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New general manager team for Southern Cross Healthcare’s central Auckland hospitals

Thursday , 15 February 2024 by Carolyn Brooke

Southern Cross Healthcare has appointed new general managers at three of its Auckland facilities: Gillies Hospital, Brightside Hospital and Auckland Surgical Centre.

These appointments are key leadership roles to support the new ‘Reimagining 2033’ 10-year strategy which includes additional investment in teams and facilities to drive performance and support future growth.

Southern Cross Healthcare General Manager for Central Auckland Sarah Nathan, who leads the team, said the calibre and experience of the new GMs will drive the delivery of an enhanced hospital experience for specialists, patients and staff across the three hospitals.

“A collaborative mindset was the key attribute we were looking for when setting up the new team. Collaboration together, with our colleagues, specialists and with our wider health sector stakeholders is essential to achieve our common goal of delivering continued high quality of care while improving the experience for our patients and their families,” said Nathan.

Karen Saunders is the new General Manager for Auckland Surgical Centre. A trained clinical pharmacist, she initially worked in public sector hospitals in Auckland and Wellington before moving into leadership roles in the diagnostics and pharmaceutical sectors in New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently Karen completed post-graduate study in public health while consulting for Francis Health and Deloitte New Zealand.

Herika Mendes is the new General Manager for Gillies Hospital and Clinic, where she previously held the support services manager role. In this role, Mendes transformed the administration teams, developing strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Previously Mendes managed laser clinics in the Waikato and her own successful marketing business.

Dave Waddell brings depth in leadership experience across the pharmaceutical, primary FMCG and financial services sectors to his new role as General Manager of Southern Cross Brightside Hospital. He developed a passion for healthcare during the 12 years he spent leading the Baxter New Zealand team. Baxter is a leading supplier of products utilised in hospitals globally. With a focus on supporting the delivery of exemplary healthcare service, during his time at Baxter Waddell excelled in building relationships with staff and specialists both in New Zealand and Australia.

Karen Saunders and Herika Mendes started their new roles 15 January 2024, with Dave Waddell joining 11 February 2024.