The Secretary of Health – Dr Aumea Herman – wishes to thank those who are supporting Te Marae Ora staff following the recent passing of Dr Joe Williams, Hon Nandi Glassie, and Paratainga Rasmussen a new nurse graduate.
“We have been comforted by the kinds words and support extended to us by Cook Islanders and health professionals here and abroad.
“This has been a difficult week for Te Marae Ora given many were family, work colleagues and good friends of those who passed.
With current work pressures we have not had time to reflect and heal as a family. Yet our workforce has continued to turn up to work every day to do our best for our people. I am hoping many of our staff can join the State Memorial Service for Dr Williams tomorrow.
In July last year Dr Williams as Medical Director for the Mt Wellington Integrated Healthcare GP practice and Dr Herman as Secretary for Te Marae Ora signed an Arrangement of Cooperation, formalising plans to help improve the health outcomes for our people. Dr Williams’ pioneering achievements are many, however, in the past two years he was an important mentor to our Executive, supported our annual Cook Islands health conferences especially in Aitutaki, and a proud representative of the Te Marae Ora contingent at the Pacific Health Ministers Meeting in French Polynesia in 2019.
Hon Nandi Glassie, as former Minister of Health worked tirelessly to help improve our health services. His calm and considered leadership helped progress significant regional health policy through the Pacific Heath Ministers meetings.
Paratainga graduated with her nursing diploma in November last year, a special event where in her absence, she was represented by her young sons. She was an excellent student and demonstrated enormous patience and courage throughout her studies.
Our sincerest condolences go out to all the families. Thank you for sharing your loved ones with Te Marae Ora. We appreciate and acknowledge their service to our people and our country.