Staff - CareFirst

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Dr Alison Gadsby

Alison was born and raised in Stirling, Scotland and gained her medical degree at AberdeenUniversity, graduating in 1989. She arrived in New Zealand in 1990 on a two year work permit having been offered a position at Taranaki Base Hospital, but settled in quickly to the New Zealand lifestyle and is now a citizen. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand GP College (FRNZCGP). 

Alison has also completed a travel medicine paper and has set up a travel clinic here, part of Auckland-based Worldwise Travel Group. In 2004, she became a trainer with the royal college assisting in the teaching of GP registrars. She is kept busy by her two sons and enjoys spending time with her family and keeping fit.

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Dr Geoffrey Putt


Geoff has lived in New Plymouth for most of his life, and has been busy in full-time general practice since 1988.  He graduated from Auckland School of Medicine in 1983 and worked for several years at Taranaki Base Hospital and in primary health care in Taranaki.  Geoff is married with 8 children and has several grand-children.  He is a former elder of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.  He has a particular interest in computing and information technology. 

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    Dr Lucy Gibberd

    MBChB DipDerm Dip O&G Dip CH FRNZCGP

    Originally from London, Lucy studied medicine at Cambridge and Bristol Universities.  Afterworking in Bristol, she worked at Taranaki Base Hospital, where she met her husband Dr Geoff Tvrdeich.  Lucy has post-graduate Diplomas in Child Health, Dermatology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and did her GP training in the UK.  She was a Medical  Educator for the RNZCGP for many years and ran the GP training program for Taranaki. She resigned from that role in 2014 to take up a part time role as Medical Advisor for the Medical Protection Society. She is currently working towards a Masters degree in Medical Law and Ethics.  She and Geoff have 3 children. 

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    Dr Lester Kelly


    Lester initially graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Human Biology in 1986 and carried on to graduate from Auckland University MBChB in 1989.He held a position at Taranaki Base Hospital for 2 ½ years where he gained his Diploma in Obstetrics.

    Lester then travelled and worked in the United Kingdom for 18 months, returned to New Zealand in 1994 and bought a general practice. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand GP College (FRNZCGP) and joined CAREfirst in 2007.Lester has gained his diplomas in Dermoscopy and Skin Cancer Surgery with the SCCA (Skin Cancer College Australasia), he is an accredited SCCA doctor and a Southern Cross affiliated provider.

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    Dr Krystyna Foulkes

    Krystyna worked as a GP in New Plymouth for 10 years prior to joining Carefirst in 2013. She did her medical training at Mainz University in Germany, followed by four years of research in Neurosurgical Pathophysiology where she was awarded a Summa cum laude for her PhD.  She then worked in England for a couple of years, got married there and started a family, prior to emigrating to New Zealand, in search for a more balanced lifestyle and for the great outdoors.

    After passing both the American and New Zealand medical exams, she worked in Palmerston North hospital, while she completed her Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology and her Diploma in Paediatrics with Auckland University. In 2002 she gained Fellowship with the Royal NZ College of GPs, prior to coming to Taranaki.  She has completed the Diploma in Travel Medicine with Otago University and is working in our travel clinic. 

    Over the last few years Krystyna has been working in the skin cancer clinic and has passed both her diplomas in dermoscopy and skin cancer surgery with the SCCA (Skin Cancer College Australasia).  She is an accredited SCCA doctor and a Southern Cross affiliated provider.  After work she enjoys tramping, cycling and kayaking.

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    Dr Phil Weeks

    Phil graduated from Westminster Medical School in 1992 and  gained experience at various Hospitals in England; Ipswich, Southampton and Chelsea and Westminster.
    He worked at Taranaki Base Hospital, Hawera Hospital and  as a GP in Taranaki from 1998 to 2001 before returning to the UK.  Since then he worked as a GP in England settling in Suffolk. Phil moved back to New Plymouth in 2015 with his wife and two young sons and in enjoying the outdoor lifestyle in Taranaki.

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    Dr Sarah Prior

    Sarah was born and brought up in the Wairarapa, where her father, grandfather and great grandfather had been GPs in Masterton. After studying medicine through Otago University, she worked in Wellington and Queensland; then came to Taranaki after travelling for a year. She holds a diploma in obstetrics and medical gynaecology, and has a special interest in women's and adolescent health, as well as minor surgery. She and her husband Tim live in Westown with their American cocker spaniel Otto. She has loved her move to Taranaki, where she enjoys keeping fit doing various outdoor activities. She also enjoys travelling, knitting and the arts.

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    Dr Kiyomi Kitagawa

    Kiyomi grew up in British Columbia, Canada.  Her father is Japanese-Canadian and her mother is a Kiwi.  At the age of 21, Kiyomi moved to New Zealand to study medicine at the University of Otago, graduating in 2010.  Kiyomi worked at Taranaki Base Hospital for her first two years and is now on the GP training scheme.  Kiyomi holds a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  She has interests in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Lactation Support, Adolescent Health and Older Persons Health.  Kiyomi lives with her husband, young son and energetic dog, Gunner.  Kiyomi enjoys gardening, sewing and baking.  She also likes to keep active by running, swimming and chasing after a busy toddler.

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    Dr Shaun Butler

    Shaun was born and raised in New Plymouth.  After graduating from the University of Otago he returned to work at Taranaki Base hospital, where he spent most of his time working in the Emergency Department and Paediatrics.  Shaun holds a diploma in Paediatrics from the University of Auckland and his special interest areas include Acture Care Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.  He started working in the CAREfirst walk-in clinic in early 2016 and he is currently on the RNZCGP training scheme. 

    Outside of work Shaun enjoys cooking, travelling, surfing and keeping fit.  He lives with his fiancé Justine, baby daughter and minisature Schnauzer called Murphy.

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    Dr Yu-Ching Yu

    Yu-Ching was born in Taiwan, but grew up in Dunedin.  After graduating from Medicine at Otago she moved to Perth, Australia for work prior to having the exciting opportunity of moving to Burkina Faso, Africa for her husband's work.  They were there for 5 years, during which time she worked with a variety of different patients in both volunteer and part-time capacities and had 2 children and 2 dogs. 

    She has post-graduate diplomas in tropical medicine and hygiene, obstetrics and gynaecology and recently completed a Masters of Public Health from the UK.  She is really enjoying being back in New Zealand, in Taranaki and working in general practice.  Besides being fluent in English, she can speak some Mandarin and basic French.

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    Dr David van Hyfte

    David graduated as a Physician at the Ghent University in 2001 in his home country Belgium and went of to study at the Tropical Institute of Antwerp and obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine in 2002.  After working a few years in emergency departments in the Netherlands and Australia he returned to Belgium to start GP training and graduated in 2007 as General Practitioner, Master of Family Medicine.  In the following year he continued to work in Belgium in various GP locum positions, a drug rehabilitation clinic, and also an emergency department training position which led to a Diploma in Emergency Medicine.

    In 2008 in search of a better lifestyle he arrived in Taranaki together with his girlfriend-now-spouse Dineke, and worked as a GP in a combined position between Inglewood and Vogeltown Medical Centre. He was awarded Fellowship of the RNZCGP in 2012 and  provided services for several practices in Taranaki until end 2015.

    In 2016  he moved to Australia and  started to develop his interest in skin cancer and obtained Advanced Certificates in Skin Cancer Medicine and Dermoscopy. Mid 2018 he returned to Taranaki to start work in Carefirst as a GP and Skin Cancer Doctor.   When not at work or spending time with his family, there is a good chance that David is `gone surfing`.