Photo of Patient Services Manager Matt Devonald with the new height chart


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Building a sustainable future, one height chart at a time 

A broken paediatrics height chart has paved the way for a new sustainable initiative created by Forté Health ward nurse, Mandy Buerki. 

Mandy came up with the idea to make a colourful, fun height chart decal to measure tamariki who are visiting Forté Health for a procedure. 

When the traditional and mobile plastic height chart broke, Mandy says she got to work thinking about how they could replace it with one that is better.  

Why purchase another that will break in a few years, she asked.  

“I thought it would be fun for the children to be able to engage in something colourful and cheerful that would make their admission more enjoyable, which can be challenging when in a foreign environment.” 

“I mentioned it to my current nursing services manager, Angela Ross and she was very supportive of my idea. She was proactive in making it happen and in no time came back with some design ideas that we could work with.  With Jenny our Admissions Team Leader, we agreed on the final product which is now tidily on the wall within our limited corridor space.” 

Weaving in Forté Health’s beloved character Kea Kaha and bright monarch butterflies, the result was perfect to distract a child from an otherwise difficult or wriggly time. 

“It can be quite stressful for the little ones when they come to hospital. This is something that is friendly and bright for a child who might be nervous or tired.” 

Tying in with Forté Health’s Toitū net carbon zero efforts, the team made sure the new height chart measured up with their own sustainability requirements.  

Mandy is a member of Forté’s sustainability committee, and she says it was sustainability that spurred her to find something that would replace plastic.  

“I'm always looking at ways that we can improve and limit waste and what goes to landfill. Everything adds up, and a small difference goes a long way.” 

“This height chart will be able to be enjoyed - and used - for years to come.” 

Pictured: Patient Services Manager Matt Devonald with the new height chart