A two-decade full circle
Damian Tomic became a fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 2001, and around this time worked as a GP at Waikeria Prison. Now, Dr Tomic is chief medical advisor at the Department of Corrections Ara Poutama Aotearoa. A former medical director of primary health organisation Midlands Health Network, Dr Tomic has continued in general practice in Hamilton. He held primary care clinical and strategic leadership roles at Waikato DHB for five years and recently led its COVID-19 response.
Action on housing and health
Rami Alrudaini has joined south Auckland primary care and social support provider Turuki Health Care as business development manager. Turuki sees housing as an integral part of health and wellbeing, says Mr Alrudaini, formerly general manager at social housing provider and community health organisation LinkPeople. A member at that time of the Housing First Auckland collective’s governance group, Mr Alrudaini is a sociology, psychology and business graduate. He has worked for mental health organisation Pathways.
Neuroendocrine cancers not forgotten
Michelle Sullivan is the new chief executive at the Unicorn Foundation NZ, which advocates for patients with neuroendocrine cancers. A biochemist with a PhD in protein biochemistry, Dr Sullivan formerly chaired Middlemore Clinical Trials. She was founding chief executive of advocacy alliance New Zealanders for Health Research, and chief executive at bioscience industry association NZBIO.
Setting standards for paramedics
Wellington Free Ambulance intensive care paramedic and Whitireia Polytechnic paramedicine lecturer Sean Thompson is one of seven members appointed to the profession's inaugural regulatory body. The new Paramedic Council will register paramedics, set standards and hold members accountable for their professional conduct. Health minister David Clark also appointed Bronwyn Tunnage, Mitch Mullooly, David Ivory, Carlton Irving, Nigel Watson and Bernadette Pereira to the council. Mr Thompson helped develop Whitireia's bachelor of health science.
Coroner to lead health watchdog
Morag McDowell, an Auckland coroner since 2007, replaces fellow lawyer Anthony Hill as health and disability commissioner on 7 September. Ms McDowell is a former director of proceedings in the commissioner’s office, which acts as an independent watchdog on behalf of health services consumers. Ms McDowell studied medical law for her masters law degree, and has taken medical cases as a lawyer in private practice. She has been a law lecturer and Crown prosecutor.
Plenty of equity leadership
Public health medicine specialist and researcher Hayley Bennett has joined Bay of Plenty DHB as clinical effectiveness and equity lead. Dr Bennett is a senior lecturer in the University of Auckland School of Population Health. She has been a coordinator and research fellow with OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate & Health Counciil, and worked as a public health doctor for several DHBs. Among papers she has had published is this open-access one in the New Zealand Medical Journal, on DHBs’ pro-equity climate change and environmental sustainability action.
Time out for Simpson
Heather Simpson hasn’t moved on to any new role as yet, three months after handing over the Health and Disability System Review Panel’s final report (see The Roster Te Rārangi special edition). Ms Simpson was chair of the panel, which was appointed by health minister David Clark. A former University of Otago economics lecturer, she was chief of staff for prime minister Helen Clark from 1999 to 2008. Ms Clark later worked as United Nations Development Programme administrator, with Ms Simpson assisting her.
NZ advisor for Oxford COVID vaccine
University of Otago professor David Murdoch has joined the steering committee for a British group developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The university’s dean at the Christchurch campus and an infectious diseases expert, Professor Murdoch will provide expert oversight on all aspects of the vaccine’s development, led by the University of Oxford. He was recently appointed to the New Zealand Government’s vaccine strategy advisory group.
Crucial contact-tracing vacancy
Apply by 6 July if you would like to be in the thick of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. The Ministry of Health is seeking someone to manage its National Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Centre for the current global pandemic and health crises of the future. Meanwhile, Gail Prileszky, formerly of the Health Roundtable, has arrived at the ministry as manager performance support, DHB performance and engagement.
Hokianga Health Enterprise Trust’s pou arahi matua/chief executive John Wigglesworth is stepping down after many decades. This creates what the trust calls a unique opportunity in Northland's stunning Hokianga (it’s hard to disagree). And look out soon for recruitment by the Public Health Association, which also needs a new chief executive. Thanks for reading, and keep in touch.
– Virginia McMillan, Editor
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