PPTC Scientific Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Philip Wakem, NZCS, Dip MLSc, MMLSc (Otago, NZ), MNZIMLS, RNZMLS
Philip began five years of training at Wellington Hospital (NZ) as a Medical Laboratory Scientist and graduated with the NZ Diploma of Medical Laboratory Science in 1983. In 1985, Philip was awarded an advanced qualification in Haematology by the New Zealand Medical Laboratory Sciences Board and following this, took charge as a Professional and Technical Advisor of the general Haematology Laboratory, Wellington Hospital, for over 20 years. In 1996 and in 1997 Philip was nominated as chief examiner in Haematology by the NZ Medical Laboratory Sciences Board and in more recent years, an Honorary Associate nominated by Massey University to oversee the practical training, and assessment of Medical Laboratory Interns placed by the University throughout the academic year. In 2001, Philip completed a Master of Medical Laboratory Science Degree from the University of Otago (NZ), and in 2008 began a new career path as an Educational Programme Coordinator with the Pacific Pathology Training Centre. He was appointed Manager in 2012, with a change in designation in 2014 to Chief Executive Officer. Phil continues to travel extensively in the Pacific lecturing and training students in Haematology as well as conducting technical assessments and evaluations of hospital-based laboratories.
Laboratory Quality Manager
Up until August 2011, Russell filled the position of Charge Microbiology and Laboratory Coordinator at Whakatane Hospital and during that time had oversight of QC and IANZ documentation for the laboratory. As a registered Medical Laboratory Scientist and Microbiologist, Russell has had over 25yrs experience in the medical laboratory diagnostic sciences and has excelled in the particular areas of laboratory management, human resources, and laboratory accreditation.
The PPTC’s work on Laboratory Quality Management is increasingly guided by the WHO Asia-Pacific Strategy for Strengthening Health Laboratory Services 2010-2015, and many countries in the Pacific are preparing for or have begun significant health sector reform. The PPTC currently plays a progressive role in the development and implementation of LQMS in selected Pacific Island Countries and Russell appointed by the PPTC as its Laboratory Quality Manager is responsible for the supervision of this programme.
Teaching and Training Programme Manager
Navin graduated from the University of Otago, and qualified as a New Zealand registered Medical Laboratory Scientist in 2008 specialising both in Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Molecular Pathology. In 2017, Navin completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health through Massey University. He has gained a wealth of experience working in medical diagnostic laboratories throughout New Zealand and is now the Programme Teaching and Training Manager for all teaching and training programmes provided by the PPTC to students throughout the Pacific.
The teaching, training, and development aid programmes offered by the PPTC are governed by one principle: ‘They must be appropriate, affordable and sustainable for the health care setting in which they will be used’. The emphasis is on appropriate and practical short-term training and teaching, both in country and in New Zealand that will ensure immediate benefit for the trainees in their work setting. In 2005 the Centre commenced a Distance Learning Diploma programme in conjunction with WHO, and now provides courses in the majority of the medical laboratory science disciplines in addition to the training courses run at the PPTC. Navin is responsible for the consolidation of all our teaching and training programmes. Navin is also the manager for the PPTC’s REQA programme.
Biochemistry Technical Specialist
Filipo began his professional career in 1987 as a senior laboratory technician in Biochemistry at the Samoan National Hospital in Apia. Between 1989 and 1991 Filipo was employed by Wellington Hospital as a medical laboratory intern and in 1992 registered as a NZ medical laboratory scientist. He has accumulated more than 20 years experience in Biochemistry and has a comprehensive understanding of all processes involved, including Laboratory Quality Management Systems, IANZ standards ISO15189, Quality assessment and evaluation.
He has also held supervisory and management positions in Biochemistry for many years, and has been extensively involved in teaching, coaching co-ordinating and managing staff and students. Over the years Filipo has been involved with the PPTC through the teaching of Clinical Biochemistry to Pacific students attending courses at its Centre in Wellington, through the Biochemistry PPTC REQA programme, through in-country training during consultancy visits and more recently through the PPTC’s Distant Learning Diploma programme.
Filipo has a passion for contributing towards the development and improvement of laboratory quality standards within the Pacific region and the PPTC is most fortunate to have him as its Biochemistry Technical Specialist.
Medical Laboratory and IT Specialist
Vichet Khieng, BMLSc (Otago, NZ), MNZIMLS, RNZMLS
Vichet graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Otago and majored in both advanced clinical biochemistry & diagnostic molecular pathology.
In 2010, soon after gaining registration as a medical laboratory scientist while working at Dunedin hospital, he acted as technical manager at the Hawkes Bay community laboratories. He was responsible for the biochemistry department including reviews of the internal and external QC, manuals, and preparation for IANZ auditing.
Vichet relocated to Wellington in 2012 and joined the biochemistry department at Wellington hospital. He has had wide experience in NZ hospital and community laboratories and is a valuable addition to the PPTC team. Vichet also brings laboratory IT experiences to this role and will be able to advise on the role of hospital and laboratory information systems in the Pacific region.
PPTC Operational Staff
John is a qualified Chartered Accountant who provides accounting services to a number of not-for-profit organisations. His background includes 14 years as the chief accountant at Lotto NZ where he managed a team of accounting professionals. John has also provided accounting services to the National Bank of NZ as well as Child, Youth, and Family. He has worked for not-for-profit organisations for many years, an area in which he has developed broad knowledge and skills in both their accounting and business needs.
PPTC Board of Trustees
The PPTC Board of Trustees currently comprises of six members, including a Chairperson, Treasurer and four other members.
The Current Trustees are:
John Elliot, Chairman
Dr Ron Mackenzie, Cofounding Chairman and Trustee
Associate Professor Rob Siebers, Treasurer and Trustee
Angela Brounts, Trustee
Mike Lynch, Trustee
Marion Clark, Trustee