Profile of a public health doctor: Dale Bramley
As manager of the health gain team at Waitemata District Health Board, Dale (Ngapuhi, Ngati Hine) provides clinical leadership and strategic direction
for population health programmes to address diabetes and cardiovascular (heart) disease.
Other programmes within his broad work area include cancer control, healthy lifestyles, child health and the quality use of medicines.
An important focus of his work is to reduce the inequalities that exist between the health of Maori and other New Zealanders. His passion for Maori health has taken him to international forums for indigenous health and to New York to pursue a Harkness fellowship.
Dale has qualified as a doctor, has a Masters of Public Health and is studying towards a Masters in Business Administration. He insists however that you don’t have to be brilliant to pursue a career like his. He believes passion and persistence are key attributes along with dedication and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Dale attributes the success of his programmes to working with a broad range of other public health professionals whose combined work is essential to improving community health. One such programme is the Wellbeing in Schools project in which schools participate in a range of initiatives to improve and maintain good health including better nutrition, and increased physical activity.
Dale says creating links with primary care is also an important aspect of his work. This means that while the focus of his work is in preventing disease and maintaining wellness there is a need to care for those individuals who have become unwell.
Dale is also involved in health research using it to inform his day-to-day work.
He says he is a great believer in the need for research, but he must be able
to apply it to his work.
“I am committed to working in public health because I think
there are greater gains to be made by working with communities for