In the New Year Honours, longstanding MEDSAC member, Clare Healy, was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to medical forensic education.

Clare has been actively involved with MEDSAC for over 30 years in almost every capacity and every committee - including as a member and Chair of a number of committees, a past board member, and a past board Chairperson. She has also been a member of the Medical Expert Review Group (MERG) the Expert Advisor Group and the Family Violence Education & Training Group since inception, as well as an exceptional presenter for the MEDSAC education programmes.

All members of MEDSAC will have reaped the benefits of Clare's various MEDSAC roles either directly, or indirectly.  


Dr Clare Healy has been working for and with people affected by sexual assault, abuse, family violence and non-fatal strangulation through Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Aotearoa (MEDSAC) for more than 25 years.

Dr Healy has been a voluntary member of the Board for MEDSAC from 2000 to 2019, involved in the development and delivery of numerous MEDSAC Medical Forensic Training programmes since 2004. She was lecturer for New Zealand Police Sexual Assault Investigators Training Course from 2005 to 2011 and has provided independent expert opinion for hundreds of court cases. She has helped lead the primary healthcare response to family violence in Canterbury, driving cross-sector liaison between Police, Ministry of Justice, ACC, Oranga Tamariki, and NGOs which led to the establishment of a Canterbury-wide Primary Health Organisation Group providing support to GPs responding to family violence. She was a key contributor to the MEDSAC Accreditation Programme for sexual assault medical forensic examiners, which is recognised internationally and by New Zealand’s Judicial System. She played a key role in a 2018 law change introducing a new offence of strangulation or suffocation and negotiations to bring together a cross-agency initiative between Police and the Ministries of Justice and Health to support this legislation. Dr Healy is the content development lead for the new MEDSAC non-fatal strangulation education programme.

Congratulations Clare, this acknowledgement is long overdue!