Michael Baker was an almost daily presence in our lives during the COVID 19 crisis - he was clear and authoritative. IPANZ is delighted to give our members a chance to talk with him - looking back at the management of the pandemic, but also looking forward to the readiness of our system for what might come next. He will talk about a range of things, including his decision-making processes, how we got to the elimination strategy, managing uncertainty and risk, and the ideal role of scientists in relation to the public service. Was the health sector and public service prepared? Have we the resilience for the next challenge? What are the key lessons to learn from both our successes and failures?
Your questions will be very welcome.
About our Speaker -
Michael Baker is a public health physician and Professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington. He has long-standing research interests in infectious diseases, environmental health, and housing and health, including biosecurity measures against emerging infectious diseases.
His work during 2020 was dominated by supporting New Zealand’s Covid-19 response. He is a member of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group (TAG). Michael took a leading role in formulating New Zealand’s Covid-19 elimination strategy. He established a programme of research on the epidemiology, prevention and control of Covid-19 in New Zealand and internationally (Co-Search) with support from the Health Research Council of New Zealand. With this group he has published widely, including papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and British Medical Journal. Michael’s contribution to public health, and the Covid-19 response in particular, has been recognised with a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year’s Honours list for 2021, the Public Health Champion award for 2020 (Public Health Association), and the Critic and Conscience of Society Award (from Universities New Zealand).