Great care starts with great people, which is why Phoenix Healthcare couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Dr Catherine Helms as our new Medical Director and General Practitioner at Phoenix Health Hub.

Bringing her years of experience to the table, Dr Helms delivers a fresh perspective and a deep commitment to our community. From her diverse background working in both urban and rural settings to her passion for innovation, she’s set to elevate the level of care we provide at our GP clinic.

Join us as we introduce Dr Helms and share why we believe she’s the perfect fit for our team and our patients.

Inspired by Values and Innovation

Dr Helms chose Phoenix Healthcare for its local roots and pioneering spirit. “Phoenix Health is a home-grown and innovative company with great values,” she shares. “It’s exciting to be part of Phoenix’s growth into general practice.” Her passion for joining a growing team dedicated to quality healthcare is clear from the start.

A Rich Background in General Practice

Dr. Helms’s background is as rich as it is varied. Trained in Dunedin and Christchurch as a Specialist General Practitioner, she has 20 solid years of experience, with a remarkable 14 years dedicated to primary care.

Her extensive work experience in Canterbury, along with some overseas experience, has enabled her to gain a deep understanding of local healthcare needs and settings.

Her expertise spans several specialised areas, including Women’s Health, Youth and Transgender Healthcare, Indigenous Healthcare, Mental Wellbeing, and Lifestyle Health. “These fields address some of the most critical and sensitive aspects of patient care,” she explains.

In addition to her clinical practice, Dr Helms has also held several GP management roles, where she developed her leadership skills. She says she looks forward to bringing her management experience to Phoenix Healthcare.

Impacting Patient Care Through Thoughtful Leadership

As Medical Director, Dr Helms is passionate about improving services for patients while creating a sustainable work environment for healthcare professionals.

“I am passionate about how we can make services better for the people that we serve, even if it means trying to do things ‘outside the box’,” she shares. “When healthcare staff are well and well-supported, they are better equipped to provide exceptional care to patients.”

Formative Experiences

Dr. Helms has been fortunate to have worked in many different settings that influenced her approach to healthcare. She recalls her time in a remote Aboriginal community in Australia’s Northern Territory and her role as a rural GP in Kaikoura as particularly impactful. Her experiences in these locations highlighted for her the necessity for equity and improved access for underserved populations. “Those experiences showed me how vital it is to involve the community in the services we provide,” she notes, underscoring her commitment to inclusive and accessible healthcare.

Growing up in Ōtautahi and living through the earthquakes while raising a young family also shaped her perspective. “It reminded me to appreciate what I have and to truly live in the moment,” she says. This blend of professional dedication and personal resilience has indeed moulded her to become a truly empathetic general practitioner.

First Priorities and Looking Ahead

Dr Helms’s first priority at Phoenix Healthcare? “Get to know our people!” she exclaims. She’s keen on understanding the team dynamics and focusing on how to make care both accessible and personal. “I’m looking at workstreams, especially how we can be super accessible with a Same Day clinic, yet still provide great planned care with clinicians.”

Looking ahead, Dr Helms sees Phoenix Healthcare evolving into an even better place for both patients and staff. “I envision us being a great place to work and providing people and their whanau with great healthcare in a holistic way,” she says.

The integration of cutting-edge health technology will play a crucial role in this evolution, but she emphasises that patient care will always come first. “We’re growing and embracing all the good things about health tech that are coming our way, but we’re always putting patient care first.”

Life Outside the Clinic

When she’s not caring for patients, Dr Helms finds joy and energy in the great outdoors. “I gain energy from being in nature, especially if it involves trees and mountains,” she shares. Whether she’s camping, tramping, trail running, or mountain biking, she loves spending time outside with good friends and family.


With Dr Catherine Helms on board, Phoenix Healthcare is set to soar to new heights, combining compassionate, community-focused care with a commitment to team wellbeing. Her approach is sure to make a lasting impact on patients and staff alike.