Transforming health systems in New Zealand

By Bethany Romano, MBA'17

Sreeraj Sasi, MS’10, recently joined the Auckland, New Zealand-based organisation Ko Awatea as an improvement advisor for their development and delivery team. Ko Awatea is the center for health system innovation and Improvement of Auckland's District Health Board Counties Manukau. Ko Awatea works to deliver system-wide improvement and wellbeing of local and regional communities by adopting a holistic, evidence based approach. It is also a center of excellence and education that is committed to transforming health systems in New Zealand and globally with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The organization intends to bring positive outcomes for patients and communities by developing leadership for improvement, implementing change programs through innovative thinking and building will and capacity to improve system-wide processes.

Of his new position, Sreeraj, who is a trained improvement advisor, says, “I lead and support various project and program teams in applying improvement tools and approaches. Currently I’m leading a health equity campaign and a diabetes collaborative within Counties Manukau-Auckland. I provide advice, practical help and coaching and deliver teaching sessions in the application of quality improvement tools for internal and external customers. I’m also part of the change management team, whose mission is to affect an organizational culture change that is committed to continuous, deliberate improvement of patient experience, organizational performance and culture.”

Working on quality and process improvement projects always excites Sreeraj. He says, “It’s even more exciting and challenging when you are in a new country and working in a health system that is unknown to you. This job gives me an opportunity to explore new horizons and learn health systems issues from a global perspective.”

Sreeraj's role at Ko Awatea involves working with various marginalized and deprived ethnic populations in New Zealand. He adds, “This job gives me a great platform to use my knowledge and skills to address these issues and grow professionally through new tasks and challenges—ones I haven’t had the opportunity to tackle in previous roles.”