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As head of a large Family Medicine department (University of Pretoria) I am accountable to a society that suffers from disproportionate poor health. Our academic mandate as primary care practitioners and teachers provides the platform to impact on health care not only now in what is implemented, but also through our students and publications in the next 20+ years.
Building and guiding an unbelievably creative, committed and diverse team at UP Family Medicine is a fascinating journey that requires on-going decisive action, reflection and adaptation. This team was awarded the University Laureate Award for Education Innovation in 2012 and the HELTASA (Higher Education and Training Association of South Africa) national teachers award in 2013. Presently this team is establishing a COPC (Community Oriented Primary Care) Living Laboratory in collaboration with the City of Tshwane and Gauteng Department of Health.
I learnt my trade at the University of the Freestate, learnt primary care practice in the mountain villages of Qwa-Qwa in the Freestate (1984-88) and grew up as an academic in the most exciting Medunsa Family Medicine department from 1989 to 2006.
I engage in local, national and international primary health care and education through memberships of the Health Professional Council of SA(1999-2010), Collaboration for Health Equity through Education and Research (2003 to present), Primafamed (Primary care and family medicine network for Africa), Madibeng Centre for Research (2001- present) and others. In this I learnt to view and engage education and health care from the local individual (patient and student) level to the household, district, national and international system levels.
Stability and inspiration comes from living with my wife Margaret in Silkaatsnek where we enjoy the Magaliesberg and a pottery studio.