Founding Chairman, Brian Poole
Brian was diagnosed with IBD as a young man, approximately 40 years ago, so has seen many changes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of IBD. He has always passionately believed that the disease has long lasting effects on people, quite apart from the day-to-day aspects of physically coping with a chronic illness. It is the isolation that these diseases cause and the effects on education and people's ability to work that have always inspired Brian's efforts to gain recognition.
It is these things that initially motivated Brian to set up the Crohn's and Colitis Wellington support group and the national organisation, Crohn's and Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust in 2010.
As the founding chair of Crohn's and Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust, Brian has established relationships with other Crohn's and colitis organisations internationally and represented interests at government level by meeting with cabinet ministers and Ministry of Health officials. He has overseen significant improvements in access to a range of medications since our inception, improved communications with medical professionals from gastroenterologists to dieticians and psychologists, and of course directed the development of a network of support groups throughout the country, to reduce isolation and improve awareness of these devastating diseases.
Brian was involved in the organising of the first Camp Purple Live, which was held in Auckland 2015. He also oversaw the funding and preparation of the report "Reducing the Growing Burden of IBD in New Zealand", which was launched in parliament in November 2017.
Brian has been supported through his endeavours by his wife Janet, his son and his three grandchildren.
Brian Poole was recognised in the 2013 Queen's Birthday honours for services to health and the community. Brian has a life-long commitment of service, through his church and Rotary. And it is his endeavours to improve awareness and recognition of Crohn's and colitis (IBD) in New Zealand that the organisation is most grateful.
We thank Brian for his vision and commitment and congratulate him on his Queen's Service Medal, which is so well deserved.