Dr Lester Levy is stepping down in the New Year as chair of all three district health boards in Auckland – earlier than planned because of his new role on Ministerial Advisory Group.

In an email to all Waitemata District Health Board staff – the DHB where he has been chair since mid-2009 – he announced he would resign from all boards from late January rather than waiting until early June when his legal nine year maximum period of service was up.

Levy said the earlier resignation was made to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest between his new role as a member of the Health Minister Dr David Clark’s five person Ministerial Advisory Group and his role as chair of the three metro Auckland DHBs and Northern Region Governance Group.   He said the conflicts related to the “scale of the population-based health funding received by the three metro Auckland DHBs and the Northern Region”.

Levy said when he was approached in 2016 about being appointed chair of  all three DHBs – Waitemata, Counties Manukau and Auckland – he had accepted on the understanding he would serve as chair of all three for only as long as legally possible – which was until the end of his nine-year team as Waitemata’s chair in June 2018.

Dale Bramley,  Waitemata’s CEO, paid tribute today to Levy’s “extraordinary contribution” during his almost nine years as the DHB’s chair.

He said Levy’s accomplishments included the appointment of around 1000 additional staff, the opening of a 24-hour ED at West Auckland’s Waitakere Hospital, ED redevelopment at both hospital campuses, an expanded children’s wing at Waitakere Hospital, the commissioning of North Shore’s Elective Surgery Centre, new mental health units at He Puna Waiora and the Mason Clinic, plus the Lakeview Cardiology Centre and Whenua Pupuke Clinical Skills Centre.

“Dr Levy’s passion, drive and will to make things happen have been integral to each of these new facilities that have lifted the volume and quality of healthcare provided to the Waitemata community,” said Bramley.

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