Ministry appoints Establishment Director of the Public Health Agency

News article

15 September 2021

Simon Everitt has joined the Ministry of Health as Establishment Director of the interim Public Health Agency. The interim Agency is the first component of the Ministry to be designed as part of the wider health and disability system reforms.

The enduring Agency won’t be in place until 1 July 2022, in line with the timeframes for the other new entities.

Mr Everitt’s focus will be on setting up the interim Public Health Agency, facilitating the design of the future agency and progressing transition.

‘The new agency will be at the heart of the Ministry of the future, as a standalone branded unit which will lead on public health policy, strategy, regulation, surveillance and monitoring,’ Mr Everitt says.

‘It is an exciting opportunity for the Ministry to lead a renewed focus on population and public health to address inequity and enable all New Zealanders to live longer, healthier lives.’

This supports the health and disability sector to reorient towards prevention and the needs of communities and whānau. Population and public health will be critical for achieving our commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, addressing inequities and reducing the burden of disease.

‘To achieve this, the Public Health Agency will need to provide strong leadership not just in the population and public health area but right across the system. It will need to be future-focused, innovative and grounded in public health knowledge, including community aspirations and needs,’ Mr Everitt says.

A joint public health work programme is underway across the Ministry and the DPMC’s Transition Unit, which includes the design of the overall system operating model.

Mr Everitt says that starting to put the building blocks in place for the new Agency will provide visibility of population and public health within the new system and signal some of the important system-wide shifts the reforms aim to achieve.

‘As the PHA is established, strong partnerships with the Māori Health Authority and the National Public Health Service, which will be part of Health NZ, will be critical,’ he says.

The Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, is pleased to welcome Mr Everitt to the Ministry.

‘Simon is passionate about developing and delivering integrated models of care across the whole health system with a focus on integration, collaboration and strong relationship management, to drive improved health outcomes. He has a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles with the aim of achieving equitable health outcomes for Māori,’ Dr Bloomfield says.

Simon has spent the last 30 years in the New Zealand health sector, most recently as Interim CE of Bay of Plenty DHB. Prior to his interim CE role, Simon was GM Planning and Funding and Population Health at the Bay of Plenty DHB for five years.

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