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Dr Carol Atmore appointed chair of Alliance South

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Southern DHB’s focus on transforming primary and community care makes taking on the role of chair of Alliance South "particularly exciting" for Dr Carol Atmore.

A general practitioner and health services researcher, Dr Atmore has been appointed chair of the alliance between Southern DHB and WellSouth primary health network, with the role of guiding collaboration and integration of health services across the Southern health system.

Dr Atmore is a GP with Mornington Health Centre in Dunedin and is completing a PhD at the Dunedin School of Medicine’s Dept. of General Practice and Rural Health, where she is investigating improvements to hospital care quality for rural communities. She took up the Alliance South leadership role at the start of May.

Prior to relocating to Dunedin with her family in 2015, Dr Atmore was a GP in Greymouth and from 2010 to 2015 served as the Chief Medical Officer of West Coast DHB. She’s also previously worked as a primary care clinician in Australia and the UK.

In addition to more than 20 years’ experience in general practice, Dr Atmore has a longstanding interest in population health and health systems change. She has held a number of senior clinical leadership roles in the health sector, including clinical director for long-term conditions with Ministry of Health over the last year and for the Bowel Cancer Screening programme in 2009-10. Dr Atmore is the current chair of the South Island Alliance strategic planning and integration team, helping to enhance collaboration and promote best practice amongst the South Island’s five DHBs.

"I’m passionate about finding ways to deliver health services better and more effectively for people in our communities," Dr Atmore says. "With the implementation of the district’s new Primary and Community Strategy and changing models of care that entails, this is a particularly exciting time to be involved in health services integration. New ways of working together to provide health care will be better for patients and their families and whanau. I want the Primary and Community Care Strategy to be a success and I want to make a contribution to that."

Healthcare alliances were established in health districts across the country in 2013 as a vehicle for district health boards and primary health organisations to better work together. Alliances promote taking a 'one health system' view, and building trust and confidence between health professionals who work in different parts of the health system.

The new Alliance South will oversee the implementation of the Primary and Community Care Strategy and to help monitor and measure success. Following the appointment of the new independent chair, the DHB and PHO will re-establish a new Alliance leadership team in the coming weeks.

Chris Fleming, Chief Executive, Southern DHB, says the appointment of the new independent chair for Alliance South is an important step in promoting integration across the respective parts of the system and improving how health care is provided to patients and communities across Otago and Southland.

"The Primary and Community Care Strategy proposes transformational change to how we deliver health services across the district. Alliance South, with Dr Atmore as its lead, will play a critical role in putting the strategy into action," Mr Fleming says. "Dr Atmore’s experience in primary care and working with alliances elsewhere, as well as her connections with the University and the Ministry, mean that she has a strategic understanding and practical knowledge to help make change happen."

Ian Macara, Chief Executive, WellSouth, agreed Alliance South and a strong leadership team are critical in making the strategy a reality and that there are positive outcomes for people in the district:

"Carol’s proven experience and knowledge, especially in the primary health sector, are outstanding and her leadership will be pivotal in ensuring Southern DHB and WellSouth deliver better integrated care for our district’s patients."

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