Chris Fleming has been appointed Southern DHB Chief Executive, Commissioner Kathy Grant announced today.
The Nelson Marlborough Health Chief Executive had been seconded to the role of interim Chief Executive at Southern DHB since September, while the Commissioner team undertook an extensive recruitment process to fill the role.
“Ultimately, Chris demonstrated that he was the strongest candidate for this position, and we are delighted that he has accepted the responsibility of leading the organisation through the opportunities and challenges of the years ahead.”
This includes the redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital and Lakes District Hospital, continued work to build a strong internal culture at Southern DHB and the eventual transition to an elected governance board.
In announcing the role, Mrs Grant spoke to value of Mr Fleming’s proven experience in DHB chief executive roles, at both Nelson Marlborough Health and South Canterbury DHB, overseeing significant organisational change. He has also worked in financial and operational roles at three further New Zealand DHBs, as well as in Canada and Australia.
“We have had the benefit of seeing Chris over the past months become immediately effective in the interim role, building on his strong networks and familiarity with the sector. We are pleased that this momentum can continue, and have every confidence that with the support of the staff and the community, Chris can lead Southern DHB towards becoming stronger, more sustainable and better able to meet the health needs of our communities.”
Mr Fleming says he is excited to accept the role, and progress the range of initiatives underway at the DHB. “I have been impressed by both enormous talent and potential here at Southern DHB, and heartened by the openness and enthusiasm of staff to effect change and make a real difference for their patients. There are many challenges facing our organisation and the community we serve, the road ahead will be tough, however together we can collectively ensure a positive future for the DHB and the communities who rely on us and I am looking forward to being part of this.”
Mrs Grant also reiterated her thanks to Nelson Marlborough Health for supporting Mr Fleming’s secondment to Southern DHB, “providing us with a safe pair of hands as we progressed our recruitment process.”
Nelson Marlborough Health Chairman Jenny Black congratulated Mr Fleming on his new role.
“On behalf of the Board and staff we congratulate Chris on this appointment, and wish him every success with the challenges that lie ahead.
“In accepting Chris’ resignation, I would like to thank him for the energy and dedication he has shown in his four years here. Due to his leadership, we now have robust processes that will hold us in good stead for the future.”
Ms Black says that the recruitment process to find a new Chief Executive for Nelson Marlborough Health will commence immediately.