Professor Beverley Lawton

Ngāti Porou

Professor Beverley ONZM Lawton's first-hand experiences witnessing preventable harm and death among women have shaped her work in reproductive health, Māori health, addressing inequalities, and conducting Kaupapa Māori research.

After completing her training at Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo, the University of Otago, Bev worked as a general practitioner in Wellington for 17 years. During this time, she co-founded the Wellington Menopause Clinic. The clinic utilises evidence-based information on hormone replacement therapy, non-hormonal treatments, and lifestyle modifications to assist women in managing symptoms and improving their overall well-being.

Bev is also the founder and director of Te Tātai Hauora o Hine, the National Centre for Women's Health Research Aotearoa. The Centre's research model places whānau at the core and addresses clinical and external factors impacting women and children, such as racism, housing, transportation, finances, safety, and education. The research findings are then used to provide recommendations to healthcare practitioners, hospitals, and iwi health providers to enhance the health of women and children and reduce health disparities for Māori.

Through her research, Bev has also influenced health policies in Aotearoa to promote Māori well-being. Her previous research led to changes in policy and practice in Aotearoa and internationally. This includes the establishment of the Severe Maternal Morbidity monitoring programme through the Health Quality and Safety Commission. Her recent work has focused on informing the national rollout of a cervical cancer screening programme to remove barriers that wāhine Māori face when accessing these services. She has been actively involved in prioritising this initiative within the health community, as it plays a crucial role in reducing preventable deaths.

In recognition of her contributions to women's health, Bev was appointed an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit by the Queen in 2005. She was also honoured as a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal College of General Practice in 2017 and received the 2021 Women of Influence Award in the Innovation, Science, and Health category.

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