother Nicole Alach said she first came to the Child Health Centre just after his first birthday when he was still not yet crawling.  A blood test revealed the deletion on his 12th Chromosome, and from there they have had intense, engaged wrap around services from the Child Health Centre. 

Nicole says that it takes more than a village to raise a child with special needs and Zane’s therapists have taught him to walk, use a spoon, to play and communicate his basic needs. 

“The team here all mean so much to Zane, our extended family and me. The mahi done here has helped so much to improve all of our quality of life.  They have been there to support us in hard times and celebrations also. Always offering a hug, or more practical support when needed, like chasing him down the road if he got away from me.” 

Last year Nicole was looking for a change in career and saw an administration support position at Child Health Centre advertised, which she knew straight away was where she needed to be and she now works with the team.  The role can be quite emotionally challenging for her when she sees children Zane’s age only now looking to access services for their developmental delays, but she said she knows once they have finally connected with the service they will be offered the very best care. 

Nicole is proud to have Zane as the face of the Appeal because she says it goes a long way to helping families with children suffering from a range of illnesses and conditions, and it is very much appreciated.

Northland DHB Child Health Services manager Yvonne Hunter said their wish list for 2019 includes new play equipment for the Whangarei Hospital Whānau House.  

The Whānau House has on average 80 children per month staying overnight.  Currently, there is no area for the children to play and lacks child proof fencing.   Yvonne said they aim to use the money raised to create a more homely environment to ensure children are entertained and distracted while their families are dealing with their siblings spending time in hospital. 

Added to the list are various pieces of medical equipment selected especially to ease the stress levels of children undergoing procedures such as a vein viewer which allows for easy location of a vein to insert a needle for taking bloods and giving lifesaving medication.  Sleep apnoea monitors will be purchased for the Children’s Ward and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) to monitor breathing in premature infants and for babies who are at high risk of sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI).   Fridges are also on the list for SCBU and the Child Health Centre to keep expressed milk at the correct temperature for babies and for storing immunisations safely to allow for opportunistic vaccination.  

Yvonne said last year they were handed a cheque for $81,000 which has made a significant difference to children with disabilities who have the use of a new wheelchair and mobility scooter both in the Child Health Centre and for use in the community.  They were also able to purchase glucose monitoring systems for children with diabetes, a trauma stretcher, breast pumps, portable and wall mounted ophthalmoscopes for Child Health Centre and the Children’s Ward.  Child Protection and Gateway Services received an IPad to use for distraction therapy when children are undergoing procedures. Kaitaia Hospital received a heated cot, and portable blood pressure monitors. 

The team at the Child Health Service added $2000 to the Appeal from funds raised at a movie night and soup days and Yvonne said they are planning more joint fundraising again this year. 

The aim this year is to raise $1 Million.  Every little bit helps support the children and their whānau in Northland who are dealing with the stresses that come with ongoing health issues.  Next time you are at Countdown and see the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal remember what it’s all about and join in.

Image:  Zane Williams and Jeanette Wedding cutting the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal 2019 Cake

1 May, 2019

Dargaville Hospital Just Got More Comfortable

A Gold Star wish list first drawn up in 2007 by staff at Dargaville Hospital is slowly being ticked off thanks to donations from the community and substantial fundraising efforts from local service clubs.

The wish list contains items which are ‘above and beyond’ what the Northland DHB can provide for the Hospital.  The most recent purchase from funds raised was four New Zealand made Romeo recliner chairs for patients and their families to use while staying at Dargaville Hospital.

Kaipara Community Health Trust chief executive Debbie Evans said that the Trust with support from Aratapu Hobson Trust, Northern Wairoa Lions, Ruawai Lions, Dargaville Rotary, Northland Community Foundation Health Fund PLUS and community donations, managed to raise over $6,000 to purchase the four recliners. 

Debbie said she fully appreciates the hundreds of volunteer hours that these organisations invest in getting the funds together as well as the contributions from the community.   

“People generously donated what they could at a collection held outside Countdown Dargaville and shared their own heartwarming stories about the great care they had received in our little hospital.” 

She said the Kaipara Community Health Trust’s purpose was to retain and enhance quality health services for their community, and they continually work on how they can make what they have, better. 

Dargaville Hospital operations manager, Jen Thomas said that all 80 staff have a great sense of pride in the Hospital and work hard to maintain services to the community which provides 24 hour emergency cover, ‘If you’re sick, this is the place to come.’  

Jen acknowledged the support from far and wide with services such as the mobile surgical bus coming to perform minor surgery at a local level to save patients having to travel to Whangarei.  She also explained how the use of Telehealth equipment meant they could manage complex patients with the assistance of ICU until the helicopter arrived. 

Jen said without the ongoing support from their sponsors and the community they couldn’t do what they do.  She thanked them from the bottom of her heart for not only providing the funds for the four recliners which will make a massive difference to families but also for contributing to many other fundraising projects they have been involved in. 

Health Fund PLUS has been set up by Northland DHB and Northland Community Foundation to provide a way for people to give to the DHB by way of donations or endowments. 

These donations or gifts enable us to get the ‘optional extras’ in equipment and services for the DHB that can make all the difference in providing the best quality healthcare possible. 

Note that donations and gifts are never used as an alternative to Government funding.

Giving is easy. The first thing is to have people contact Northland Community Foundation to talk about their idea for a gift. 

Call Northland Community Foundation on 021 558 224 at any time for all the information you need. 

Some people give a regular donation, some give a one-off gift, some prefer to make provisions in their Will. The Northland Community Foundation will discuss all of these options. 

Image: Dargaville Hospital Operations Manager Jen Thomas and Kaipara Community Health Trust Chief Executive Debbie Evans (left) and Representatives from Lions and Rotary Groups that helped fundraise for the Recliners

2018 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal

Smiling childOver 7500 children and babies are admitted to one of the four Northland hospitals each year. Funds raised by the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal help Northland DHB Maternal and Child Health Services provide families with travel incubators, apnoea monitors, scanners, breast pumps, an electronic hoist with scales, humidifiers, La-Z-Boy chairs and a range of medical equipment across the SCBU, Maternity Services and other departments.

in 2017 Countdown presented Northland DHB Child Health Services with $112,158 thanks to the amazing support from the Northland community.

Four year-old Whaiawa Tito, who like her dad Pat, has Type 1 diabetes.  There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, and it requires constant careful self-management and good medical care.

Whaiawa is the Northland face of the 2018 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal which was launched in August and raises funds that will be given to the DHB to buy medical equipment to help ease the stress on the lives of families with a range of medical conditions.

Mum Lisa says because Whaiawa's body doesn't produce insulin, every time she eats they need to know exactly how many carbohydrates are in what she's eating.

"With help from dieticians, we work out ratios to figure out how much insulin to give her. We also have to watch how much activity she does to ensure she doesn't get too low.  It can be especially difficult during an illness, which means something like a tummy bug can be life-threatening to her."

When Whaiawa was diagnosed, the Tito's decided to look for other options to reduce the need for Whaiawa to be finger pricked up to 15 times per day. 

Both Whaiawa and Pat started using Freestyle Libre Blood Sugar Sensors, which constantly monitor their insulin levels without the need for needles. The couple said they wouldn't consider giving them up, despite the hefty $100 per fortnight cost to the family.

The Northland DHB is hoping to use a portion of the funds raised from the 2018 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal to purchase a stock of Freestyle Libre Blood Sugar Sensors to loan out to families who can't afford the device. 

Each year a group of staff at Countdown Okara in Whangarei, use money from their own pockets to buy items for the Baton’s Up competition they organise as part of the annual Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal because they know it works and helps provide a large chunk of the final proceeds that get donated to the Northland DHB.

This year the team managed to hit the target well before the three-month appeal was up and Countdown Group Manager for the Upper Northland Region, Madison Taylor said that the Okara store had to source raffle books from other stores to keep up with demand. 

Nationwide, communities throughout New Zealand supported Countdown to raise $1.2 million from August until the end of October.  

2018 Update

The Northland community Countdown Kids appeal raised $81,000 and staff from Countdown Okara presented Northland DHB Child Health Services with a cheque on Tuesday 27 November 2018 in store, with the face of the Northland 2018 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal Whaiawa Tito and whānau there for the celebration.

The $81,000 raised from the Appeal this year will go towards buying a stock of these sensors to loan out to parents who can't afford the device.

The sensor gives parents and children a break from the daily finger pricks required to monitor insulin levels and enables them to do a period of intensive sugar monitoring to try to improve their diabetes control.

Northland DHB Chief Executive Dr Nick Chamberlain said it is amazing to have received almost $800,000 over the last 11 years from the Appeal.

“I’m blown away, they’ve delivered more than we expected.  When you walk around our hospitals you see the significant investment into equipment this money has enabled us to purchase which we couldn’t fund. It is a great partnership.” 

 Click here to access the Coundown Kids Hospital Appeal.


Last modified: