After more than six years of service, Catholic Health Australia chief executive officer Martin Laverty will depart the organisation following his appointment as chief executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.
CHA Stewardship Board chair Rowena McNally said while sorry to see Mr Laverty leave, she was grateful for his leadership contribution and wished him every success in his future career.
"Martin has led CHA expertly, with political and media savvy, and always with an eye to the best interests of those who are cared for in Catholic hospitals and aged care services," Ms McNally said.
"Martin has advanced the Church's mission by improving the financial sustainability of the aged care system, for the benefit of older Australians and aged care providers alike. The Stewardship Board is proud of Martin's leadership role in bringing about reform that has enhanced aged care sustainability.
"Martin has also advanced the Church's mission by building research evidence to secure better health outcomes for the poor and marginalised through action on social determinants of health. The Stewardship Board is proud of Martin's leadership that has resulted in CHA today being one of the nation's leading social determinants advocates," Ms McNally said.
Mr Laverty said it has been a privilege to serve the Church as its health and aged care steward since 2008, and that he would miss working closely with the health and aged care professionals who deliver services on behalf of the Church.
"It's been an honour to have the unique opportunity to help shape national aged care reform, to build new awareness of the social causes of ill health within the Australian population, to produce an agreement with Catholic Bishops on governance of Catholic health services and contribute to the sustainability of not-for-profit health and aged care services across the nation," he said.
Mr Laverty cited his role in making 2011's national Church apology to those adversely impacted by past adoption practices as the most challenging but important undertaking of his six years. He pointed to 2012's decision of the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties to act on social determinants as a breakthrough.
"My 2011 co-edited book, Determining the Future: A fair go & health for all, laid out the case for Australia to implement a World Health Organisation action plan to improve the health of the poorest in Australia. A subsequent Senate Inquiry saw the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties agree," Mr Laverty said.
Mr Laverty will finish up at Catholic Health Australia on August 1. A process to appoint Mr Laverty's successor has been commenced. Mr Laverty will be farewelled at the CHA annual general meeting in Brisbane on August 24, where his co-edited book Exploring the Connections: Catholic Social Teaching and social determinants of health will be launched.