Southern Cross Health Society has created a new role to help it meet the future needs of members, appointing health sector leader Dr Lester Levy into the position.
Dr Levy will act as Strategic Advisor - Future of Healthcare in a part-time capacity, advising and helping to shape the Society’s overall strategy. An area of particular focus is evolving the future operating model, and plans for digital health and value-based contracting to achieve optimum health outcomes.
Reporting to CEO Nick Astwick, Dr Levy will interface with the global and local health insurance, medical and academic communities to keep New Zealand’s leading health insurer at the forefront of innovation.
Dr Levy has extensive knowledge of the health sector. He started his working life as a medical doctor and subsequently became a chief executive, entrepreneur and chair of boards of directors across a diverse range of industry sectors. He has almost three decades of experience in management and governance in both the public and private healthcare sectors as a chairman, chief executive, entrepreneur and advisor.
He is the appointed chairman of the Health Research Council of New Zealand. He was appointed by government as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Health and is chairman of all three Auckland region district health boards (Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau). Previously he was the Chief Executive of South Auckland Health, the New Zealand Blood Service and the MercyAscot Hospital Group (of which he was a founder).
Dr Levy’s extensive knowledge of the health sector made him an obvious choice for the role, says Astwick. “This is an important step for us as we seek to lead the sector to meet changing member needs and our desire to support them throughout their health and wellness journeys, as well as continuing to be there to pay the bill should they get sick. We’re thrilled to have secured someone of Dr Levy’s calibre,” Astwick says.
Dr Levy says the role appealed to him as it allows him to utilise his breadth of experience and support an organisation focused on advancing health and wellbeing of Kiwis. “To dramatically make life better for communities and patients we need to thoughtfully and without delay embrace new models and approaches. I look forward to helping Southern Cross Health Society create that future for the benefit of all of its stakeholders,” he says.
Dr Levy is a graduate of Medicine (MBBCh), has a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and has recently been appointed to the position of Professor of Digital Health Leadership at Auckland University of Technology’s Faculty of Health.
In the 2013 New Year’s Honours List he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to health and education.