Maia Foundation

Supporting child healthcare through our partnership with the Māia Health Foundation

28 June 2019

As part of our partnership with the Māia Health Foundation (Māia), the Buddle Findlay Child Health Foundation (the Foundation) purchased a Cortexflo which was installed at Christchurch Hospital earlier this year. 

The Cortexflo is a high quality photographic and video system that assists in the examination of children where there are sexual or physical abuse concerns.  Dr Clare Doocey, Clinical Director of Paediatric Medicine at Canterbury District Health Board, says that "the Cortexflo system is much easier to manoeuvre for the examiner, is not as intimidating for children, can be used hands free as is able to take photographs on voice command.  It also produces high quality videos and photographs and requires minimal photographic expertise to do so".  The NZ$24k system is a world class asset for the Canterbury region with "examiners feeling more confident in documenting their examination findings which is very important given the forensic nature of this work, and given the ease of use of equipment, examinations are potentially shorter".

"It was immediately evident to medical and nursing staff that Cortexflo is a huge advance on what was previously available ... it is much easier to use and will facilitate more streamlined examinations and easier engagement with children and their families", says Dr Doocey.

The Foundation is administered by three trustees - Charlotte von Dadelszen, Lisette Hood and Susan Rowe (partners at Buddle Findlay).  We sat down with Charlotte von Dadelszen to discuss some key aspects around the partnership and how it works.

Q:  How did the Foundation come to be?

The Foundation is a charitable trust that was set up in 2005 by the Buddle Findlay partners, and supports children receiving residential medical care in New Zealand.  If hospitals face an urgent need for equipment or other vital resources, the Foundation will quickly consider applications for funding to help meet the need and provide an immediate and direct benefit to the children.  More recently the Foundation has also been looking at supporting children with health needs in the community.

Supporting child healthcare is a natural fit for Buddle Findlay with partners and staff having a genuine desire to make a difference.  The Foundation is firmly committed to improving the experience for kids in hospital care, and helping them to stay out of hospital in a direct and tangible way.

More than NZ$1.15m has been donated for urgent medical care for children since the Foundation began.  The Foundation is funded by the partners and staff of Buddle Findlay.

Q:  What does your role as a Foundation trustee involve?

The Foundation has three trustees (one in each of our offices).  The trustees are responsible for considering each application for funding.  We also set the direction of the Foundation.  We try to make sure that the Foundation is flexible enough to help hospitals with their changing needs, and to ensure our funding improves the lives of as many kids as possible.

Q:  What cemented the Foundation’s decision to fund the Cortexflo camera, over other equipment and projects that require funding?

In August 2018, the Foundation signed a three year agreement with Māia.  The Foundation is a Founding Business Partner of Māia, which is the charitable arm of the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and has been set up to fundraise for items that are not budgeted for.  This is a wonderful opportunity for Buddle Findlay to continue supporting child health in Christchurch which expands on the firm's existing relationships with the equivalent organisations for Wellington and Middlemore Hospitals.  The Foundation provides Māia with funding for specific items of equipment for the children's ward of Christchurch Hospital. 

The Foundation is here to help hospitals provide a service to children that they might not otherwise be able to offer.  When we signed the agreement with Māia, it was on the understanding that they would work with the CDHB to identify the hospital’s needs.  This is how we work with other hospitals, and some community health organisations too.  We let them decide on their priorities - our task is to help them achieve that if we possibly can.

Over recent years the Foundation has made contributions so that hospitals can purchase much needed equipment such as:

  • A paediatric gastroscope - specially designed to inspect the gastrointestinal tract of child patients
  • A paediatric nasendoscope - used for viewing children's nasal and sinus passages, fitted with a camera at the tip
  • A hearing screening unit - to help identify hearing problems specifically in new born babies
  • Cardiotographs - machines used to measure foetal heart rates and uterine contractions during pregnancy which can help plan the management of the pregnancy and delivery
  • Dental chair booster equipment to assist with paediatric dental care. 

Q:  How quickly were you able to secure the funding?  Was the Foundation responsible for all funding, or did it work in partnership with other groups?

A principal focus of the Foundation is to provide funding assistance at short notice to meet the urgent health needs of children receiving institutional medical care.  Such a need may arise, for example, from an unforeseen critical shortage or local unavailability of a vital resource, an emergency situation, a breakage or malfunction requiring immediate and unbudgeted replacement or repair, or an unexpected short-term opportunity to upgrade vital equipment.

Immediate funding for the Cortexflo proposal was available when the application was made and the actual approval didn’t take long at all.  It is normal for the Foundation to fully fund projects itself, and that’s what happened in the case of this proposal.

This article was written for the NBR (July 2019).