Hunter New England Health welcomes new Chair

Hunter New England Local Health District Board Chair Dr Martin Cohen.

Ensuring everyone across the region receives excellent medical care. 

That’s the goal for Hunter New England Local Health District’s newest Chair of the Board. 

Announced today by Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, Dr Martin Cohen has been given the position. He takes over from Associate Professor Lyn Fragar AO, who has served in the position since 2011.

Dr Cohen said he is focussed on ensuring the district develops sound partnerships between clinical leaders, managers and the community to meet the current and future health needs of the community. 

“Having had the privilege to serve as the Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee of the Board for several years now, I feel honoured to have been appointed by the Minister for Health to the role of Chair,” he said. 

“Our key strategy is to ensure excellent care for every person who touches our health services, often at times of great stress, distress and need, and for this to occur consistently without exception.

“I look forward to working with our Chief Executive, Michael DiRienzo, and the Executive Directors, to ensure the positive evolution of Health Services for the people of Hunter New England Local Health District.”

The district’s chief executive Michael DiRienzo welcomed the news. 

“I am delighted that Dr Cohen has been appointed as Board Chair,” he said. 

“A serving board member since 2016, Dr Cohen has more than 25 years’ clinical experience as a psychiatrist, with five years as an Executive Director for Hunter New England Local Health District. He is also a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle.

“Dr Cohen has the passion and experience to successfully lead the Board’s oversight of health services for our local communities.”

Mr DiRienzo also paid tribute to outgoing Chair, Associate Professor Fragar. 

“The District is grateful for her leadership over the past ten years,” he said. 

“Associate Professor Fragar is a passionate advocate for health and has led positive changes within our district, including improved patient care, particularly in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic; workforce recruitment and retention and improved infrastructure and environmental sustainability.”

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