Professor Bev Lawton, nō Ngāti Porou, is the founder/director of Te Tātai Hauora o Hine (the Centre for Women’s Health Research) at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington (previously with the University of Otago). Prior to this, she worked as a general practitioner for 17 years and co-founded the Wellington Menopause Clinic. These experiences led to an interest in research to answer the many questions relevant to women’s health and inequalities. Her subsequent research on women’s and children’s health has led to changes in policy and practice in New Zealand and internationally. This includes the establishment of the Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) monitoring program in Aotearoa New Zealand, improved systems for maternal health with regards to post-partum contraception, accident and emergency management of SMM.
Bev is currently the Principal Investigator of He Tapu Te Whare Tangata projects to improve cervical screening including a project that gives Māori ownership of the process of instigating this innovative HPV screening using a community research partnership model. She is a member of the HPV Primary Screening Technical Reference Group (National Screening Group), Māori Health Committee – He Hono Wahine of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
In recognition of her contributions to women’s health, in 2005 Prof Lawton was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit by the Queen of England for services to women’s health. In 2017, she was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal College of General Practice.