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Primary Health Alliance elects new Chairman

The Primary Health Alliance (the Alliance) has elected a new Chairman following the retirement of its long-standing previous post-holder, John Ayling.

At their AGM on 7 September 2018, Alliance members elected the following nominees to the organisation’s Executive Committee for the coming year:
1. Dr Angus Chambers - GP and Chair of Christchurch PHO
2. Bill Eschenbach - Chief Executive of Rural Canterbury PHO
3. Karen Guilliland - Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives
4. John Hunter - Chair of Nelson Bays Primary Health
5. Dr Andrew Miller - GP and Chair of Manaia Health PHO
6. Richard Townley - Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand

The new Executive Committee subsequently met and elected Dr Angus Chambers as the new Chairman, as well as co-opting the following four additional members to the Executive Committee to ensure it has the capacity and capability to govern and represent the organisation and its growing membership from across the spectrum of primary health care:
1. Dr Luke Bradford - GP and Co-Chair of Western Bay of Plenty PHO
2. Donovan Clarke - Chief Executive of Manaia Health PHO
3. Dr Mark Peterson - GP and Deputy Chair of Health Hawke’s Bay
4. Dr Ash Revell – General Manager of Green Cross Health Medical Division

Taking over the Chairmanship of the Alliance, Dr Angus Chambers said “I am extremely honoured to be trusted by our members to follow in the footsteps of a Chair with the mana, ability, respect and knowledge of the health system that John Ayling has provided as our Chair for the last five years.”

Since 2013, the Alliance has:
• Re-focused from being the PHO Alliance to become the Primary Health Alliance in recognition of the integrated, sector-wide, multi-professional approach required to address New Zealand’s health challenges
• Produced and published a series of high profile discussion papers, including:
o A time to act: 7 actions which will help sustain the New Zealand health service for future generations (February 2015)
o Targeting Resources: Strengthening New Zealand’s primary care capitation funding formula (December 2015)
o One team, many businesses: Supporting delivery of the 2016 New Zealand Health Strategy (June 2017)
• Significantly increased its membership base (including the latest new members this month; St John)
• Co-hosted four successive annual Primary Health Symposia with their strategic partners the Heart Foundation and the Health Promotion Agency, supporting the sharing of good practice for approximately 200 delegates from across the sector attending free-of-charge each year
• Undertaken an increasingly high profile national role including input to national reviews, expert panels and specific negotiation on behalf of PHO members at the PHO Services Agreement Amendment group (PSAAP)
• Significantly influenced and advanced the priority of sector unity leading to the creation of the Establishment Board for the Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa New Zealand.
Following his retirement speech at the Alliance AGM, outgoing Chair, John Ayling said “I am immensely proud to have been a part of the success and growth of the Alliance since my election whilst Chair of the West Coast PHO back in 2013. The multi-professional and sector-wide members of the Alliance have an incredibly altruistic and collaborative approach to working together which is exactly what New Zealand’s future health system needs to deliver sustainable, high quality care and address the unacceptable inequities of access and outcomes that persist for our most vulnerable communities.”

“It has been my privilege to serve the Alliance as Chair” he said, “now however, I am planning a number of meetings with those elusive South Island trout.”

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