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New appointment to Pacific Health announced

Director-General of Health announces new appointment to Pacific Health.

The Chief Executive of South Seas Healthcare, the largest Pacific primary care provider in New Zealand, has been appointed to a senior position in the Ministry of Health.

Director-General of Health, Karen Poutasi today announced the appointment of Dr Debbie Ryan as Chief Advisor - Pacific Health.

"Debbie has worked extensively with the Pacific community, and is committed to improving the health of Pacific peoples in New Zealand," Dr Poutasi said.

"Her management experience will allow her take a big picture approach to Pacific health, and her work as a GP has given her a direct insight into the needs of the Pacific community.

"She has a great desire to take a proactive approach in improving the long-term health of Pacific peoples."

Dr Ryan is currently Chief Executive of South Seas Healthcare, where she has had a key leadership role in developing the Pacific health provider from a small general pratice with one general practitioner, to the largest Pacific primary care provider in New Zealand, now employing 52 Pacific people, including doctors, nursers and community health workers.

She also lead the project team to establish the first Primary Health Organisation, TaPasefika Health Trust, which brings together three Pacific health providers under one umbrella, has been a trustee for the Centre for Clinical Research Excellence at South Auckland Health, and was a Director of the Counties Manukau District Health Board 2000-2001.

She has been a Senior Lecturer Department of Medicine and Community Health at the University of Auckland, and has been involved in a range of health committees and Pacific medical associations

Dr Ryan believes her appointment will give her the opportunity to help Pacific communities better use the existing health services available to them, and to address the health of young Pacific peoples in order to have better health outcomes for adults.

She takes up the position from 1 August, 2003, replacing Audrey Aumua, who continues her work with Pacific communities at TaPasefika Health Trust, in South Auckland.

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