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Fresh Faces for Pegasus Health Board

12 December 2007

Fresh Faces for Pegasus Health Board

Pegasus Health, the leading Christchurch general practice group, has a new Chair and three new board members.

“Dr Martin Seers takes over from the Hon David Caygill as Chair,” says Managing Director, Dr Paul McCormack, one of five directors remaining on the board.

Mr Caygill led the Pegasus Health board from 2004 and has left to chair the Electricity Commission.

Dr Seers has been on the Pegasus Health Board for 11 years and was the past Deputy Chair. In addition to his work as a GP, he is also a Clinical Tutor with the Christchurch School of Medicine and was instrumental in the development of the Pegasus Health Clinical Education Programme.

Drs David Zarifeh and Graeme McGeoch have been replaced by new GP directors, Harsed Chima and John Coughlan.

The board has a new independent director with the appointment of Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Peter Townsend, a previous member of the Pegasus Health Community Advisory Board.

Director of Nursing Shelley Frost, GPs Paul McCormack and Mary-Anne Dunlop and Professor Les Toop continue as directors.

“It’s a good board with a broad mix of skills,” says Dr Martin Seers, noting that the new directors bring governance experience and valuable business skills to the Pegasus board table.

Dr Coughlan has recently returned to general practice having previously been in senior health management roles in Christchurch and Wellington. He believes his time working outside of primary care brings different skills to the board.

“Doctors are a diverse group, but as a director my role is to ensure we have robust and respectful debate on the issues and ensure that we make the best decisions for both our patients and our organization,” says Dr Coughlan.

“We must also ensure that general practice is a career that young doctors and nurses want to pursue because it is enjoyable and rewarding.”

Dr Chima was a previous chair of the 24 Hour Surgery where most Christchurch GPs share the task of providing after hours care.
Mr Townsend has a great deal of governance experience, sitting on a number of other boards.

“I feel very privileged to have been appointed to the Pegasus Health Board,” says Mr Townsend,” and am looking forward to using my governance experience to assist a critical sector of the Canterbury health community to keep doing what they do best – serving Canterbury people and providing them with better health options.”

“Being a board member gives me the opportunity to continue a long and proud family association with the health professions – my father was a GP, my brother is still a practicing GP, my wife Rose is a nurse and now my eldest son has just graduated from medical school.”

“This appointment for me is just another facet of my involvement in the wider Christchurch community and one that I embrace.”

New Chair Martin Seers agrees that the group’s community links are important ones.

“It’s important for the whole community that we continue to have capable general practice leadership in place,” he says.

“General practice is at the heart of health for all of us, and if we don’t have leadership from the coal-face, we can end up having decisions made for our community from a very long distance, and by people with little understanding of the day-to-day issues facing doctors, their practice teams and patients.”


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