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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.

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Blair Roxborough – Vice-President

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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Rachel Hillyer

Chief Executive Officer Forté Health – Christchurch

A proven leader in the field of private healthcare, I am a strong advocate for the role our sector plays to support and enhance the health of New Zealanders. My ongoing focus is to build and support a team and industry that provides exemplary patient care that is consumer-led, innovative, and sustainable.

Through my current role as Chief Executive at Forté Health in Christchurch I have responsibility for all aspects of the business. Since commencing in 2016, I have delivered significant financial growth to the shareholders while building a team, culture, and patient outcomes that have seen Forté firmly take its place as a leading private hospital provider in terms of clinical innovation and patient experience. Our most recent patient satisfaction net promoter score is 94.5%. This has been achieved through the redrafting of Forté’s vision and values and respectfully embedding those values throughout all aspects of the organisation.

Sustainability has always been at the forefront of Forté Health and I am incredibly proud to have led the organisation to achieve net carbon zero status, making Forté Health New Zealand’s first net carbon zero hospital. I am also proud to be delivering faster, more streamlined care through my directorship of Restorative Elective Surgical Services (RESS), an Escalated Care Pathway joint venture which focuses on improved long-term outcomes for ACC patients through surgical and non-surgical interventions.

Prior to my position at Forté Health, I held a range of management positions at prestigious hospitals across the United Kingdom, including Hospital Manager of The Shelburne Hospital in Buckinghamshire and General Manager of the Linford Wood Medical Centre, a private outpatient oncology centre.

Across all my roles I have seen considerable success, achieving business goals, building stakeholder engagement, and meeting and exceeding regulatory requirements. This has been achieved alongside a constant focus on staff engagement and wellbeing, with a high emphasis on continuous improvement, learning, and development.

With a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Otago University, health and wellbeing has been at the centre of my working life. Since starting as a junior physiotherapist at Auckland Hospital, I have never stopped learning, developing, and diving into new challenges. I have immensely enjoyed the journey through to healthcare management and am excited to give back to the sector with my knowledge and learnings, to support New Zealand’s health sector and the health of our community.

Outside of work I’m a keen snowboarder and gym goer and enjoy spending time with my family.

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.

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Fiona Michel

Chief Executive – Braemar Hospital, Hamilton

Fiona has public and private sector experience within technology, banking, insurance, police, health, property, primary industry and utilities as an executive, director and consultant working with businesses in New Zealand and overseas. She has led significant strategic change programmes to deliver business transformation and to resolve complex and compliance issues in highly regulated organisations. Fiona has won awards in New Zealand and Australia for achievement in human resources, leadership, culture, ethics and industrial relations, and holds a Master of Business Administration in addition to being an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Fiona is a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors (CMInstD) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Chartered Fellow and Non-Executive Director of the Australian Human Resources Institute (FCPHR) an industry organisation representing well over 15,000 members.  Fiona is an Independent Director for Fortuna Group, a Southland-based dairy farming entity and a member of the Living Wage Movement’s Principal Partner Council.

Prior to joining Braemar Hospital in late 2021, Fiona was seconded from her corporate executive role by Dr Ashley Bloomfield into the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Immunisation Programme to lead the identification and development of new vaccinators and manage health stakeholder relationships across the Northern Region.  Fiona was Chief HR Officer at Auckland DHB for several years, and in 2022 was invited to join the Te Whatu Ora/Te Aka Whai Ora Workforce Taskforce as an Independent Expert Advisor. 

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).

Steve Soufflot

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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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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Steph Feldbrugge – Co-Chair Nurse and Clinical Leaders Group

Steph is the Colleague and Capacity Manager at St George’s and her areas of focus within this role are wellbeing and culture, maximising colleague potential, payroll, and operational excellence within the HR portfolio.

Steph has a passion for working with people particularly in areas of developing leaders at all levels within St George’s and building a culture where people love to come to work. Her experience covers a wide range of industries including engineering banking, insurance and FMCG. She is also very passionate about her community involvement with the New Zealand Spinal Trust. 

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Marie Russell – Co-Chair Nurse and Clinical Leaders Group

Marie Russell is the Safety, Quality and Capability Manager at Evolution Southern Cross Ltd – Grace Hospital, Tauranga.

Marie is a registered nurse with over 20 years’ experience in clinical practice. Marie has held various leadership roles, including OR, Day Surgery and Endoscopy, Clinical Education and Quality. She has an MBA gained through the University of Manchester, UK. 

Marie's current role influences continuous improvement, providing support to management and facilitating teams to ensure a positive patient and whanau experience. Her focus is to develop strong clinical leadership and ensure safe, patient focused care.

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