Back to top anchor

Brought to you by Southern DHB and WellSouth primary health network

Open main menu Close main menu

Central Lakes Locality Network members appointed

Issue date:
Content is brought to you by:

An expert health consultant and programme manager will lead the new Central Lakes Locality Network (CLLN), helping to shape future health services in the area.

Queenstown resident Helen Telford will lead the advisory network working closely with Southern DHB and WellSouth Primary Health Network, to ensure health services and facilities match the current and future health care needs of patients and consumers in Queenstown, Wanaka and the Central Otago area.

Having begun her career as a social worker, as the Director of Telford Consultants Ms Telford has implemented transformational programmes at many organisations in Australia and New Zealand including Southern District Health Board, MercyAscot (Auckland), Austin Health (Melbourne) and St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney). Ms Telford holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences and Master’s in Social Work and has been a Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2008.

“In communities such as Central Lakes, primary and community services are critical to accessing health care and support. Southern DHB’s Primary and Community Care Strategy aims to better match the needs of the population to the development of services and this locality network is a link between the community and service providers,” she says. “I believe it's important local people are involved. I am passionate about the health sector and this position provides opportunity to contribute and support the health system from a different perspective.”

Other CLLN members are local residents including patients and healthcare consumers, general practitioners and rural hospital clinicians, a general practice nurse and a health promotion advisor.

Central Lakes Locality Network (CLLN) is the first in a series of advisory networks to be established and will help improve equity of access to and better integration of health care services.

“Central Lakes Locality Network members bring a wealth of experience and expertise and have a shared desire to improve health services in Central Otago,” says Lisa Gestro, Executive Director, Strategy, Primary and Community, Southern DHB, noting there were many well qualified candidates among the 40 applicants.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the team we’ve brought together and selecting the membership from a qualified pool of candidates was by no means a simple task. We’re so grateful to all those who applied and we’re encouraging all to stay engaged and consider supporting change by other means, including as Community Health Council advisors.”

Mrs Gestro said the network’s composition is based on providing a good, all-round skill set, interests and experience.

“Our aim was not to assemble a group of people with special interests but rather we sought to bring together a team that can take a whole-of-system view and work cooperatively and I believe we’ve achieved this,” she says.

Central Lakes Locality Network Members

Helen Telford, Queenstown – CLLN chair, Director Telford Consultants. Background in health service development initiatives, and leading innovation and change in a wide variety of organisations and cultures.

Dave Dixon, Arrowtown - emergency medicine specialist at Lakes District Hospital. Interests in medical education at junior and specialist level, interdisciplinary medical simulation and retrieval medicine. 

Kate Dixon, Alexandra – GP with Central Medical Centre, co-founder of Central Otago Medical Society - focused on education and improving relationships amongst primary care providers in the Central Otago region. 

Leanne Illingworth, Queenstown - parent, health care consumer, former health care industry worker and current Trustee of Presbyterian Support Southland and Advisory Board member of Eldernet NZ.

Maureen McNeill, Wanaka – nurse manager, Wanaka Medical.  Member of WellSouth clinical quality group and former nurse at Dunstan Hospital.

Roland Meyer, Queenstown - specialist respiratory and general physician for Southland and Queenstown-Lake region.

Emily Nelson, Queenstown - a health promotion advisor and chair of the Central Lakes Mental Health and Addictions Service, member of the Central Otago – Wakatipu Smokefree Coalition.

Robyn Pannett, Roxburgh – farmer, celebrant, justice of the peace and former manager of Teviot Roxburgh Medical Centre.

Jason Searle, Cromwell – Community Health Council member, Urban Fire Brigade volunteer, science graduate, surveyor and sportsperson. Interest in rural and men's health.  

James Reid, Queenstown – clinician, Lakes District Hospital, involvement in rural GP network and Rural Faculty Committee.

An Iwi representative will be appointed.

About locality Networks

The creation of Locality Networks was outlined in the Primary and Community Care Strategy and Action Plan, with the purpose of ensuring models of care align with population health needs and service requirements in different areas of the district. LNs will complement and coordinate with the other key features of the Strategy and Action Plan. These include Community Health Hubs – community focused and co-located group of health providers - and the Health Care Home model of primary care which promotes access to urgent and unplanned care, provides more preventative care and better supports people with complex needs.

As the first network of its kind to be established in the Southern district, the learnings and experience of the Central Lakes Locality Network will be used in the creation of other LNs, likely to be based around Dunedin, Invercargill, Southland, Gore, Balclutha and Waitaki

The network will play a vital role in prioritising and planning health services so they meet the needs of local communities and are well-integrated with the broader health system.


For further information, please contact:

Southern DHB Senior Communications Officer Vanessa Barratt, on 020 4166 2019 or email: