Our new ED Consultant Dr Jesse Irwin has made a quick impact on staff and patients in our Emergency Department since his arrival last month. Straight from Washington DC to Tairāwhiti has meant some adjusting for Dr Jesse, his wife Frederique and their children Lucas, 12, Chloe, 11 and Julien, 5.
Jesse would sit in DC traffic for hours every day dreaming of living near the beach and surfing before work. He’s here now and loving it. He also mentioned our welcome has been impressive. ‘Having this experience was something we had talked about since before we had the kids. Kiwi hospitality is known worldwide, but it’s so good for my family and I to experience it first-hand’.
Dr Jesse is a trained Emergency Specialist and an Eastern Virginia Medical School graduate, who then served in the United States Navy for 5 years, including tours in the Persian Gulf in the war in Iraq. After leaving the Navy and settling in Washington DC, Jesse completed his registrar training. Leaving the Navy wasn’t so tough he said, “I was in love with a woman who had her own career aspirations, and doing tours in the Navy didn’t really fit with that.” His wife Frederique has her own Washington DC-based consultancy business Her Corner, which helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
When Jesse finished his registrar training he went on to work as an ED consultant for a private organisation for 7 years, and then into clinical leadership across 18 hospitals in the Richmond and Roanoke Virginia markets, of which he also enjoyed. “I liked being able to advocate for the clinical staff and I also enjoyed working at the big table and really learning how everything works”.
Jesse and his wife said there has been an element of culture shock since the move but they have been so pleased with the reception of the children’s’ schools and the hospital. Jesse was blown away by the pōwhiri, how it was such a powerful message of the organisational culture and a great example of what a new employee orientation can and should be.
Jesse said he is enjoying the rational approach to practicing medicine here in New Zealand and the calibre of medical staff. Jesse said our specialists and nurses here are first class and have been very helpful with learning about our culture. Before moving to New Zealand, Jesse had never heard of words such as ‘jabs’ and ‘guts’ but he is picking up on the local lingo very quickly.
Jesse and his family are thrilled to be a part of our community, ‘more than anything, we feel safe and welcome here". Jesse said the natural beauty of Gisborne speaks for itself. He is looking forward to the Tairāwhiti Summer with his family, exploring the coast and experiencing more of our laid-back culture.
Nau mai ki te whānau Jesse and family!