Dr Rachel Shouler has been awarded a Community Service Medal by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
Dr Shouler is a GP at Tarawera Medical Centre and works as a GP liaison for Bay of Plenty District Health Board and is the Clinical Director at Eastern Bay of Plenty Primary Health Alliance (EBPHA).
Over the past 12 months she has played a significant part of the COVID-19 response for the Eastern Bay of Plenty community. She has been involved in the set-up of community testing centres, the delivery of COVID-19 swabbing tests, and has supported other practices through this period of uncertainty.
Across the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Dr Shouler has coordinated groups such as local iwi, Māori health providers and partners from primary (community) and secondary (hospital) health to come together and work towards the common goals of supporting and delivering high quality health care to some of the most isolated communities with the highest needs in the North Island.
Greig Dean, CE of EBPHA says, “Rachel demonstrated outstanding leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud and support her progressive, collaborative approach which has always seen her place the patients and Eastern Bay community as her number one priority.”
Dr Shouler was also one of the medial professionals who went to Whakatane Hospital to help treat patients affected by the Whakaari White Island eruption in December 2019.
The Community Service Medal recognises members of the College who have made an outstanding contribution to general practice through work in their communities.