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Long Serving Lakes DHB Chief Executive Resigns

9 September 2011

Long Serving Lakes DHB Chief Executive Resigns

The Chair of Lakes District Health Board Deryck Shaw has announced with regret, that Cathy Cooney, Chief Executive of Lakes District Health Board since 2001, has informed the Board of her intention to resign from her position as of 30 June 2012. Cathy has a long history with the organisation, having joined in 1994 as Director of Nursing and Midwifery. In the 11 years as Chief Executive she has led the organisation through its set up and transition phase to now be regarded by central government as a sound, effective and well performing provincial DHB.

Cathy’s previous early clinical roles as a midwife, public health nurse and Director of Nursing and Midwifery allowed her to develop an extensive knowledge of the New Zealand health and disability system, and a keen appreciation of the challenges facing health and disability services today. Her valuable perspective on some of the health challenges confronting the Lakes region has driven a strong focus on improving Maori health and reducing inequalities and on developing and consolidating clinical governance and leadership in the DHB.

Deryck Shaw says a feature of Cathy’s leadership style has been inclusiveness and development of strong iwi, community and intersectoral links. Her leadership of health initiatives at a local, regional and national level has helped position Lakes DHB very well to meet the continuing challenges in the sector.

Cathy Cooney said the late July opening of the new three-level building at Rotorua Hospital was a key milestone in the history of the organisation. The redevelopment was one of many steps in the programme to upgrade the clinical services and facilities at both Rotorua and Taupo hospitals. Cathy said it had been a great privilege to be part of these accomplishments and to lead the organisation for 11 years.

“I am very proud of the staff of Lakes DHB and the health providers that we partner with. Together we have made significant progress towards improving the health of the people of the Lakes region,” said Cathy Cooney.

Deryck Shaw said Cathy’s leaving marked the end of an era and Cathy would be greatly missed by board members and staff alike. Her leadership style had actively fostered the professional development of staff in clinical, management and other leadership roles in the organisation. Cathy had also shown the value of professional development and had supported many building their skill sets to go on to other highly important roles.

Deryck Shaw noted that Cathy was widely respected in the health sector and had had many key roles and significant achievements at a national and regional level.

While the Board very much regretted Cathy Cooney’s decision to resign, her early notification would allow the Board sufficient time to go through a thorough recruitment process for a new chief executive. The Board wished her well with her future endeavours.


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