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Clinical Council Members

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Find out about Clinical Council members, their current role, experience and qualifications.

 Clinical Council Members:

Tim Mackay - Chair, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Southern DHB

Profile coming soon.

Gail Thomson - Executive Director Quality & Clinical Governance Solutions, Southern DHB

Gail has over 20 years in Quality and Clinical Governance roles across the public and private sectors of both NZ and the UK. These roles have over the years encompassed patient safety, quality improvement, health and integrated care pathways, policy, credentialing, regulatory compliance, emergency management, privacy, patient experience and health outcomes. Prior to governance roles, Gail spent several years working in nursing roles and operational management, primarily within critical areas (ICU, ED, Liver transplantation and Coronary Care).  

In her last senior role on the UK she was responsible for 30 hospitals across the UK that operated within 3 different regulatory systems (England, Wales & Scotland). She also had Chief Nursing Officer responsibilities for the 30 hospitals where she led innovative solutions to nursing shortages such as working with universities to train and upskill HCAs to become theatre scrub assistants.

Gail was appointed to the Executive Director Quality & Clinical Governance role in October 2018 after 4 years at ACC in the role of Principal Advisor to the Chief Clinical Officer responsible for Quality and Clinical Governance amongst other duties. Gail is passionate about consumer centric service design and delivery that actively utilises interprofessional models of care. She finds that this is one of the keys to success in healthcare as it often avoids unnecessary tests, treatment and over medicalisation, provides a much better consumer experience which all adds up to less patient harm and better health outcomes.

Jane Wilson  - Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer, Southern DHB

Jane was appointed to the role of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in August 2017. Prior to this, Jane was Director of the Commissioner’s Office (since October 2015) and Acting Director of Nursing Operations.  Jane has held a number of nursing leadership positions at Southern DHB since returning home in 1991 after spending several years working and studying in London, including Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Educator, Charge Nurse Manager, Service Manager and Nursing Director.

Jane is committed to working closely with colleagues across all disciplines and is continuously building connections nationally and internationally to advance clinical practice and build capacity and capability within the broader health system - all in the context of best serving her community.  The most satisfying part of her role is getting out and about amongst staff and teams who work most closely with patients, clients and whānau to find out what she can do to improve their experience so they can improve the experience of others – doing more of what matters most.

Kaye Cheetham  - Chief Allied Health, Scientific & Technical Officer, Southern DHB

Kaye became the Chief Allied Health Scientific and Technical Officer in December 2019.   Kaye has held  a number of roles within SDHB including the Director of Allied Health SPC, the Allied Health professional development facilitator and the Professional Lead for occupational therapy. Kaye’s clinical practice has been predominantly in mental health. She also lectured in occupational therapy practice for sixteen years while completing some contract work in primary mental health.

Kaye served on the Occupational Therapy Board for four years. She is passionate about workforce development and providing safe equitable quality care to people in the Southern region.

Nigel Millar - Chief Medical Officer, Southern DHB

Nigel came to New Zealand from the UK in 1992 as a Geriatrician and General Physician. He became Clinical Director of the Canterbury Older Persons Health Service in 1994 and then Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in 2003 transferring to Southern in 2016. Nigel has worked to develop and improve health services, particularly for older people over the years including initiating and leading the InterRAI aged care assessment programme, leading the development of information systems regionally and nationally including the Health Connect South and Health One systems. Nigel has also played a role in disaster and emergency response including the Christchurch earthquakes and more recently Covid-19. He continues clinical practice as a Geriatrician and Physician in addition to the CMO role. Nigel is a lifelong cyclist and advocate for active transport.

Gilbert Taurua  - Chief Maori Health Improvement Officer, Southern DHB

Gilbert has 30 plus years’ experience working across the broader health, social services, education, and justice sectors. Gilbert has worked extensively within the Māori health sector and has worked in the alcohol and drug area, including mental health. He has significant governance experience, including policy, practice, research and evaluation. Gilbert is currently the Chief Māori Health Strategy and Improvement Officer with the Southern DHB and the WellSouth Primary Health Network. Prior to this role Gilbert held the positions of Principal Advisor Māori with the NZ Drug Foundation, Southern Regional Manager under the Health Promotion Agency and the Director Māori Health Whanganui DHB. Gilbert has a strong interest in indigenous health issues, equity and the translation of the Treaty of Waitangi within the health sector. 

Caroline Collins - Medicines, Women’s & Children’s Medical Director, Southern DHB

Caroline currently works at SDHB in two roles: Emergency Medicine SMO on the Dunedin site and as Medical Director Medicine, Women’s and Children. She also contributes to the aeromedical retrieval service in a clinical capacity when needed.

She arrived in New Zealand in 1998, having been a GP in the UK. She retrained in Emergency Medicine here in Dunedin and Auckland. Returning to an SMO role in Dunedin in 2010. She held the Clinical Director role for the Emergency Department in Dunedin for 4 years before taking on the role of Medical Director. She is passionate about “delivering great care and developing great staff”.

Hywel Lloyd - Strategy Primary & Community Medical Director, Southern DHB

Hywel has been a general practitioner at Mosgiel Health Centre since his arrival in New Zealand from Wales in 2003. He has held GP advisory positions at Taieri, Strath Taieri PHO and Southern PHO. He re-engineered the Care Plus programme for the Taieri practices between 2009 and 2011 as part of Optimising the Patient Journey 2 programme. Focussing on patient centred care planning, for those at highest risk and based on the Year of Care model. Hospital admissions and length of stay were reduced.

Hywel has worked as a Clinical Editor for the Best Practice Journal and Director of Health Informatics at BPAC. He has held an honorary lecturer positions at the Department of General Practice and Rural Health, University of Otago as well as CMO at South Link Health. He joined the Southern DHB in 2018 as the Medical Director for Strategy, Primary and Community. Hywel has a passion for improving health care through good quality data, building knowledge, to enable better decision making.

Evan Mason - MHAID Medical Officer, Southern DHB

Profile coming soon.

Nicholas Johnstone  - Ophthalmology Southland Clinical Director, Southern DHB

Dr Johnston is a general ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist) with sub-specialist interests in cataract, glaucoma and oculoplastic (eyelid) surgery.  He completed his undergraduate medical training at Otago Medical School in 2005. He subsequently completed ophthalmology training throughout New Zealand prior to completing his fellowship in Perth, WA. He returned to Southern in 2016.  He enjoys spending time with his young family outside of work.

Joanne McLeod - Director of Nursing Southland, Southern DHB

Profile coming soon.

Sally O’Connor  - Director of Nursing, Strategy, Primary & Community, Southern DHB

Sally was appointed to the role of Director of Nursing Strategy Primary and Community in October 2017. Prior to this Sally was the Nursing Director for the Medical Directorate  at Southern DHB for five years.  Sally has worked in a number of areas as a registered nurse including aged residential care, medical and emergency department nursing in New Zealand and overseas before holding leadership roles including Charge Nurse Manager of Southland Medical Ward and Charge Nurse of Rotorua Hospital Emergency Department. Sally then moved into Primary Care spending several years at Mornington Health Centre as the Nurse Co-ordinator before moving into the Clinical Director of Nursing Role when Mornington Health Centre formed its own Primary Health Organisation.

Sally is committed to improving patient safety and smooth transitions of patient care across services and into our community.  Sally is involved in many of the patient safety groups that focus on the care of the frail elderly, including falls prevention, pressure injury prevention and delirium.  Sally spends a lot of her time out in clinical areas talking to staff and patients about patient safety. Sally is also committed to supporting advancing nursing practice and has been involved in actively supporting many nurses on their career pathway into senior nursing leadership positions or clinical roles such as Nurse Practitioners. Sally believes that a well-educated, supported workforce is imperative to meet the demands in the current health environment. 

Tracy Hogarty - Director of Allied Health, Southern DHB

Profile coming soon.

Tanya Basel - General Manager Human Resources, Southern DHB

Prior to coming to New Zealand to take up the role of General Manager Human Resources for Southern DHB, Tanya has held various senior HR leadership roles such as HR Country Director and Vice President HR for the Oil and Gas division of a multi-national Petro-Chemical company.  Tanya describes herself as a pragmatic and innovative ‘people solutioner’ with more than 25 years’ people management experience across multiple and complex businesses in diverse industries including Polymers, Petro-Chemical, Oil and Gas, and Automotive. Her career has seen her work in countries as diverse as Mozambique, USA, Singapore, China, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Slovakia. 

Well versed in strategic Human Resources practices, policies and procedures, Tanya has successfully led, managed, and advised on several business transformation initiatives, including organisational re-design and culture change.  She supported delivering on the growth strategy for the Oil and Gas division of Sasol, which saw the successful delivery on a challenging recruitment strategy and talent development programme implemented over a three year period.
Her passion lies in building effective, high performing, integrated HR, and executive management teams within matrix organisations. Her strength is in finding quick and intelligent solutions to daily business challenges without losing sight of the long-term goal. Tanya is keen to use her life-learning and previous experience in Southern DHB where she hopes to make a difference in the lives of staff who in turn deliver excellent care to our communities.

Karen Browne - Community Health Council Chair, Consumer Representative

Karen has worked in various locations around New Zealand as an Enrolled Nurse, Cardio-pulmonary Technician, CPR trainer, Ambulance Officer and as a shift supervisor of the Wellington Free Ambulance Communications Centre.  She also has worked in health administration, and more recently, until retiring in mid-2018, at the Otago Medical School.  The health system has always played a huge part of her working life, and, in more recent years, as a consumer of health services. She is well positioned to bring both a consumer perspective to discussions around health provision and service, particularly around musculoskeletal and long-term conditions, as well as an understanding of the delivery of health services.

Karen has worked on various projects through being a member of the Health Consumer Advisory Service of Health Navigator, and also has been involved locally as a consumer voice regarding re-stratification of patients in primary care to ensure the right level of care reaches the right people – the CLIC programme. Karen is also a member of the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Consumer Group, and has recently been appointed to the Health, Quality and Safety Commission Leadership Group for Aged Residential Care. Karen’s health fields of interest include long term conditions, older person’s health, and primary health.

Jess Dixon  - Nurse Educator, Southern DHB

Originally from Canada Jess completed a Batchelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2005 followed by a post-graduate specialty certification in ICU and Emergency in 2006. She has  have worked in a combination of rural and tertiary emergency/ICU/urgent care since then, relocating to Dunedin New Zealand in 2009. Jess is currently the Nurse Educator at Lakes District Hospital, a role that was introduced in July 2019. This is in addition to her clinical nursing role in the Emergency Department and the general ward. Jess, her husband and their two young children very happily reside in beautiful Arrowtown.

Samantha Graham - Physiotherapist

Samantha is a Senior Cardio Respiratory Physiotherapist working predominantly in ICU (Te Puna Wai Ora) and the Cardiothoracic/Respiratory Wards at Dunedin Hospital. Samantha worked as a physiotherapist specialising clinically in cardio respiratory (with a special interest in ICU) in the UK prior to moving to New Zealand in 2019. From the start of her career Samantha has always been interested in service development, quality improvement and the values of every hospital where she’s worked. She wants to ensure patients get the best quality care they possibly can. Her proudest achievement to date is a development project looking into pet therapy on an adult ICU and progressing this to implementation.

Susan Weggery  - Consultant, Lakes District Hospital

Susan has a lifelong attachment to the region having grown up in Dunedin and then studying  at the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine. In 2009 she started working at Lakes District Hospital and developed a passion for Rural Hospital Medicine. She completed the vast majority of her training in Otago. She enjoys using the links she has established over her career to help expand the provision of rural services. She helped establish the minor fracture clinic at Lakes in 2014 as an adjunct to the orthopaedic service and most recently was the local lead on establishing stroke thrombolysis at Lakes. Susan enjoys the variety of rural clinical medicine and the ability to follow patients from their ED admission through to discharge. In her spare time she tries to keep up with her three very active children and enjoys being outside and experiencing the beauty of Central Otago .