The ON TRACK Network National Executive Committee aims to be representative of all maternal and perinatal health disciplines and geography from around New Zealand. Members of the National Executive Committee were appointed following a national call for expressions of interest in 2016. Members are clinicians, researchers and consumers. The Committee meets on a regular basis and is responsible for directing and actioning the activity of the ON TRACK Network. Membership of the Committee is for a 3 year term with a renewal to a maximum of two terms.
Members of ON TRACK Network National Executive Committee
Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist & Obstetrician
Dr Katie Groom is an obstetrician and Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist at National Women’s Health, Auckland City Hospital and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland.
Her research focuses on clinical trials of therapies and interventions for the prevention and treatment of the major complications of pregnancy – preterm birth, preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. She is currently the Chief Investigator for STRIDER NZAus, a multicentre RCT of sildenafil for the treatment of early-onset IUGR and recently completed the EPPI trial, a multicentre RCT of enoxaparin for the prevention of preeclampsia and IUGR.
Katie is very actively engaged in promoting the integration of research into routine clinical care. She was a key member of the 2013-2014 feasibility study for a New Zealand wide maternal and perinatal health clinical trials network which has led to the development of the ON TRACK Network. In addition to her role with the ON TRACK Network she also chairs the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) Interdisciplinary Maternal and Perinatal Australasian Collaborative Trials) IMPACT Network and is an elected board member of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) and PSANZ.
Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist
Professor Caroline Crowther received her medical education at The University of Birmingham, UK and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College (FRANZCOG). She is Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland with an affiliation to the University of Adelaide.
She is a trained sub-specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine. Caroline is recognised internationally for her extensive record in leading high quality research, particularly randomised trials, and with a focus on translating results into clinical practice. Caroline is the principle investigator for the University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Research Funding Initiative which funds the establishment of the ON TRACK Network..
Dr Peter Abels graduated in medicine in South Africa, where he specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRANZCOG) and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago (Wellington).
Peter is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Wellington Hospital where he chairs the multidisciplinary team for obstetric cardiology. His current research is focused on high risk obstetrics and maternal morbidity..
Tanith Alexander is a paediatric dietitian based at Middlemore Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Tanith is actively involved in clinical research and has co-authored several academic articles. Tanith is a doctoral candidate at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland.
She leads the DIAMOND trial (Different Approaches to Moderate & late preterm Nutrition: Determinants of feed tolerance, body composition and development trial) which is currently underway at Auckland City and Middlemore hospitals.
Associate Professor Nicola Austin graduated in medicine at the University of Otago before specialising in paediatrics. Nicola is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP). Nicola is actively involved in research in the Neonatal Unit at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and is an Associate Professor at the University of Otago (Christchurch).
Her current research focus is neuroimaging of the newborn infant & health outcomes and care for families & their infants at the borders of viability. .
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr David Bailey received his medical education in London, England, before specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology. David is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRANZCOG) and is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Whangarei Hospital. David is passionate about supporting level 2 hospitals to take part in high quality clinical research.
Dr Max Berry received her medical education in London, and has since specialised in neonatal medicine in New Zealand. Max is a Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Children’s Health (MRCPCH) and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP). She completed her PhD at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. She works as a neonatologist at Wellington Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago (Wellington). Max’s research interests focus on translation of biomedical research into clinical practice.
Nathalie de Vries
Dr Nathalie de Vries trained in paediatrics and neonatology in the Netherlands, and was awarded her PhD in 2013 from the University of Groningen. Nathalie is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) and works as a paediatrician at Palmerston North Hospital. As an active researcher in a level 2 hospital she is excited about the development of the ON TRACK Network and its work to support high quality research in a variety of settings.
Anne McDonell is the mother of two boys, the first of which was diagnosed with severe IUGR at 24 weeks gestation. Anne became one of the first participants in the STRIDER NZAus trial at Auckland City Hospital. Her son was born at 30 weeks weighing just 795 grams and stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for the next 13 weeks; plenty of time to learn about many other on-going research studies.
Anne and her family feel they have been extremely lucky as their son has developed into a healthy, happy boy who has caught up with his peers and shows no side effects of his prematurity and low birth weight. Anne continues to feel privileged to have taken part in the STRIDER NZAus trial and grateful to have been given hope during a very bleak time. Anne’s second pregnancy remained trouble free and intervention was not needed, however, following on from such a positive experience being engaged in research they agreed to participate in the Early Nutrition and Body Composition in Babies study.
Anne says ‘Coming from a medical family it is easy for me to accept that research is vital to further advance medicine and outcomes, although I totally understand why some patients are reluctant. I joined the ON TRACK Network as I believe that having people who have been on the 'other side' of these trials will provide valuable input into the wording and approaches that increase patient understanding and participation.
Associate Professor Michael Meyer trained as a paediatrician at Groote Schuur and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa. He has fellowships in both Neonatology and Immunology, and obtained a Doctorate in Paediatrics (MD) from the University of Cape Town. Mike is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP).
He is a consultant neonatologist at Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. He has been lead investigator in several randomised controlled trials. Current research interests include preterm resuscitation, temperature control, humidification, delayed cord clamping, use of probiotics in preterm infants, erythropoietin and blood transfusion.
Wendy Taylor qualified as a midwife in the United Kingdom where she gained extensive experience working as a midwifery clinical teacher and lecturer. She currently works as maternity educator and core midwife in Whangarei. She was a founding member and Chair of the Maternity Staff Forum at Northland DHB and is a member of the Child and Youth Mortality Review Group for Northland.