Invited speakers

Dr Chris Bloomer

Chris Bloomer is a Consultant Psychiatrist of Old Age with Te Whatu Ora Waitaha (formerly Canterbury District Health Board) and a Clinical Senior Lecturer with University of Otago Christchurch. He divides his time between various clinical roles and teaching medical students about dementia and delirium. He is passionate about helping older people thrive. He spends his spare time with his wife and daughter and running long distances very slowly.

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Dr Jenny Butler

Jenny Butler works in acute General Medicine at Christchurch Hospital. She was always interested in syncope (“collapse ?cause” being a daily occurrence in General Medicine). She became more interested in autonomic medicine whilst doing an advanced training project on sympathetic nerve function (under the supervision of Dr Jardine) in 2008. She has subsequently continued to work in the ‘funny turns clinic’ running two half-day clinics per week. Particular areas of interest include tilt testing, diagnosis of ‘funny turns’ (is it cardiac? hypotensive? seizure? psychogenic?), management of postural hypotension and vasovagal syncope, autonomic neuropathy and autonomic neurodegenerative conditions, and POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).

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Carolyn Cooper

Carolyn Cooper is New Zealand’s first Aged Care Commissioner, appointed in March 2022 to provide strategic oversight of health and disability services for older people in all settings. In addition to being a statutory decision maker on complaints about care provided to older people, Carolyn strongly advocates for older people’s rights to quality health and disability services to support them to age well. Her 40-year career spans governance, executive and clinical leaderships roles across the public and private sector in New Zealand and Australia.

Previously, she was Managing Director and Lead Nurse for Bupa Villages and Care New Zealand, which supports more than 5,500 residents nation-wide. Carolyn began her career as a registered general and obstetrics nurse and has since held leadership positions across the health sector in aged care and hospital and specialist services. She is passionate about using innovation and collaboration as tools to achieve great quality of care and life for older people and brings to her roles her lived experience caring for older people as a daughter and niece

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Jane Goodwin

Jane Goodwin is a senior project manager with the advance care planning and clinical communications training team, leading the shared goals of care mahi. Jane has had a strong involvement with advance care planning at a local and national level. She was the advance care planning facilitator in Waitaha Canterbury from 2013-2022, implementing a successful advance care planning programme and the pilot of shared goals of care in Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals. She is the lead trainer for with the national advance care planning programme and the clinical lead for the serious illness conversation guide Aotearoa. Jane has a Bachelor of Nursing (1st Class Honours) and a Master of Health Sciences.

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Juliet Gray

Juliet graduated BDS from the University of Otago in 1991 and completed her specialist training in London at the Eastman Dental Institute and the University College Hospital. In 2004 she returned to New Zealand to work as a specialist in Special care Dentistry at Christchurch Hospital Dental Service. She also works as a professional advisor for the Dental Council New Zealand. Juliet is always working to find practical solutions and support people of all ages and backgrounds to achieve and maintain good oral health.

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Dr Kate Grundy

Kate is Clinical Director of the Canterbury Integrated Palliative Care Service and Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Otago. She established the Christchurch Hospital Palliative Care Service and has held a range of national and trans-Tasman leadership roles over the years.

Kate has a substantial role in education and teaching, focussing on decision-making and communication skills as well as clinical care and symptom management.

Currently, Kate is Chair of the CDHB Clinical Ethics Advisory Group and is a subject matter expert for HealthPathways. She values highly the role of the non-specialist in providing high quality palliative and end of life care.

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Dr Carl Hanger

Dr Hanger is a generalist Geriatrician who still enjoys his work and his patients.

He has broad clinical interests, including management and rehabilitation of frail older people in all settings (community both urban and rural, institutions and hospitals). He works both in the hospital environment running an inpatient ward and outpatient clinics, and also in the community where he is involved in two different community teams and undertakes home visits.

He has been involved on a number of New Zealand Ministry of Health advisory groups, including the advisory group for the Health of Older People strategy, review of Specialist services for Older People and several Stroke advisory groups (currently on National Stroke Network).

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Dr Sarah Hurring

Sarah Hurring is a Geriatrician in Ōtautahi, Christchurch and completed her training at Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney. She has 20 years of experience working in Orthogeriatric care including elective, acute and rehabilitation services. She is the National Clinical Lead for the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry and the Clinical Director for Older Persons Health in Waitaha, Canterbury. Sarah has an interest in models of care and a growing awareness in how consumers can inform service improvements.

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Professor Sue Kurrle AO

Sue is a geriatrician who is practising at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in northern Sydney and in an outreach capacity at Batemans Bay and Moruya Hospitals in southern New South Wales. She holds the Curran Chair in Health Care of Older People in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. Her research and practice interests centre on dementia, frailty, elder abuse, geriatric outreach services, successful ageing, and intergenerational programs, and her work focuses on translation of research into clinical practice. She has set up memory clinics at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Batemans Bay hospitals, and leads the dementia clinical drug trials unit at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. Her current research in frailty centres on identifying physical frailty in older patients in hospital, and developing interventions to address frailty which are then continued in the community after discharge in collaboration with the patient’s general practitioner. In January 2023 she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medicine as a geriatrician, and to research into dementia and cognitive function.

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Dr Margot Lodge

Dr Margot Lodge is a consultant geriatrician and early career researcher. Margot works clinically at Alfred Health, where she is the Traumageriatrics Service clinical lead and Perioperative Medicine Service geriatrician lead. She established The Alfred Traumageriatrics Service in 2023 and has recently launched a service-wide interdisciplinary perioperative medicine service. As a clinician-researcher, Margot’s postdoctorate work aims to improve outcomes for older people in the perioperative and acute trauma settings, utilising implementation science and mixed-methods research.

Margot’s policy and professional contributions extend to multiple committees that advocate for best perioperative care, including groups through the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality, Victorian Perioperative Consultative Council, and Safer Care Victoria. She teaches for the Monash University Perioperative Medicine Short Course and is a supervisor and content writer for the ANZCA Course in Perioperative Medicine.

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Mr Giovanni Losco

Giovanni is an adult and paediatric urologist from Christchurch, New Zealand. He completed fellowship training in paediatric urology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and gained extensive experience in reconstructive urology, female urology, pelvic organ prolapse, mesh complications, urethroplasty and urological care of spinal injuries while working at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Institute of Urology, University College Hospital, London. Prior to that, he worked at Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney where he focussed on bladder dysfunction with a particular interest in male and female incontinence as well as mesh removal surgery.

In 2018 he was awarded a Travelling Fellowship where he spent time in the USA operating with world-leading surgeons in erectile dysfunction: Dean Knoll (Nashville, Tennessee) and Brian Christine (Birmingham, Alabama). Before leaving New Zealand, Giovanni undertook his post-graduate training in Christchurch, Wellington and Palmerston North.

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Professor John McMillan

John McMillan chairs New Zealand’s National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC). This committee advises the Minister of Health on matters of national significance and establishes the ethical standards for research in New Zealand. He is a Professor at the Bioethics Centre at the University of Otago and has worked on a range on issues within bioethics. He is the current Editor in Chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Associate Professor Chris Moran

Chris is a geriatrician based at The Alfred, Melbourne and Associate Professor of Health Services Research at Monash University. His clinical and research interests include dementia and healthy ageing with a focus on brain health. Chris is also interested in the development and evaluation of changes to how we can provide care and support older people. Chris is Chair of the Scientific and Research Committee of ANZSGM and a member of the Management Committee of the ANZSGM's journal, the Australasian Journal on Ageing.

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Professor Alison Mudge

Alison is a general physician, health services researcher and highly regarded educator based at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Professor at the University of Queensland. She is passionate about making hospitals more age friendly through genuine engagement with older consumers, increasing the skills and compassion of multidisciplinary staff, empowering clinical leadership, implementing evidence-based model of care, and improving physical environments. Alison leads the Eat Walk Engage program, a ward-based continuous improvement program that prevents delirium and gets older patients home from hospital sooner and is now implemented in 18 hospitals throughout Queensland. She serves on the steering committee of the Queensland Dementia, Ageing and Frailty Network.

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Professor Suzanne Pitama (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Suzanne is the Dean and the Head of Campus at the University of Otago, Christchurch. Suz is a registered psychologist and a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society. Suz has been involved in Māori health research and health professional education for over 20 years. Her work has included the development of an Indigenous Health model of health, which supports Indigenous and non-Indigenous health professionals signpost cultural competency and safety within their practice. Suzanne has received a number of awards including the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for tertiary teaching excellence and both the Indigenous Leadership Award and Lifetime award from the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME). Suzanne was awarded the Joan Metge Medal for her research in Indigenous medical education.

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Professor Ian Reid

Ian Reid is an endocrinologist and Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland. His research interests include calcium metabolism, vitamin D, osteoporosis and Paget’s disease. He has worked extensively in the development of the bisphosphonates for use in osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, and also on the safety and efficacy of calcium supplements, vitamin D deficiency and supplementation, and has been involved in development of most new osteoporosis treatments in the last 30 years. He is a past-president of the International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS) and the Australian & New Zealand Bone & Mineral Society (ANZBMS), and recipient of research awards from the European Calcified Tissue Society, the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, the ANZBMS and the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Science Prize.

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Dr Moira Smith

Moira is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director, Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington, and Associate Member, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago. She graduated BDS from the University of Otago in 1987 and practised dentistry in NZ and the UK. In 2010, she left private practice to undertake a PhD in public health.

Moira undertakes research in a range of areas of public health interest, including oral health services for older people. Moira was a named investigator on the 2012 NZ Older People's Oral Health Survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health. She has led several projects investigating innovative ways of supporting and improving the oral health of people who are ageing in their own homes or in care homes. Most recently, she was a named investigator on the AWESSoM Programme, funded by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge and led a project in collaboration with a community health care support provider. Moira currently chairs the NZ Oral Health Clinical Advisory Network and is an Associate Editor for Gerodontology.

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Professor Eddy Strivens

Eddy Strivens is a Geriatrician and Clinical Director for Older Persons, Subacute and Rehabilitation in Cairns, Far North Queensland, a Professor with James Cook University School of Medicine and a former President of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine.

Clinically, Eddy is based in Cairns, where he came for a 12 month job in 1996 and is still there 27 years later. His medical interests include integrated community and sub-acute care, dementia in acute care and regional outpatient memory clinics, including outreach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in the Torres Strait and Cape York.

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Associate Professor Rosie Watson

Associate Professor Rosie Watson is a geriatrician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a laboratory head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). Her clinical and research interests focus on improving the diagnosis and management for people with cognitive disorders. She has contributed to advances in dementia, especially in Lewy body dementia, leading the first Australian longitudinal clinical and biomarker study which has provided a framework for an Australian Phase 3 therapeutic trial in Lewy body dementia. She leads a multidisciplinary research team and supervises PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

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