The redesign of two new executive appointments shows a commitment to enhance the strategic planning and funding of health services throughout the Waikato.
Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray said the new roles build on his restructure which focused on strengthening clinical and management partners.
The new title of Executive Director: Strategy and Funding will replace the Executive Director of Planning and Funding and will be filled by Julie Wilson who has acted in the role for the past 16 months.
This role will be partnered by a newly established clinical directorship. This clinical role will be a joint appointment with Waikato University.
Professor Ross Lawrenson will take on the role as Clinical Director: Strategy and Funding. He was also recently appointed Professor of Population Health the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis.
The two roles will work closely to plan and fund health services throughout the district, with the aim to ensure services are evidence based and reaching those with high social and health needs. There will be a strong emphasis on promoting innovation in the delivery of services.
“We want to work more closely with social, education and health organisations to identify how we can jointly support people with high needs across sectors,” said Wilson.
Dr Murray said Wilson and Lawrenson will be also be tasked with considering how the health board can strengthen its relationship with other social agencies and the community.
“We want to use national research and reports to inform concepts like developing a new district health and social board that might directly guide the health board’s funding and planning actions on critical socioeconomic issues.”
Wilson said the health board will also utilise Lawrenson’s expertise to support existing activity in the team but also design new services which have a strong evidence base.
Professor Lawrenson brings more than 10 years of academic research and teaching experience to the role having been the Professor of Primary Care at University of Auckland and Assistant Dean of the Waikato Clinical Campus since 2005.
He has published two books and has over 130 peer review articles and speaks regularly at local and international conferences.
He currently sits on many primary care boards and has been an active member of the Waikato District Health Board’s Community Public Health Advisory Committee and Disability Support Advisory Committee.
“I am strong believer in the need for clinical leadership, the integration of primary and secondary care and in the use of health data to inform our planning and funding decisions,” he said.
“I have an opportunity to build the working relationship between the district health board and the university which will help ensure health services in the district remain highly innovative and scientifically based.”
This clinical-management partnership will jointly report to the chief executive.