Asthma New Zealand nurse and Sunnyhills resident, Ann Wheat, has been recognised as the first recipient of the respiratory lifetime service award in the foundation’s respiratory achievers’ awards.
Ann has worked as an asthma nurse educator with Asthma New Zealand for 20 years, and over that time has promoted best practice asthma management to patients, GP’s, practice nurses, school nurses, teachers
Asthma New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing free education, training and support to patients with asthma and/or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and helping them live a full life.
Ann works directly with other nurses and patients to educate them on asthma and COPD, and make sure that people know what they’re doing with their medications.
“A lot of people don’t understand the condition [asthma] and don’t understand how the medications work… If you don’t use the medication devices correctly, you’re not going to get the best out of it” she says.
Ann is now set to receive the first ever respiratory lifetime service award to reflect the extraordinary lengths she goes to in order to facilitate the best care for her patients.
The NZ respiratory achievers’ awards celebrate the achievements of outstanding New Zealanders living with respiratory conditions, made possible by platinum sponsor G.J. Gardner Homes.
“It was the biggest shock… It means an awful lot when your peers recognize you and I really enjoy what I do,” says Ann.
She will receive the award at a ceremony in Wellington on Thursday, February 23.
“I am so grateful for the foundation for recognising my work over the last 20 years and for asthma New Zealand for giving me the opportunities during my career,” says Ann.
Ann, originally from the UK, trained as a nurse and midwife in the 1970’s at Auckland Hospital, eventually becoming a Practice Nurse before joining asthma Auckland in 2002.
She has lived in the Howick-Pakuranga area for almost 30 years.
Ann was taught to educate at the Junior Chamber International (JCI), which prepared her to educate nurses and occasionally lecture at the University of Auckland.
Her name was also put forward for the asthma educator of the year at the awards.
“I have done a lot in the background over the past 20 years, but I have really enjoyed doing it,” Ann says.