Perhaps it’s the desire for discovery or the unravelling of a mystery that drives the Helensville District Health Trust’s new Financial Manager, because for many years Pippa Baker was a scientist.
She’s qualified in clinical biochemistry and microbiology. She worked in diabetes research for a biotech startup but then decided to do a career reset and retrained as a chartered accountant, swapping petrie-dishes for pie-charts.
The Kumeu local joined the Helensville District Health Trust in April after four years audit experience in her previous job. Having also spent six years on the Board of Trustees at her sons’ Taupaki School she was attracted to this role for its combination of health, governance and financial opportunities.
“I am a problem solver and this role lets me take a really analytical approach to unpack the data, work out where the risks are, and come up with quality solutions.”
As well as doing the books for the Health Trust, she also oversees its Financial Hub. She and Finance Officer Liz McCracken manage the finances for the Health Trust’s other entities, the Helensville Birthing Centre and Kaipara Medical Centre.
Health Trust Business Manager Nicola Keen-Biggelaar says now Pippa has found her feet in the job she can also offer her particular expertise to other community groups who use the Financial Hub’s services.
“The Health Trust is really proud of the model we’ve developed where we offer the expertise and skills of our Financial Hub team to support the likes of the Helensville Women and Family Centre, the South Kaipara Men’s Trust and Parentaid with things from monthly reporting, to payroll and financial policy.”
Pippa agrees saying she sees the role as not only ensuring those vital community groups have well kept financial accountability, but in training those who don’t have as much confidence in the financial areas of their organisations.
“If we can use our skills to help those other organisations doing vital work in our community to keep healthy books then it’s of benefit to us all,” says Pippa.
When she’s not working she focuses on her own health and well-being through cooking, reading and travel and her other great love, horses.