Key leadership appointments at WBOP PHO

Three key leadership appointments were made at WBOP PHO during March.


Philippa Jones, Director of Nursing and Workforce Development

Philippa is well known to WBOP PHO and the wider BOP, having successfully led our Health and Wellness Service and been instrumental in the strategic development of the services and development of individual staff.

The work undertaken has resulted in a narrowing of Māori health inequities and Philippa is looking forward to working with our PHO partners to further develop their capability and expand their capacity of services in order to reduce inequities.

Philippa will maintain three key projects until July, including Support to Screening services in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, the introduction of YouthCHAT in schools, and a flu vaccination programme for our over 65 Māori population.


Debi Whitham, General Manager Community Services – West

Debi joins WBOP PHO from the Hauraki PHO where she was Community Services Manager.

Her background is in nursing, having worked at Waikato Hospital for 26 years in various roles, ranging from a new graduate registered nurse, to the charge nurse of the day surgery unit, and lastly, the Elective Services Manager responsible for managing the inpatient waitlist. She also worked at Midlands Health Network (Pinnacle) as the Community Services Manager for four years.

Debi says her philosophy is around looking at ways to improve access and make the health system easier to navigate for our communities. 

“I am excited to join the organisation and share my experiences and skills with the teams. I am looking forward to addressing the equity gap by ensuring we are truly working in partnership with our Iwi and being responsive to their needs, whilst creating a sustainable workforce.”


Gareth Hudson, General Manager Corporate Services

Gareth is also a familiar face at the WBOP PHO, having joined our staff in 2017 from the Bay of Plenty District Health Board after many years of financial accounting, management accounting and decision support roles, including Performance Analyst and Finance and Performance Manager.

He has led the PHO’s Admission Risk Stratification project and been a member of the Information Services Development team that rolled out the Thalamus reporting suite.

He says this decision support role to the General Practice Liaison team, PHO clinical teams and service leaders has proved both rewarding and inspiring.

“My aim is to provide quality information to decision-makers about health service delivery, which will lead to better patient health outcomes for Tangata Whenua and Tangata Ti Tiriti.”