On behalf of the PONZ committee we would like to warmly welcome you to our website!

It continues to be an exciting time in the development of psychosocial oncology support and research within New Zealand.

From its humble beginnings as an interest group almost twenty years ago, PONZ has grown into a national organisation which seeks to support professionals as they deliver integrated health care services adapted to the psychological, social, spiritual and physical needs of people with cancer and their family/whanau.

The field of psychosocial oncology has historically been slow to evolve in New Zealand, but momentum is now growing. In 2010 the Ministry of Health released a document entitled “Guidance for Improving Supportive Care for Adults with Cancer in New Zealand”. This provided DHBs with objectives and suggested practice to enhance provision of psychosocial support for those affected by cancer. More recently, 2015 saw the launch of a Ministry of Health initiative; the Cancer Psychological and Social Support initiative (CPSSS) which sits as part of the Faster Cancer Treatment programme. This has led to a swelling in the numbers of professionals working in psychosocial services in cancer settings across the country. These more recent professional roles, combined with the numbers of dedicated professionals already working in psychosocial roles across a range of cancer related settings, means increased opportunities for psychosocial support to be provided to people affected by cancer in New Zealand.

While there are many factors contributing to this gathering momentum, we are pleased to note the role that PONZ has played in this development. PONZ conferences continue to provide information, support, encouragement and collegial links for those with an interest in psychosocial-oncology throughout New Zealand.

Through this website our intention is to offer resources for health professionals working in this area. As we grow we hope to provide you with up to date links with the latest research and newest practice, as well as information about educational and training opportunities to facilitate the professional development of our multi-disciplinary workforce. We are aiming to also provide opportunities for health professionals to develop and maintain collegial relationships.

We warmly invite all health professionals with an interest in this area to join us as members of associate members of PONZ. Membership is free and together we are able to achieve so much more than we can as individuals. 

 

Lynley McCristell, PONZ president