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Your Health Team

GPs

  • Dr. René Lenoir

    Rene graduated with a Medical degree from Maastricht University in the Netherlands in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of GPs with a special certification in teaching. Rene moved from the Netherlands to New Zealand with his wife and three sons in 2007 and started at Pihanga Health in 2010. Rene’s served as a rural medicine doctor in Ghana, West Africa for four years. Rene’s passion is all aspects of general practice and teaching future GPs in rural general practice. In 2018, Rene was key in establishing Pihanga Health as one of the rare certified teaching rural general practices in New Zealand. While at home in Taupō, Rene enjoys cycling, running, cooking (mainly eating ), reading novels, watching sports with his kids and enjoying the beautiful landscapes of Taupō/Tūrangi.

  • Dr. Kitty van Bekkum

    Kitty arrived in Tūrangi in 2017 and feels very welcomed by the community. She has lived, studied and worked in many different countries and therefore has experienced many different cultures. Her vision is open-minded towards different approaches in health care. In the Netherlands she worked in a holistic practice that combined natural medicine with general medicine.

    During her medical training she focussed on paediatrics. After her medical degree she worked in emergency medicine and paediatrics again. Her 3-year postgraduate GP training was completed in 2016. She did in-depth courses on palliative care, geriatric care and education of medical staff & students. She is an assistant-supervisor for junior doctors. Kitty finds prevention just as important as curing disease. She works on this together with long-term condition nurses and extended care team behind the scenes.

    In her own time she is passionate about traveling and exploring New Zealand’s outdoor activities. She has started a vegetable garden so she can cook with fresh produce. She aims to stay fit with endurance sports. She will be having a break from direct patient care as she and her partner are expecting their first child. She will remain a permanent GP at Pihanga Health Centre and return later in 2019.

  • Dr Caitlin Whitford

  • Dr Tim Insull

  • House Officers

    As part of our commitment to training future health professionals, we work with Lakes District Health Board to provide learning opportunities for new doctors.

    A 'House Officer' is a qualified doctor who is in their first or second year out of university. They spend these years doing 3month rotations through all medical specialisms. They come to Pihanga Health to gain experience in being a General Practitioner.

    Though qualified Doctors, all House Officers receive significant support and supervision from the rest of the clinical team.

Prescribing Pharmacist

  • Leanne

    Prescribing Pharmacist

    Leanne was born in the Waimarino under the maru of Koro Ruapehu where she affiliates to her Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi side. However, she grew up here in Tūrangi, and works part-time at Pihanga Health as a prescribing pharmacist. Leanne is one of a very small number of pharmacist prescribers in Aotearoa, having completed several postgraduate qualifications from both Auckland and Otago Universities. Her expertise focuses on complex chronic care, with a passion for addressing unmet need and optimal prescribing. Her career however has intentionally spanned different environments of the health sector, including large and small hospitals, Crown Entities, Marae settings as well as for national organisations at a governance level, and at Otago University as the Associate Dean Māori. She is the founder of The Māori Pharmacists Association, the Inaugural Recipient of the Clinical Pharmacist of the Year Award for pushing others to strive for clinical excellence. In addition, she has been the Supreme Winner of the NZ Pharmacy Awards, a recipient of the Hapai Te Hauora Award on two occasions, a research stay at Stanford University in the United States, the Services to Māori Award and a Fellowship from the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand. Her greatest joy she says is spending time with her children and wider whānau. To see Leanne you need to make an appointment with reception.

Nurses

  • Yvonne

    Lead Practice Nurse

  • Jan

    Long Term Conditions Practice Nurse

  • Jo

    Practice Nurse

  • Katina

    Practice Nurse (Healthy Hearts and Skin Conditions)

  • Kate

    Practice Nurse

  • Dini

    Practice Nurse (Womens Health)

  • Jaime

    Practice Nurse (Sexual Health)

Medical Support Assistants

  • Jamie

    Medical Care Assistant

  • Natalie

    Medical Care Assistant

  • Marion

    Medical Care Assistant

Management

  • Hilary

    Practice Manager

    Jen is from the USA and moved to New Zealand with her kiwi husband in August 2017. Jen started as the Pihanga Health Practice Manager in February 2018. She has a degree in economics and psychology as well as a master’s in public health. Her passion is process improvements for the benefit of patients and staff.

  • Heather

    Finance and Operations Manager

  • Toni

    Finance Administrator

Administration

  • Diana

    Administration Team Leader

  • Jemima

    Reception

  • Ann

    Reception

  • Zoe

    Reception

  • Lil

    Reception

  • Hine

    Reception (Casual)

Board Members

  • Kim

    Chair

  • Jo

  • Kim

  • Justin

  • Denis

  • René