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Read the Latest From BOPDHB CE, Helen Mason - 20 August 2019


Sally’s announcement to staff

I wish to advise that Chief Executive Helen Mason has been offered a senior health position with the Victoria State Government and will be taking up the new role in Melbourne in mid-November.

The Board and I are very sorry to be losing Helen, who has made a significant difference to the culture and performance of our organisation in her time as Chief Executive. As an organisation the Bay of Plenty District Health Board is in a very good place with strong senior leadership and very committed, competent and compassionate staff. The Board is considering interim arrangements for the Chief Executive role and will share these with staff as soon as possible.

Helen has been employed by the BOPDHB for 21 years and been CEO since 2016. She was initially employed as a registered nurse at Tauranga Hospital. Following a period as a Decision Support Advisor she was appointed Planning and Funding Manager, then Chief Operating Officer. She was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to research health policy in the USA in 2014 and was appointed CE after returning in 2015.

Helen has said that after so many years, it will be a real wrench to leave the organisation and the Bay of Plenty. She is confident that the organisation is in good heart, and very well positioned to continue to deliver excellent health services to the people of the Bay of Plenty, and to support our communities to be healthy and thriving. She has been very proud to be part of a team with such a strong commitment to the health of our Bay of Plenty communities.

Helen’s new role will be Executive Director, Health Service Policy and Commissioning for the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria State Government. This role will provide the opportunity to make a difference to the health of over six million people in Victoria and allows Helen to gain experience in state and central government.

Helen has made a significant contribution to both the Bay of Plenty DHB and the community we serve over many years. She should be proud of the progress this DHB has made under her leadership. I know she will be sincerely missed by the Board and DHB staff. We all wish her every success for the future.


Message from Helen

After 21 years as a member of the DHB team, it will be a real wrench to leave.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve received many lovely messages from across our DHB and the community. I really appreciate people taking the time, and the reminders of so many things which have happened since I joined the team on a return to nursing program all those years ago.

It was a big decision, not taken lightly, to resign from an organisation which has been so much part of my life.

I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with so many dedicated, passionate, hard working people. I am full of admiration for how resilient and dedicated staff have been as we have stepped up to the challenges which have become so much part of every day in our organisation.

Whilst there was never going to be a good time to leave, the timing now works for us as a family. I am close to four years into the role, Max has decided not to stand for re-election to the Tauranga City Council, and I have a sister, family and friends living in Melbourne. But Tauranga is our turangawaewae and we will be back.

Whoever steps into the CE’s role will be really lucky. Our DHB is well regarded, performs well in relation to our peers, and there are so many great people working in it.

Over the next three months I will be working to do everything I can to support you in your work, and to ensure a smooth transition. I’m confident that our DHB will go from strength to strength.


Process of CE appointment

On 12 October, there is an election to vote in seven members to our Board, following which the Minister of Health will announce his four appointments to the Board including the new Board Chair. The appointment of a new CE will become the responsibility of the new Board.

The new Board will have its first meeting in January 2020. The members will need time to understand the organisation, to ensure they are well positioned to recruit the new CE. In the meantime our current Board is considering interim arrangements for the Chief Executive role and will share these with staff as soon as possible.

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