About us

The AYA Cancer Network Aotearoa: A membership organisation

The Network connects hands-on health care and support providers from many disciplines and organisations to improve AYA cancer services in New Zealand.

The Network provides a forum for nurses, doctors, social workers, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, dieticians, educators, counselors, other allied health professionals and patient and whānau support providers to find new and innovative ways of delivering care to 12-24 year olds with cancer.

At the heart of the Network’s endeavors is open communication, cross-agency and sector collaboration and information sharing. This transparency strengthens linkages between organisations, disciplines and regions to ensure the best interests of young people are met, regardless of where they access health care and support.

The Network is resourced by the Ministry of Health to provide clinical guidance and project management expertise to translate the ideas and knowledge of passionate practitioners into implementable, national solutions.

The Network uses small working groups of health and non-government organisation (NGO) sector specialists to examine specific issues and develop best-practice advice to guide service delivery across the country.

The Network welcomes participation of young people, their and whānau anyone involved in the delivery of care to 12-24 year olds with cancer in New Zealand. This includes medical, nursing, allied health and NGO front line support providers.

Leading collaboration for service development across the continuum of cancer care for AYAs

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    Heidi Watson

    The Clinical Leader is responsible for providing clinical leadership and national oversight of the network .

    Heidi is a passionate and experienced health professional with a strong clinical, education and leadership background. Her enthusiasm for, and commitment to youth health has focused on improving the outcomes of youth with cancer and chronic health conditions. Previously, Heidi held the position of AYA Cancer Nurse Specialist for Auckland District Health Board. Alongside her AYA clinical leadership role she holds a youth health academic position at the University of Auckland.