Martin Hefford
New Compass Health CEO Martin Hefford

Media Release: 4 October 2012

The Compass Health Board is pleased to announce that Martin Hefford has been appointed as the organisation’s new CEO.

Compass Health Chair Richard Tyler says Martin’s background and experience make him ideally suited to lead Compass and the primary care network in their collaborations with DHBs and being able to meet the challenges ahead.

Martin is currently Director Primary Healthcare and Community Services at Counties Manakau DHB, and is also a director of Australasian consultancy firm, Sapere Research Group.

He has 20 years’ experience in health services planning and change management and has contributed to a diverse range of initiatives, including:

  • Integrated Family Health Centre development and locality planning in a number of regions
  • A range of programme evaluations and reviews, including for the Health Quality and Safety Commission, the Ministry of Health and Healthcare New Zealand
  • Service development plans for a range of services, including clinical genetics, gynaeoncology services and the Midland Region DHBs (Regional Clinical Services Plan)

Dr Tyler says many Compass Health GPs and staff will already be familiar with Martin through several health sector roles he has held within the region. These include Chief Operating Officer at Capital & Coast DHB, Group Manager Planning and Funding at Hutt Valley DHB, Senior Locality Manager in the Health Funding Authority and Group Manager Mental Health in the Central Regional Health Authority. He has worked as a senior advisor for the former Department of Social Welfare and has also held roles within the NGO sector.

Martin Hefford said that he is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Compass Health, clinicians and DHBs to support the delivery of excellent primary and community health services, adding that "there is good evidence that investing in comprehensive primary health care will deliver better health services at a lower cost - something we need now more than ever."

Compass Health employs over 200 people and has contracts with more than 100 General Practices across Wellington, the Wairarapa and Palmerston North. The PHO operates within three District Health Board catchment areas – Capital & Coast, MidCentral and Wairarapa DHBs.

Martin takes over the day-to-day running of the organisation following the departure of former CEO Cathy O’Malley. Ms O’Malley ran the organisation from its inception in 1995 and left to become Deputy Director-General for Sector Capability and Implementation with the Ministry of Health.

Martin will transition into his new role in a part time capacity alongside Acting CEO Chris Kerr starting from November 5. He will take over fulltime in the New Year.