Jo Hikaka is pursuing her PhD in pharmacy with the goal of improving medicines use for older Māori adults including their access to clinical pharmacist services.
“My thesis is ‘Pharmacist facilitated medicines optimisation for community-dwelling Māori older adults – Collaborative development of a culturally responsive service and framework’.
“Through this, I hope to encourage a rethinking of how we deliver services to older Māori adults to support change so that our kaumātua are listened to in both the healthcare system and also in research.
I wanted to help improve medicines use for older Māori adults and to improve their access to clinical pharmacist services.
“My children were 2 and 5 years old when I started my PhD and I have found the University of Auckland have been supportive of all the commitments I have whilst still supporting me to ensure my PhD progresses. I think that’s really important, as being involved in work and projects outside my PhD contributes to a wider understanding of my area of research. Making it work while still being able to support my whānau is also extremely important to me. I have also gained a lot of support from fellow students who help to develop and challenge my thinking.
“I have a HRC Clinical Research Fellowship which supports me financially by not only providing a salary but paying fees and contributing to research costs. I have also received grants from Waitematā DHB, the Pharmacy Education and Research Foundation, the HOPE Foundation and Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga which contribute to research costs and dissemination of results."