Before you Hybernate for the Winter!



Know the ABCD Warning Signs of Melanoma.

If you have any of the following you need to act and get them assessed.

A for Asymmetry – the two halves of the mole are not equal.

B for Border – the mole border is uneven

C for Colour – the mole has a variety of colours

D for Diameter – Maliganant moles tend to be larger

E for Evolving – be on the look out for moles that are changing or evolving – changing in size, shape, colour, bleeding, the amount they are raised off the skin and also itching or crusting can point to an issue that needs to be checked.

If you are worried – Gigi our Melanographer can provide a Skin Check or Mole Map.

Melanoma is an increasingly public health problem in New Zealand, with the incidence of malignant melanoma rising at an alarming rate. With prognosis in melanoma directly relative to the depth of the lesion, monitoring and early detection is critical to save lives. If you are diagnosed with melanoma in its early phase have an almost 100% survival rate.

To make an accurate diagnosis of melanoma, the clinician needs to recognise the clinical features of early melanomas and differentiate melanomas from other common pigmented lesions and recognise other abnormal or atypical lesions which is associated with melanomas.

Dementia and Cognitive Decline - the hidden risks of hearing loss


Hearing loss is one of most common conditions affecting older people, so it is a surprise that many people are not addressing it adequately nor quickly enough.

As the population ages, people are becoming more interested in discovering the consequences of not managing hearing loss.

It is well known that the more hearing loss we have, the more negative effects it may have on our psychological state.

Depression is one of the main issues. The worse our hearing gets, the more difficult it becomes to communicate with friends and family, causing us to become socially isolated. That can lead to depression.

Now researchers believe hearing loss affects our cognition and increases risk of dementia.

A study has found that compared with older adults with normal hearing, those with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia. In fact, the research showed there was a relationship between the level of unmanaged hearing loss and the level of dementia risk.

Compared to people with normal hearing, a mild hearing loss was associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of dementia, a moderate hearing loss with a three-fold increase, and severe hearing loss with a five-fold increased risk.

Apart from dementia, there is also now increasing evidence that there is relationship between hearing loss, brain function decline and the loss of brain tissue.

Many studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have an increased chance of problems with thinking and memory when compared with those with no hearing loss. The researchers believe the extra effort we are putting into hearing creates an increased load on our brain function which is also important for our memory and decision-making.


What can we do?

A study conducted in 2015 revealed the opposite trend for people who treated their hearing loss - the rate of cognitive decline for people with hearing aids was not significantly different from that of people with no hearing loss.

And as well as slowing the rate of cognitive decline, treating hearing loss can have positive impacts on relationships through better communication and it boosts people’s confidence and makes them more optimistic.

Treating hearing loss early can help rehabilitate our cognitive decline and dementia through better communication with people close to us.

It often takes time for hearing loss to become apparent and it is often perceived as an unfortunate but insignificant part of the aging process.

With increasing evidence that hearing loss speeds up the process of cognitive decline it is important for people to address their hearing loss quickly and aggressively, getting their hearing checked and managing any hearing loss that is found.

This article provided by Audiologist Daniel Kim of Focus Hearing. Daniel is available at Crawford Specialist Centre, 12 Picton Street, Howick on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Focus Hearing Phone 09 533 6463 to book an appointment Mondays – Fridays.


Keeping Your Brain Healthy – One of 6 Pillars


In one of six articles we will explore useful tips to assist you to keep your Brain Healthy, build reserve and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers.

At this time of year - with the changes in day light saving and the stress around the end of financial year, we thought exploring factors around Sleep was a great place to start.

Quality sleep improves our mood, sharpens the mind, gives us energy to approach our busy lives and sleep is essential for memory.

Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood – making us cranky, less tolerant and impairs mental problem solving and recall of events. Most adults need 8 hours sleep per night. Productivity can be affected by lower levels of sleep.

The Centre for Disease Control maintains that one third of adults are not getting the minimum 7 hours uninterrupted rest recommended for optimal health (Harvard Medical School 2017). 

Sleep helps shift new information from the hippocampus in your brain, where new information is temporarily stored to your frontal cortex where it is stored permanently.

Researchers claim that for every daylight hour you are awake – you need a full half hour of sleep to process new information learnt (Stickgold et al).

Studies of sleep deprivation found inflammatory markers such as cytokines and interleukin-6 and others – suggesting that sleep deprivation may play a role in the inflammatory process. In Stage 2 and 3 (Slow Wave) Sleep your heart rate and blood pressure fall. We do know that poor sleepers are at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Quality sleep also ensures the destructive beta-amyloid protein, found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, is swept away by cerebrospinal fluid – preventing build-up in the frontal lobe of the brain – where this can impair slow-wave non-REM sleep and damage memory.

With the natural aging process we also suffer loss of brain storage and retrieval and with the addition of sleep disruption, that occurs as a natural result of aging – memory is further compromised.

Natural Strategies for Improved Sleep:

1. Power Naps: If you are groggy during the day, 20 – 30 minutes Power Naps are helpful as they do not interfere with your nightly sleep pattern.

Researchers also suggest that 60-90 minute naps assist with learning new tasks as they allow enough time for both slow-wave and REM sleep.

2. Develop a routine: Get your body into a sleep-wake cycle by getting up at the same time each day. Aim to get over 7 hours sleep per night.

3. Sunlight: Expose yourself to sunlight each day or sit by your window if it is too cold to go outside.

4. Exercise: Exercise each day – but avoid exercising within 2 hours of bedtime.

5. Evening Meal: Try making your evening meal a light meal – not too spicy.

6. Avoid Food, Drinks and Stimulants that keep you awake: Caffeine, alcohol and tobacco will keep you awake.

7. Develop a Sleep Ritual: Go to bed to sleep.

A half hour prior to bed avoid:

  • all blue-light emitting devices such as computers, as these activate the brain. Consider reading an analogue book instead.

  • Darken your bedroom and ensure it is cool and create the mood for sleep.

  • If your inner chatter stops you from sleeping after being on bed for half an hour – get up and go into another room and do something like read a book for 30 minutes until you are tired and then hop into bed and try again.

Some Useful Websites:

Health Navigator – Sleep & Sleep Problems

East Health PHO Mindfulness Programme Video

(copy & paste this link into your browser)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

From all the team at Crawford Medical Centre.

Doctors accepting new patients are:

  • Dr Brendon Aish

  • Dr David Roberts

  • Dr Janli Stapelberg

  • Dr Jonathan McPherson

  • Dr Russell Eggleton

  • Dr Sarah Heng

Dr Flora Kwon is our GP Registrar for 6 months until June.

Joining Crawford in February is Dr Nigel Tay.

Scheduled to return from maternity leave in June 2018 – Dr Suyin Kuor.

Your Feedback


Please let us know how we are doing - by filling out the attached survey – click here to follow the link



Have you had a skin check?

95% of skin cancers can be successfully treated if detected early. Skin Checks are recommended annually.

Did you know New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world?

It is that time of the year again for a skin check and Mole mapping is amongst the world’s most trusted melanoma detection programs.

Long term peace of mind is all about monitoring and there is no better technology than Crawford Skin Clinic’s patented Mole Mapping and Moletrac system. 


Introducing Focus Hearing at Crawford Specialist Centre

Focus Hearing – We Focus on your hearing

Daniel Kim from Focus Hearing is a full member of New Zealand Audiological Society and has gained experience from working at the New Zealand public hospital system at Greenlane Clinical Centre, Starship Children’s Hospital and Manukau Super Clinic. Daniel has a special interest in Tinnitus and hyperacusis.

Focus hearing offers range of services

  • Full Hearing assessment (Adult & Children) – (30 min)

  • Tinnitus consultation/management

  • Free hearing aid trial (4 weeks)

  • Hearing aid check & clean

  • Custom made plugs & moulds

    • Swim plugs | Musicians plugs | Noise plugs

Free hearing screening is also available, however it is recommended to have the full hearing assessment if you have never had your hearing assessed, or you are experiencing tinnitus and any form of ear related issues requiring further thorough investigation. A referral to ENT can be made when required.

A tinnitus consultation is recommended for people who have never had any assessment or consultation for tinnitus. This consultation involves full hearing assessment and provision of information about tinnitus. This will assist you to gain a better understanding of tinnitus and its management.

Focus Hearing is an independent hearing clinic offering an obligation free hearing aid trial up to 4 -6 weeks. Focus Hearing has access to all types of hearing aid funding – from ACC, Government subsidy, WINZ or War Pension funding. Through this free hearing aid consultation, Focus can provide unbiased information and recommendations.

An appointment can be made by a phone call or email – this does not require a referral from doctors.


Focus Hearing – 09 533 6463 or



  • You can access your Results via the 24/7 ConnectMed Patient Portal.

  • Blood and all test results are reviewed and interpreted by a doctor. A Comment is written in the results Comment Field.

  • You will be contacted by phone ONLY if the result requires a follow up. Normal results are not routinely communicated to you.

  • You may be asked to:

    • come for a further appointment

    • have further blood tests

    • continue to monitor your own progress

  • If we do not contact you and you want to know the results, please phone the clinic on Ph: 09-5380083 and Press 3 for test results between 10.00 am-2.00pm

  • If you continue to be concerned about your health, or your condition does not improve - you retain the right and responsibility to initiate further contact with the practice.

Festive Season Hours

The Crawford Medical Centre Team
Wish You and Your Family
a Happy & Safe Festive Season

Festive Season Hours:
December 23rd -24th - Closed
Christmas Day - Closed
Boxing Day Closed

December 27th – 29th - Open 8.30am-4pm
December 30th-31st - Closed
New Year’s Day – Closed
January 2nd – Closed

January 3rd – Resume normal Hours

Christmas Deer (christmas hours).JPG

Introducing the Crawford Skin Clinic


Summer is here and the Crawford Specialist Centre offers a range of services for those concerned about a specific mole, or those who want either peace of mind for detection of lesions or access to advanced monitoring services.

Two service options are available:

  1. Full body molemap (Appointment time: 60 minutes)
  2. Skin check (Appointment time: 20 minutes)




Full body molemap (Appointment time: 60 minutes)

The full body mole mapping option is recommended for:

  1. those with a personal or family history of skin cancer,

  2. a high mole count number or

  3. other factors identified and referred by their doctor.

The full body molemap is done by our melanographer, Gigi Kwok. A head-to-toe check is completed and significant moles are identified and imaged for specialist diagnosis. This monitoring service helps to identify subtle changes to detect malignancies earlier.

A full body skin check is also recommended, for any patients who are having their skin check first time.

Follow up molemap (Appointment time: 30 minutes)

The follow-up mole mapping option is for those who had been for a molemap at Crawford Specialist Centre and are returning for a follow up visit.

This service offers a review of previously identified lesions as well as a head-to-toe check to identify new moles.

  1. Skin check (Appointment time: 20 minutes)

The skin check option is for those who are wanting peace of mind.

The melanographer will perform a thorough head-to-toe skin check and identify lesions of concern for further treatment/consultation with your own doctor.

Liquid nitrogen clinic (Appointment time: 20 minutes)

The liquid nitrogen clinic is for those who are wanting a session of treatment for multiple lesions on their body with liquid nitrogen. Your lesions will be reviewed by our melanographer and the suitability of liquid nitrogen treatment will be determined.

Are you Travelling?

Our doctors and nurses are constantly amazed at the incredible adventures to exotic places East Aucklanders visit. Some of these destinations are remote destinations all over the world – producing unforgettable tales and awesome photos.

Penguin Sculpture Europe.jpg

Part of the preparation for adventures to Asia, Africa, South and Central America as well as some Pacific Island destinations should include good travel health advice. Even if you are travelling within New Zealand – you should prepare.

We also advise joining the ConnectMed Patient Portal so that you can access your patient record anywhere in the world 24 hours a day.

It is very useful to have a sound understanding of the destination, the type of holiday you are planning and your underlying health status. A trip to a hotel in Bangkok is completely different to a prolonged backpacking adventure to rural South East Asia for many weeks and requires different types of preparation.

Vaccinations, malaria risk, altitude issues, gastrointestinal issues and a travel health kit should all be considered and documented at a travel health consultation. Some vaccinations require a course of vaccines so it is wise to allow at least six (6) weeks before departure to check what is recommended.

Traveller’s diarrhoea is the most common complaint for remote travellers. Having a good action plan can make a real difference to your trip. Dengue fever is on the increase in many countries. Applying a good insect repellent is the best way to prevent this. The biggest cause of fatalities amongst travellers is motor vehicle accidents, the risk being reduced by good decision making about seat belts, road crossing and using only authorised public transport.

Do consider a travel health consult before your next adventure - it could make for a safer, healthier trip.

Useful websites for you to check are:

For your long term conditions:

To inform your travel plans the following Free sites:

Introducing Gina Liu our new acupuncturist at Crawford Specialist Centre.

Gina is a NZ registered Acupuncturist and an ACC provider. Originally from China, Gina has 17 years experience in acupuncture and herbal medicine - both in China & New Zealand.

Acupuncture is a natural way to reduce pain, to increase blood circulation and balance the human body’s energy. Acupuncture can assist the human body’s self-healing processes. Acupuncture treatment including needling, cupping, moxa and acupressure is available.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may treat a number of medical conditions.

Gina is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese.

Gina Liu    Bachelor of Chinese Medicine  Master of Chinese Medicine & Philosophy

Gina Liu

Bachelor of Chinese Medicine

Master of Chinese Medicine & Philosophy

Crawford Medical Centre Welcomes Dr Janli Stapelberg

Janli trained at UFS in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Janli came to New Zealand in 1994 and specialised in general practice in 2013. Janli has special interests in skin problems, skin cancers, heart and lung problems, asthma, allergies, ear, nose and throat problems and minor surgery. She is passionate about quality of care and prevention. Janli is fluent in English and Afrikaans.

Prior to 2013 Janli worked in hospitals gaining experience in hospital and urgent medicine, pathology and psychiatry.

Janli is working before Christmas at Crawford Medical Centre and returns on the 17th January 2017.

Dr Janli Stapelberg  MBChB. FRNZCGP

Dr Janli Stapelberg


Crawford Medical Centre Welcomes Dr Sarah Heng

Sarah is a graduate of The University of Auckland Medical School. She has a special interest in Paediatrics and has recently completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Paediatrics with Distinction.

Sarah is Malaysian Chinese and grew up in Auckland. She completed high school at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School. In her spare time, Sarah loves travelling around the world with her husband, trying different restaurants, watching tennis and supporting the All Blacks. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Sarah will be working Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Check on ConnectMed.


Dr Sarah Heng  MBChB

Dr Sarah Heng