Founding Chairman Brian Poole

Brian Poole, chairman has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday honours for services to health and the community.

Brian has a life-long commitment of service, through his church and Rotary. However, it is his endeavours to improve awareness and recognition of Crohn's and colitis (IBD) for which we are so grateful.

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 approximately six years ago, and more recently the national organisation, Crohn's and Colitis New Zealand.

As the founding chair of Crohn's and Colitis New Zealand, 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 in the three years 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.

We thank Brian for his vision and commitment and congratulate him on his Queen's Service Medal, which is so well deserved.

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