Endometriosis New Zealand announces new Clinical Advisory Committee


29th September 2022

Endometriosis New Zealand has announced its new Clinical Advisory Committee (CAC), which will support the charity’s purpose of improving lives of those with endometriosis in Aotearoa.  

The CAC is comprised of volunteer clinical practitioners with a major interest in endometriosis, including five specialist gynaecologists, two active clinical researchers, one pelvic floor physiotherapist, one clinical psychologist and one general practitioner. 

Chief Executive Officer, Tanya Cooke, who joined the organisation last year, says the CAC’s primary role is to provide strategic direction on clinical issues.

“As Aotearoa’s national endometriosis organisation, we represent the tens of thousands of people living with endometriosis in our country, to help find solutions and improve health outcomes. One of the biggest barriers to this, is the quantity of misinformation circulating about the disease. 

“The CAC will be working with the ENZ team, to provide and review medical and scientific information, to ensure those with the condition are as informed as possible, in conjunction with improving awareness and understanding of the disease within the wider community,” she says.

The founding CAC members are Dr Michael Wynn-Williams, Dr Sarah Corbett (Ngati Rangiwewehi), Caitlin Day, Dr Anna Ponnampalam, Dr Simon McDowell (Ngati Porou / Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti), Dr Fiona Connell, Dr Keryn Harlow, Leena St Martin, Dr Mike Armour and Dr Orna McGinn.

The news follows ENZ’s appointment of four new Board members late last year.

Dr Michael Wynn-Williams, who leads the Minimally Invasive Gynaecology Surgery (MIGS) team at Te Toka Tumai Aucklandand sits on the Board of Endometriosis New Zealand, will serve as the Chair of the CAC.

“I’m looking forward to working with the other members of the Clinical Advisory Committee to guide Endometriosis New Zealand’s strategic direction on clinical issues and provide advice that reflects the perspective of endometriosis sufferers and the wider community,” he says.

Dr Sarah Corbett is a specialist Gynaecologist who has completed her fellowship in complex gynaecological laparoscopy and minimal access surgery, and was awarded an AGES (Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy & Surgery) qualification in 2016.

Caitlin Day is a pelvic health physiotherapist who set up the Chronic Pelvic Pain management class at Te Whatu Ora – Te Toka Tumai, which focuses on improving waitlist times for people with endometriosis and those who suffer from painful periods. 

Dr Anna Ponnampalam is a reproductive biologist and senior research fellow at the Department of Physiology, part of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, at the University of Auckland. 

Dr Simon McDowell practices both general gynaecology and Fertility Medicine at Fertility Associates Wellington.

Dr Fiona Connell, who also sits on the Board of Endometriosis New Zealand, introduced advanced laparoscopy to North Shore Hospital in Auckland and leads their Period Pain and Endometriosis Service. She completed her AGES fellowship at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Dr Keryn Harlow is the lead consultant for advanced endometriosis at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and is the only AGES accredited gynaecologist in the South Island. 

Leena St Martin is a clinical psychologist who specialises in women’s health including gynaecological concerns and relationships, including grief and adjustment to change arising from health issues. 

Dr Mike Armour is a World Endometriosis Society Ambassador and Chair of Endometriosis Australia’s clinical advisory committee and research committee.

Finally, Dr Orna McGinn is a GP and the founder and current Chair of the New Zealand Women in Medicine Charitable Trust.

For more information about CAC members, visit People | ENZ Our People | Endometriosis New Zealand (nzendo.org.nz)

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