Our people

Rose Geden – Executive Director

Rose was appointed as Executive Director of the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association Inc. in October 2007. Previous roles held include Executive Officer of the NZ College of Physiotherapy Inc, positions in continuing medical education and vocational education at the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and contract work. Rose is based in the Association’s office in Wellington.

Richard Whitney – President

Richard Whitney Richard is the Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Hospital Dunedin Ltd, an entity of the Sisters of Mercy New Zealand Ministries Trust. He is a graduate of both Otago and Massey universities and has over 30 years health experience, across Public and Private, Primary and Secondary sectors in New Zealand and overseas. In addition to his CEO role, he also holds Directorships with Mercy Heart Centre, Mercy Cancer Care and is a Director of NZ Red Cross. Richard was elected to NZPSHA Executive in 2011, taking the lead in Health Workforce Development portfolio.

Steve Soufflot – Vice-President

Steve Soufflot Steve is General Manager of Kensington Hospital in Whangarei, a position he has held since 2008.This role also oversees the Primecare Medical Centre, a 6 GP General Practice.


Prior to shifting to Whangarei, Steve held General Manager and Human Resource Manager roles at Medlab Hamilton. He has over thirty years experience in public and private health sector positions in New Zealand.


Steve has a special interest in staffing, leadership and change management. He sits on the Northland branch committee of the Human Resource Institute of New Zealand.


Steve was elected onto the NZPSHA executive in September 2013.

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Blair Roxborough

Blair Roxborough is the Chief Executive Officer at St George's Hospital, Director St George's Cancer Care Centre, Director Heart Centre 2003 and Director RESS JV Ltd.

Prior to joining St George's Hospital, Blair held executive leadership positions in the Tourism sector in New Zealand and overseas, most recently in Melbourne where he was responsible for both luxury and main stream hotel accommodation brands in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.


Blair is a Member of Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Directors (GAICD).

Maree Cassidy

Maree is the General Manager, Operations at MercyAscot Hospital in Auckland where she is responsible for the operational leadership of the inpatient wards, operating rooms, pharmacy, after hours advanced nursing team and clinical education services. Her particular focus is to work with the operations workforce to identify opportunities for improved efficiency, communication, leadership and culture. 


Maree has completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Science with a focus on clinical leadership and the University of Auckland Business School’s Hillary Leadership Programme. She has held the position of Professional Nurse Advisor and is a previous chair of the NZPSHA Directors of Nursing Group.

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Sue Channon 

Chief Executive Officer Evolution Healthcare

Sue Channon has held senior management positions in various Australian Healthcare organisations for over 20 years. Before her recent appointment to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Evolution Healthcare Sue held the position of Group CEO Virtus Health from 2010 to February 2020. Virtus is Australia’s leading provider of Assisted Reproductive Services. Prior to her role as CEO of Virtus Health, Sue held the role of CEO of IVFAustralia Pty Ltd from 2004 to 2010. Sue delivered a growth strategy of diversification and vertical integration at Virtus beyond the core Assisted Reproductive Services expanding the business into Diagnostics, Day Hospitals and International services. Sue led a team of 127 fertility specialists, over 1200 specialist fertility staff (nurses, scientists, administrative staff, counsellors and the support services of finance, IT and marketing) across 43 fertility clinics in five countries; an Australian network of general pathology, specialist fertility and genetic testing services and seven day hospitals.

Sue is an established healthcare industry leader with a well-earned reputation. As CEO of Virtus Health, she delivered business growth and lead the growth of Virtus during private ownership, Australian expansion, and a successful listing on the Australian stock exchange (ASX) which saw Virtus become the first publicly listed fertility business globally, followed by accelerated international expansion.

Sue started her healthcare career in Whanganui, New Zealand where she completed her nursing training and subsequently specialised in operating theatre management. After a number of hospital Director of Nursing and CEO positions, Sue was appointed by Mayne Health Group (now part of Ramsay Health Care) to the position of National Director of Nursing and held various hospital CEO roles within the Mayne Health Group. Prior to joining Virtus Health/IVFAustralia Sue was State Manager NSW and ACT for Medical Imaging Australia.

Janet Keys

General Manager Norfolk Southern Cross Ltd – Grace Hospital

Janet is a hospital trained RN, and she went on to complete BN and PG Cert in Nursing (Wintec) before completing a Masters in Health Service Management (Massey). As General Manager of Grace Hospital, which is owned by a joint venture partnership between Acurity Health Group and Southern Cross Hospitals, Janet utilises her nursing background to ensure that hospital services are delivered effectively and with attention to detail for individual patients.

Janet strongly believes in ongoing professional development, and supported the development of a Nurse Practitioner Internship programme at Grace Hospital which produced two NPs in recent years. New Zealand’s changing health environment requires us to develop a flexible workforce and Janet is supportive of challenging the status quo to encourage the development of different approaches to deliver health services to achieve best outcomes for patients.

Philippa Pringle

Philippa is the Director of Clinical Services at Mercy Hospital Dunedin – a position she has held since March 2005. Prior to this she held a variety of clinical, and nursing leadership roles predominantly within the public sector, in Intensive Care Units in New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America.

Philippa completed her initial nursing training in Otago with subsequent post graduate qualifications and a Masters of Health Science gained through the University of Otago.

Philippa has a keen interest in partnering with consumers to improve their health care experience, innovation in nursing practice and enhancing collaboration within the nursing profession. 

She is a member of Nurse Executives of New Zealand (NENZ).

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Julia Abbott – Co-Chair Nurse and Clinical Leaders Group

Julia Abbott is the National Quality and Risk Lead at Southern Cross Healthcare and believes that everyone deserves the best care and to achieve that, we have to continuously improve patient outcomes and whānau experience. Julia’s current responsibilities include providing support and leadership to management teams and national resource teams with their safety, quality, and risk management systems to reduce risk and improve quality and performance.

Julia is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in clinical practice, leadership, education, quality, and patient safety here in New Zealand and overseas. She has subsequent post graduate qualifications and a Masters of Clinical Education gained through the University of Auckland.

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Kelly Davis – Co-Chair Nurse and Clinical Leaders Group

Quality Manager, St George’s Hospital Christchurch

Kelly is a registered nurse with over 20 years health experience and has held a variety of clinical leadership roles within the New Zealand and UK healthcare systems.

Kelly’s current role aims to positively influence innovation and continuous improvement across all areas both clinical and non-clinical.Her focus is empowering staff to identify opportunities and implement sustainable improvements in partnership with consumers to improve their health care experience.