Colin Tukuitonga
Colin Tukuitonga
2000-01 Harkness Fellow
Director of the Pacific Health Research Centre
Chief of the Division of Public Health, Primary Health Care and Mental Health in the School of Medicine
Senior lecturer, Community and Pacific Health
University of Auckland
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Harkness Project Title: Reducing Ethnic Disparities in Health Status and Inequities in the Use of Health Care Services: A Comparison between New Zealand and the United States

Mentor: Andrew Bindman, M.D.

Placement: University of California, San Francisco

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Colin F. Tukuitonga, D.S.M., a 2000-01 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is director of the Pacific Health Research Centre, chief of the Division of Public Health, Primary Health Care and Mental Health in the School of Medicine, and senior lecturer in Community and Pacific Health at the University of Auckland.  He is also a practicing physician. He has dual fellowships in general practice (family medicine) and public health medicine.  Tukuitonga's research interests include access to and quality of primary care, health issues affecting Pacific peoples, child health, and health services effectiveness. He has served on a number of New Zealand Government Working Parties that address a variety health policy topics. He recently served as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Health and Disability Support Services and as chairman of the Pacific Committee of the Health Research Council of New Zealand.  Based at San Francisco General Hospital during his Harkness Fellowship, Tukuitonga is comparing U.S. and New Zealand strategies to reduce disparities in health outcomes for minorities

Project: Tukuitonga compared policy frameworks and programs designed to reduce ethnic disparities in health in New Zealand and the U.S., focusing in particular on health care.  He reviewed policies in both countries, and conducted interviews with key informants, site visits, observations, and a literature review.  He also conducted quantitative analyses using methods developed in the U.S. to assess New Zealand health care disparities in avoidable hospitalizations for common chronic conditions and in the use coronary artery revascularization procedures. 

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Director of the Secretariat of the South Pacific, Public Health Division, 2012
  • Chief Executive, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, 2007
  • Associate Professor of Public Health, Auckland University, 2006
  • Director of Global Research on Obesity, WHO, 2003
  • Director of Public Health, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, 2001

Current Position: Director of the Secretariat of the South Pacific, Public Health Division. (Updated 1/2014)

E-Mail: c.tukuitonga@gmail.com

Selected Publications

Blakely T, Pega F, Nakamura Y, Beaglehole R, Lee L, Tukuitonga CF. Health status and epidemiological capacity and prospects: WHO Western Pacific Region. Int J Epidemiol. 2011 Aug;40(4):1109-21.

Rasanathan K, Tukuitonga CF. Tobacco smoking prevalence in Pacific Island countries and territories: a review. N Z Med J. 2007 Oct 12;120(1263):U2742..

Abbott WG, Tukuitonga CF, Ofanoa M, Munn SR, Gane EJ. Low-cost, simultaneous, single-sequence genotyping of the HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-C loci. Tissue Antigens. 2006 Jul;68(1):28-37.

Abbott WG, Winship IM, Wilsher ML, Nilau M, Tukuitonga CF. Asthma phenotypes in Niue Islanders. Respirology. 2004 Nov;9(4):521-7.

Tukuitonga C, Bindman AB. "Ethnic and Gender Differences in the Use of Coronary Artery Revascularization Procedures in New Zealand," New Zealand Medical Journal 2002. 115:179–82.

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