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Health Research Council CEO to step down

Wednesday 9 January, 2019

Health Research Council CEO to step down

The chairman of the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Dr Lester Levy, has announced that the chief executive, Professor Kathryn McPherson, will step down from the role in mid-2019.

Over the past four years, while health research has been firmly on the government’s agenda, Professor McPherson has headed a number of measures for maximising the value and benefit of health research for all New Zealanders.

Dr Levy says Kath McPherson has solidly championed the objectives and principles of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy, ensuring the crown agency is well-positioned to continue bringing the Strategy to life.

He says the Health Research Council (HRC) is leading the way in aligning the nation’s health research efforts and improving health outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples, as well as developing a strong and capable health research workforce.

“As a strong advocate for ensuring value in research, Kath has also overseen changes to HRC’s assessment processes which aim to deliver greater impact from our investments and a clearer pathway to translating research findings into policy and practice.”

Professor McPherson says helping position the HRC as a leader and weaver in connecting health research with the end-users of research has been a highlight of her time at the HRC.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to work with the team and Council, as well as researchers, ministry colleagues and so many other interested people wanting to ensure that the Health Research Strategy delivers for New Zealand and New Zealanders,” she says.

“Researchers in our universities, hospitals and communities are incredibly dedicated and it’s been great to see their commitment recognised by way of increased funding over the last few years.”

Professor McPherson will continue leading the HRC while a search for her successor takes place over the next few months.

Dr Levy says the HRC has been exceeding its goals in key focus areas, such as achieving health equity, and is looking for someone to build on this momentum.

“Heading the HRC is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to steer the direction and potential of health research in New Zealand.

“It’s in the interests of the New Zealand public and all stakeholders that we find the most suitable candidate to pick up where Kath leaves off, ensuring publicly-funded research has high impact and real benefits for New Zealanders.”

Ends.


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