Elana Taipapaki Curtis

Ngāti Rongomai, Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa

Associate Professor Elana Curtis FNZCPHM, MD, MPH, MBChB is a public health medicine specialist focused on Māori and indigenous health inequities. She looks at Māori health outcomes and the way in which racism (and privilege) act as a determinant of health.

Elana is interested in the reach of colonisation and the patterns of disadvantage seen with Māori, Pacific and communities of overseas Indigenous groups. "We need to have conversations about what it means to be Treaty compliant, pro-equity, culturally safe and anti-racist here in Aotearoa. This requires more than stating a commitment – it requires action".

In 2004, Elana was a Harkness Fellow based at the University of California San Francisco, investigating ethnic disparities in breast cancer mortality and survival. Before this, she worked at the National Screening Unit, Ministry of Health in Wellington, investigating Māori and non-Māori disparities in breast cancer epidemiology.

In 2016, she completed her Doctorate of Medicine (MD) focused on Indigenous health workforce development. Her Kaupapa Māori research investigates ethnic inequities within cardiovascular care, emergency department settings and the impact of COVID-19 management on Māori health outcomes.

Elana joined Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Auckland University as a senior lecturer in 2005 and later became an associate professor in 2018. Her areas of expertise and work as the Director of Vision 20:20 have seen improvements to Indigenous health workforce development, tertiary recruitment, bridging/foundation education and admission/support of Māori and Pacific students. She is now a consultant and Co-Director of Taikura Consultants Ltd.

Elana has received a Ngārimu Māori Battalion doctoral scholarship, a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award from Ako Aotearoa, multiple Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIMELite) awards and a Māori Television Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Matariki Award for Health and Science.

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