The timing of establishing a new business was far from perfect as we were all still living in a COVID19, it was brave to consider starting a new business, but the rollercoaster ride since for Ultrasound Hawke’s Bay remains rewarding.
When Jody and Rohana Dawson featured in the March 2021 issue of The Profit, they were in the throes of setting up an independent medical diagnostic business in Havelock North.
The couple had rekindled their teenage relationship, reconnecting via social media with Jody subsequently moving home to New Zealand. The couple also decided to ‘elope’ in 2021 marrying at a local Havelock North lodge with only the celebrant and witnesses. It was truly magical after nearly three decades apart.
Jody with over 20 years’ experience as a sonographer, along with Rohana’s administration management background and passion for customer service, had a vision to create a boutique ultrasound clinic that would raise the bar in service and expertise as well as provide faster access to scans and any subsequent medical treatment.
“We’re proud of what we have achieved, despite many setbacks along the way as new business owners. We’ve gone through two COVID19 lockdowns and then Cyclone Gabrielle, but have remained true to wanting to provide a personalised and independent clinic. Since opening in March 2021, Jody has done well over 6000 scans and the couple are now celebrating the recruitment of a new sonographer Jana Furlan, which will enable the couple to have more than a long weekend break.
“It’s been really hectic and this is much to do with the service that we offer. Jody has so much experience and has a fantastic nature with his patients and being a small nimble clinic, we tend to say ‘yes’. “Word about our service has spread, and our customer base has grown, yet we struggled to find an additional sonographer to help, they truly are a rarity!
“But finally, we are fortunate to have found a new sonographer in Jana and like us, she has a similar personality and humour and is also from Gisborne. “Jana is awesome and has not only taken the pressure off Jody, but has also enabled us to have a good break away,” Rohana says.
It’s fair to say that Jody and Rohana have gone the extra mile for their patients over the last 2 years – often opening early or closing late as well as responding to many after hour emails and phone calls. “We have surprised a lot of our patients with our prompt communications. We have contacted some patients who have not even left the doctors yet after the Doctor has used our online referral system. This was something we developed during Covid as it was difficult for patients to collect physical referrals,” says Rohana.
The couple are proud that they have been responsive and got patients on a path to moving through the challenging health care environment in New Zealand. “The quicker patients can get a scan, the faster they are on their treatment and recovery journey.”
“Our referrers really appreciate the service we provide and how quick we see people. We are continually grateful for their loyalty in continuing to refer to us as without them we would not be here.
“The couple are equally proud of being actively involved in the community, both locally in Havelock North but also more widely. They have recently been the major sponsor of a cyclone relief event in Havelock North, helped arrange a new barbeque for the Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade (supplied courtesy of Bunnings) and are also a key sponsor of the Hawke’s Bay Magpies.
They even adopted four Kakapo in the Department of Conservation’s breeding programme. “We have really enjoyed being part of the Havelock business community as well as supporting the Magpies and HBRU players”, says Rohana.