Dr James Chisnall, a Motueka GP, has been awarded a Community Service Medal by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners for his tireless work for his patients and his community.
A Community Service Medal recognises GPs or rural hospital doctors who have made an outstanding contribution to general practice through work in their own communities.
For many years Dr Chisnall has been part of a team implementing services that benefit the Motueka community, ranging from reviewing mental health services, helping to set up community-based services such as a visiting paediatric service for Motueka’s vulnerable children, and advocating for funding to keep the 24-hour service running and ultimately reducing the rates of hospital admission.
College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “Dr Chisnall’s drive to showcase rural practice as an exciting and rewarding career, and his commitment to improving the health of his community makes him a deserving recipient of this award.”
He completed postgraduate allergy training in Australia and now provides allergy care at his practice, and initiated bee and wasp venom desensitisation for anaphylactic patients – a service that was not previously available in the Nelson region.
Dr Chisnall is a long-time supporter of rural GP training, and his practice, Greenwood Health, is recognised as an innovative rural medical teaching centre, attracting many students and trainees to Motueka and providing an insight into what cradle to grave, 24/7 care looks like in a rural community setting.
He has been a board member of his local Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and serves at a national level as a rural PHARMAC sub-committee member. He is also a local District Health Board (DHB) representative advocating strongly for patients and general practice.