Hamilton GP Dr Maree McCracken says as the volume and complexity of mental health related issues in primary care continues to increase, it's important that general practice is supported to provide quality primary care interventions to support their patients.
Dr McCracken is the medical lead/clinical director of primary mental health, a role that supports Pinnacle's primary mental health service in providing treatment for patients with mild to moderate mental health issues in a community setting.
A key focus of the role is to provide a GP liaison service between DHBs and our the Pinnacle network, providing clinical leadership to facilitate improved care in mental health and addiction.
"The role enables greater collaboration, facilitating greater awareness and uptake of primary and secondary mental health services in general practice," says Maree. "I see this role as advocating for Pinnacle's mental health services and programmes, and enabling general practice to have the support it needs to deliver those programmes."
"At a broader level, the role allows me to inform our strategic planning as we continue to adapt to the evolving health needs of our communities and look for ways to constantly improve what we offer."
Dr McCracken takes up the clinical director role in addition to her role as a GP at South City Health in Hamilton.
Maree is passionate about general practice and the relationships it allows health professionals to build with patients and whānau.
"I'm also particularly passionate about equity in access to primary care for our most vulnerable, and working to make sure that care is of high quality as well as being flexible and responsive."
As clinical director - primary mental health, Dr McCracken says she hopes to represent the "GP voice" in decision making processes and develop relationships within the mental health sector to support those working in general practice.
Outside of work, Dr McCracken enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.
"I also like being involved in my children's school community, and I can't live without the body balance class at Les Mills gym, fresh coffee and good chocolate."
Maree McCracken, Clinical Director, Primary Mental Health
027 485 7847