Staff profiles

Jake Mills
Consumer engagement advisor

Starting with us in September 2020, Jake’s a conduit between people who access our services, the community and our staff who all shape the way we approach consumer engagement. Jake works to embed a shared partnership/person-centred approach here at Taranaki DHB.

My role aims to build systems and processes to enable a strong consumer voice at all levels of healthcare – from direct care, service delivery, policy and Governance.

I’m tasked to establish the inaugural Consumer Council and then work alongside the council to develop the Taranaki DHB Consumer Engagement Framework. This will help to formalise all of the amazing consumer engagement the people within our DHB are doing every day.

A Māori whakatauki that has stuck with me from a very young age comes to mind when I think about the consumer engagement role.

Nau te raurau naku te raurau ka ora te iwi (with your basket and mine we will thrive)


Tell us about your team

As the Clinical Governance Support Unit we’re the quality improvement and risk arm for Hospital and Specialist Services at our DHB.

I feel privileged to work with the most amazingly energetic and inspiring team of individuals. Led by Dr Pieter Pike and Cath Anderson we have clinical governance advisors and coordinators who are specialists working directly alongside each of the H&SS directorates – Infection Prevention Control, the Consumer Engagement team and our risk manager and medication safety advisor. It’s such an awesome bunch to work with.

I’d like to also give a special acknowledgement to Channa Perry and the Planning and Funding team led by Becky Jenkins where I’m employed to develop the Taranaki DHB Accessibility Action Plan and work across all of the incredible projects happening throughout our DHB!


Are you working on any special projects?

I’m working to establish the inaugural Taranaki DHB Consumer Council and Consumer Engagement Framework. This is with the project lead Mary Bird who is the most passionate champion for consumer engagement you’ll ever meet and it’s a true honour to work with and learn from her.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to be involved with several Planning and Funding projects that require consumer engagement and see how quality improvements are made as a result of the consumer voice.


How did you get to this point in your career?

I helped to kick-start the local ParaFed, working for Sport Taranaki and people with physical impairments to compete locally in sport and recreation.

Shortly after I moved to a national social change organisation which was formally known as Be. Accessible. Their vision was to make New Zealand 100% accessible for all people. I worked alongside leading New Zealand businesses to shift the way they think about accessibility and work with diverse talent, tapping into diverse ways of thinking.

“Authentic change happens when people are willing to think beyond what they currently know and understand.”


The best thing about this job?

I love working with different people and listening to a range of perspectives about health every day. My job puts all people with lived experience of health services at the centre of everything we want to do.


What inspires you to keep doing your work?

Consumers need to have a strong voice at all levels of healthcare. They will be the people who champion a new way forward. It’s people with lived experience, their family and whānau who understand the most appropriate ways to access services. It’s our job to listen.

The organisation is ready for this, our leaders, staff and consumers are so supportive of what can be achieved through consumer involvement. Everybody who Mary and I meet is totally engaged and on board with the concept.


Big plans or dreams?

To have a fully functioning Consumer Council with a clear pathway and direction that works with the Taranaki DHB. To continually hone my skills and knowledge of the health sector locally, nationally and internationally. 


Last updated: Wednesday, June 30, 2021

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