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National Rural Health Alliance hires new CEO

The peak national body for rural, regional and remote health has appointed rural clinician Dr Gabrielle O’Kane as its new chief executive officer.

Dr O’Kane (pictured), a dietitian, comes to the job “with 35-plus years working in outback private and public practice in NSW and is also an academic and researcher”, the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) said in a statement.

“An adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra’s Health Research Institute, she has most recently been responsible for commissioning and governing drug and alcohol services for the South East NSW Primary Health Network, Coordinaire.”

NRHA chair Tanya Lehmann congratulated Dr O’Kane and welcomed her to the role.

“The NRHA board is excited by the passion, lived rural clinical practice and teaching experience that Dr O’Kane brings to our organisation,” she said.

“Her academic rigour, business acumen, creativity, warmth and career achievements very much align with the NRHA’s mission to advocate for better and more accessible health services across rural, regional and remote Australia.”

Dr O’Kane’s appointment comes at a key time for the national organisation, it said, which has 37-member organisations representing health professionals, service providers, consumers, educators and researchers working in rural, regional and remote Australia.

She succeeds Mark Diamond and will take up her new position from 8 July 2019.

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