Pirie health leader takes on new role

LEADER: Roger Kirchner will be chief executive officer of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network under changes to the health system introduced by the state Liberal government.

LEADER: Roger Kirchner will be chief executive officer of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network under changes to the health system introduced by the state Liberal government.

Port Pirie’s Roger Kirchner has been appointed to head a new regional Local Health Network.

Mr Kitchner will be chief executive officer of Yorke and Northern while Ros McCrae will be in charge of Flinders and Upper North.

Six networks were introduced by the new state government. The chief executive of SA Health, Dr Chris McGowan, said the officers were “high-calibre, strategic leaders with extensive experience managing regional health care services in country SA”.

“They are well-known in the country health community,” he said.

“The chief executive officers will start on January 2 next year, initially as deputy chief executive officers, reporting to the chief executive officer of Country Health SA until June 30.

“From July 1, when the new networks and governing boards become operational, the titles of the deputy chief executive officers will change to chief executive officers and they will report to the boards of the relevant regional networks.” Mr Kirchner has lived and worked in the Mid North for most of his career and has developed strong networks.

He has held senior positions with SA Health since 1994 and his past roles include general manager of the Mid North Region, chief executive officer of the Port Pirie, Port Broughton, Laura and Crystal Brook Hospitals, chief executive officer of Peterborough Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and chief executive officer of the Port Pirie Regional Health Service.

Most recently, he was the regional director of the Yorke and Northern region for Country Health SA and was responsible for 16 hospitals, eight residential care facilities and two big community and allied health departments. He is passionate about ensuring people in the region have access to high-quality health services as close to home as possible and that health services are delivered safely and efficiently.

He has a broad skill base including financial management, quality and safety, corporate services, communications and strategic planning.

He holds a Diploma in Management Practice, is a Justice of the Peace and is a board director with UniHub Spencer Gulf.

Regional staff were told that the new leaders “understand the challenges and triumphs of delivering high-quality health care to country people close to home”.

Chief executive officer with Country Health SA Local Health Network Maree Geraghty said the chief executive officers would be responsible for running health services

“They will be responsible for achieving the overall performance of the public health system for the network and as part of country SA and the whole SA health system,” she said.

“They will manage operational planning, implementation, staffing, budgets and resources to ensure the provision of co-ordinated health services for the overall performance of the networks.”

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