Cecilia Robinson named New Zealand Innovator of the Year

Published by Tend Health 27 March 2024

We are beyond thrilled to announce that our co-founder and CEO Cecilia Robinson has been named New Zealand Innovator of the Year at the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards. This prestigious recognition is a testament to Cecilia’s leadership, vision for the future of healthcare, and steadfast commitment to making a difference to the lives of all Kiwis.

Cecilia is a true entrepreneur at heart and has a remarkable ability to inspire and empower people. She leads by example – with her unwavering determination, infectious energy, and relentless drive to innovate.  Cecilia’s personal health experiences have motivated her to dedicate the rest of her life to improving healthcare outcomes for our tamariki.

Also humble, Cecilia extended the award to the entire Tend team, recognising that innovation doesn’t happen in isolation, it is a reflection of our combined mahitahi.

We are incredibly proud to work alongside such an exceptional leader and are excited to continue our mission of making New Zealanders the healthiest people in the world under Cecilia’s guidance.

An excerpt from her acceptance speech:  

“I wanted to share one of my favourite quotes by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren:

“Allt stort som skedde i världen skedde först i någon människas fantasi.”

In English, it translates to, “Everything great that ever happened in the world, first happened in someone’s imagination.”

This quote holds true for our journey at Tend. However, innovation and progress never occur in isolation. They are the result of our mahitahi – our collaboration of diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives.

When you ask “Do we need to innovate, everyone says YES,” but leading innovation takes courage. The team at Tend’s commitment to innovation is inspiring and crucial to shaping the future of healthcare. Thank you for your dedication and creativity in pushing boundaries and making a positive impact.

Tend isn’t your regular Kiwi start-up, we’re not talking about going global. Instead, we’re innovating in a category that impacts each and every one of us. We’re rebuilding our healthcare system from the ground up.

Healthcare may not always seem glamorous; it exposes our country at its most vulnerable. Every day, we tackle some of New Zealand’s biggest and most complex issues. But amidst the challenges, we are making progress. We are innovating – together.

Let’s continue to collaborate, innovate, and push boundaries as we work towards our shared vision of a healthier future for all.”

Tend and Innovation

Operating at the forefront of primary healthcare and technology innovation, Tend has rapidly emerged as one of Aotearoa’s largest primary care providers in just three years. With over 130,000 patients enrolled across 25 clinics and nearly 500 team members, Tend is revolutionising a sector grappling with challenges.

Innovation lies at the heart of Tend’s mission to transform healthcare. By harnessing cutting-edge technology, Tend is reshaping primary care delivery and addressing critical areas of need.

Tend’s commitment to innovation spans three key pillars: access, equity, and workforce enhancement. Recognising the pressing need for improved access to healthcare services, Tend has improved and streamlined processes to significantly reduce wait times.

The team at Tend is dedicated to promoting health equity by addressing disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. Their targeted initiatives have led to remarkable improvements, including a sevenfold increase in Pacifica enrolments and more than doubling Maori enrolments at one of the recent clinics that was integrated.

Furthermore, Tend prioritises their workforce, understanding that empowered and satisfied clinicians are essential for delivering quality care. By leveraging technology Tend aims to reduce administrative burdens, boost clinician satisfaction, and use AI to enhance workforce productivity. Through these efforts, Tend is making tangible strides towards a more inclusive and effective healthcare system for all.