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The team

Migraine Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand was founded in 2022

We are New Zealand’s only registered charity supporting people living with migraine disease.

Our three co-founders – Sarah Cahill, Dr Fiona Imlach and Suzanne Vale – have all lived with migraine for many years and understand the challenges and impact of this invisible, debilitating condition.

In 2021, frustrated by the limited access to migraine-specific medications and migraine-specific care, unfunded treatment options, lack of public knowledge and awareness about the impact of migraine disease, outdated health professional guidelines and limited access to neurologists for many New Zealanders, our founders came together to establish Migraine Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand.

Sarah and Fiona both bring extensive medical knowledge to the foundation and a deep understanding of migraine disease and the international migraine landscape. Suzanne has a diverse legal background and has been involved in migraine advocacy overseas through volunteering with Migraine and Headache Australia.

For too long, people with migraine in Aotearoa have been disadvantaged by the limited medications and treatment options available in New Zealand to treat migraine disease, limited New Zealand-specific migraine information, limited access to migraine-specific care, and overall a general under-appreciation of the true impact of migraine disease.

Migraine Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand was established to connect people living with migraine in New Zealand, support positive action and change and ensure our voice is heard.

Migraine Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand Clinical Advisory Group

Since our establishment, we've been supported by a cohort of neurologists in New Zealand who specialise in migraine and headache disorders. They've been a crucial sounding board, provided us with ideas and a clinical point of view, reviewed information and offered networking opportunities with other clinicians and organisations. Their individual contributions were invaluable in many ways – everything from strategic planning to networking to disseminating accurate information about migraine and its treatment.

In late 2022, we formalised this arrangement with the formation of the Migraine Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand Clinical Advisory Group. The founding members of this group were neurologists,Dr Rosamund Hill, Dr Desiree Fernandez and Dr Pyari Bose. The Migraine Foundation team and the Clinical Advisory Group had its first meeting in February 2023, and will continue to meet quarterly. We aim to expand the membership to include representation from other health professionals involved in migraine patient care.

Find the Terms of Reference here.

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