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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. Rene is not accepting new patients at this time.

  • 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.
    At the moment she is not accepting new patients.

  • Dr. Rebecca Brandon

    Rebecca Brandon was born in Taumarunui and was raised in South Auckland. She received a bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 2004 and a Bachelor’s in Medicine and Surgery in 2008 from University of Auckland. She went on to work in the New Zealand Defense Force as a Military Officer serving Soldiers and civilians. She has worked at rural general practices across New Zealand as well as time in Afghanistan with the United Nations as a Medical Officer and in the outback of Australia in emergency medicine. After working within Tūwharetoa Health, she started with Pihanga Health to align with her training in the Royal New Zealand College of GP’s “General Practice Education Programme (GPEP)”, a three year programme. Rebecca is also a clinical research fellow at the University of Auckland with a focus on diabetes and genomics. She is working towards a post graduate degree in public health as well. Rebecca’s passion is public health and influencing proactive, preventive health approach. Rebecca in her off time enjoys supporting military personnel and gardening. Rebecca is accepting new patients at this time with the understanding she is only here four days one week and off the following week.

  • Dr. Dave Nixon

    Dave was born in Wellington. He attended the University of Auckland and received a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery. He later earned a diploma of obstetrics at the University of Auckland. Dave spent time in the UK hospital system focused on medicine and paediatrics and later spent time in Australia with a focus on general practice. He moved to Taupō in 1985. In his time as a GP partner at Taupō Health, he was instrumental in the development the clinical nurse led hospice programme as it is today. He was a key leader in the Lake Taupō PHO. Since his semi-retirement in 2017, Dave and his wife, Kate (who also works for Pihanga Health as a Practice Nurse) has travelled overseas to Bhutan to provide palliative care and stand up programmes related to hospice. He is passionate about the whole spectrum of health related to community focused rural general practice. Dave will be a casual GP for Pihanga Health and will fill in for our permanent GPs when they are on leave. As such, he will not be accepting patients at this time.

  • Dr. Nikoletta Pocsi

    Nikoletta graduated from medical school in 2010 in Debrecen, Hungary. After graduation she moved to Plymouth, United Kingdom where she lived for 6 years. During this time she obtained her specialist qualification in General Practice and became a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). She moved to Australia in December 2017 after gaining fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). She spent one year in Australia, practicing as a GP and then she moved to New Zealand to find joy in the nature and outdoor activities. She has an interest in women's health, ear/nose/throat, and care of the elderly. Nikoletta will be departing July 2019 and consequently is not accepting patients.

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

    Practice Nurse

  • Jo

    Practice Nurse

  • Katina

    Practice Nurse

  • Kate

    Practice Nurse

  • Dini

    Practice Nurse

Medical Support Assistants

  • Jamie

    Medical Care Assistant

Management

  • Jen

    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

Administration

  • Toni

    Administrator

  • Jemima

    Reception

  • Ann

    Reception

  • Natalie

    Reception

  • Zoe

    Reception

  • Lil

    Reception

Board Members

  • Paul

  • Kim

  • Bevan

  • Denis

  • René

  • Kim