7 May 2019
Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Charity Ball & Auction.
After its highly successful inaugural Ball and Auction last year, the PMA is ready to do it all again.
The organisation which has spent more than twenty years fostering and championing excellence in healthcare services to Pacific peoples, encouraging and mentoring Pacific people to become health professionals, training and organising Pacific based health workers to help out with relief work when disaster strikes, will be holding another charity ball and auction on Saturday 13th July.
Funds raised will go into the PMA Education Fund launched by last year and will provide study awards to Pacific secondary and tertiary students focused on a career in health; and will provide an opportunity for a Pacific-based Doctor or Nurse to undertake an international short course and study tour.
This year’s Charity Ball will be another gala affair and will be held at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland. In addition to raising funds for the PMA Education Fund, it will be another wonderful chance opportuniy for Pasifika health workers, colleagues and friends to come together to network and celebrate each others achievements over the past year.
The PMA has an impressive record of development and delivery of health services to Pacific people both in New Zealand and in the wider Pacific dating back more than two decades.
The PMA was formed in 1996 as an Incorporated Society, to provide a forum for Pacific medical professionals including doctors, medical students, and other health professionals. They held their first conference a year later in Auckland and Aiono Associate Professor Alec Ekeroma was the first president.
By the following year,they had persuaded the government to establish The Pacific Provider Development Fund to establish and support ‘By Pacific, For Pacific’ health providers.
In 2001, the PMA annual conference was held outside of New Zealand for the first time in the Cook Islands where Dr.Ate Moala became President.
2002 was a milestone year for Pacific health professionals. The conference moved back to Auckland and introduced the PMA Service Awards which have since become an annual event. There was cause for celebration too that by then 14 Pacific health providers had been established and supported by the Ministry of Health Provider Fund.
In 2005 the annual conference moved offshore again, this time to Tonga. And that year PMAs services expanded again when it was contracted to provide more than $2m worth of support services to Professional Pacific Organisations. By 2008 from its humble beginnings just over a decade earlier, PMAs membership had risen to more than 500 health professionals and working in schools and universities.
In 2009 when the conference again returned to the Cook Islands PMA showing growing confidence appointed its first CEO – Debbie Sorensen – and the organisation stepped up once again becoming responsible for Pacific Health Dialogue. Taking a more hands-on practical approach PMA contributed to co-ordinate New Zealand’s disaster relief following the tsunami that struck Samoa that same year. In the same year,there were 39 Pacific health providers receiving Pacific Provider Development Funding and delivering $50m worth of health services. In 2015, PMA-Emergency Response Team were deployed to Vanuatu in response to Cyclone Pam and in 2018 were deployed to Tonga in response to Cyclone Gita.
By 2016, twenty years after its formation the Pacific Medical Association membership reached 3,000.
PMA CEO Debbie Sorensen says, “Last year we announced the scholarships and education fund. At the Charity Ball on 13th July, we will have great pleasure in announcing the first recipients. I think it is a sign of the determination and strength of our members that PMA has made such steady and meaningful progress since those distant days in 1996 and that we remain relevant as an organisation.
“The mentoring and training we have facilitated not just for health services, but also training people for disaster relief in some Pacific countries have been very satisfying and a source of pride too for the people on the ground in those countries that they can be the first responders in their countries”.
There are 500 tickets available for the charity ball. Tickets cost $230 or $2300 a table (10 tickets) which includes, dinner, drinks, entertainment and an incredibly memorable evening. Tickets can be purchased through the PMA website – www.pmacharityball.org.nz and you can contact Melissa Fidow E: email@example.com for more information.
Release PMA Charity Ball 2019