The NSU congratulates Dr Joanne Dixon for her 2016 New Years honour
The NSU warmly congratulates Dr Joanne Dixon for her 2016 New Years honour - becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to clinical genetics.
Dr Dixon was integral in the development of clinical genetics in New Zealand during the 1990's and continued to advocate for a national genetic service that would allow families across New Zealand with inherited disease to have access to a consistent level of care and advice, and optimising resources through shared information and expertise. Due to Joanne's perseverance, a national genetic service “Genetic Health Service New Zealand (GHSNZ)” was formally established in 2012, bringing together staff based in Canterbury, Wellington and Auckland and responsible for providing genetic clinical service for the population. Joanne is the inaugural national Director for GHSNZ, currently based in Christchurch, with the task of liaising with the Ministry of Health and DHBs to consolidate and promote the service. Within this role, she has been a strong advocate for and supporter of training in the parallel role of genetic counselling. Her strong links between NZ and Australia led to the development of robust policies, procedures and standards for the service, along with the development of genetic laboratory testing.
Additional to her role, Dr Dixon provides support for the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme. She is the chair of the technical advisory group and assists in the development of policies and standards for the programme.
Dr Dixon is the most recent past President of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia.
The NSU wishes to thank Joanne for her continued support and advocacy for high quality newborn screening services and is delighted that she has been recognised for her contribution to the New Zealand health service.