WDHB announces new chief executive appointment

5 October 2017

Healthcare of New Zealand, healthcare rehabilitation group manager Russell Simpson has been appointed Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) new chief executive, WDHB board chair Dot McKinnon announced today.

“On behalf my board colleagues, I want to say how delighted we are that Russell has accepted the role and that there may be an opportunity for departing chief executive Julie Patterson to meet with him for a ‘handover’ before she leaves us on Friday 20 October,” Mrs McKinnon said.

“Russell brings to the role more than 18 years clinical, management and strategic leadership experience at an operational and executive level, across both the Australian and New Zealand health sectors.”

Prior to his appointment at Healthcare of New Zealand, Mr Simpson held the position of executive director, Allied Health, Scientific and Technical for Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs. Before that, he held clinical positions in pain management and ran his own business in sports and rehabilitation for a number of years.

Mr Simpson’s experience includes sitting on a wide range of boards and trusts involving representation at a number of national forums. He is clinically qualified in the area of rehabilitation, and holds a Masters in Health Science (Rehabilitation), a postgraduate Diploma in Exercise for Rehabilitation, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement.”

“We look forward to welcoming Russell to Whanganui DHB in the new year when he, his wife Sarah and their children will move to Whanganui which, coincidentally, is Sarah’s home town,” Mrs McKinnon said.

“I want to also take this opportunity to announce that between Mrs Patterson’s departure and Russell’s arrival, WDHB Corporate Services general manager Brian Walden will step in as acting chief executive – a role he has held, and performed very competently on a number of occasions.”

For further media comment please contact WDHB communications manager Sue Campion on 021 246 8126 or 06 348 3170.