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CiLN Advisory panel update – August 2020

Monday, 10 August 2020  
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The governance of CiLN is evolving: this month we say goodbye to two of our founding co-chairs, Ruth Large and Karen Blake, and we thank them for all of the time, effort and enthusiasm they have invested to get CiLN to where it is today. Karen will remain on the Advisory Panel while Ruth will step down. 

The Advisory Panel has voted to welcome a new co-chair, Alex Forsyth, Director Allied Health Scientific and Technical at Whanganui DHB, who will join Nathan Kershaw, who is continuing on in the role. This fits with the current Terms of Reference, which states the co-chair roles must be from different clinical disciplines. Alex’s role will initially be for a year, while the Advisory Panel works to rewrite the TOR and develop the vision for the network. Expect to hear more from Alex and what she will bring to CiLN in next month’s update.

The panel is also looking for three new members from within the wider network who want to become more involved and feel they have something to offer to the group. Anyone who is interested please contact Alex Forsyth, Nathan Kershaw or Rebecca McBeth during the next fortnight via a private message on Discourse, outlining why you want to join and what value you will bring to the panel. 

The panel meets monthly via Zoom and current members spend between 1-2 hours a week on CiLN-related activities, rising to significantly more depending on the time of year and any working groups they are involved in. The panel’s strength lies in its diversity and members are keen to hear from emerging leaders, as well as established leaders in this space.

Once all expressions of interest are received, the panel will determine a process for appointing new members, to be announced next month.

Messages from outgoing chairs


Ruth Large, chair of the National Telehealth Leadership Group and Clinical Director Information Services Waikato DHB

As an ED doc I have always had an interest in technology and when I found myself in a formal ICT leadership role in my DHB I looked around for clinical mentors/supporters. 

What I found were a large bunch of clinical enthusiasts who all felt very much like I did; a little alone and with no way of joining up together for the things that we know we need. 

From this start point a perfect storm of similar views were gathering with my fellow co-chairs and with the support of HiNZ and Rebecca McBeth this great collaborative of CiLN was born. 

It has been amazing to see so many clinicians join our merry band and I think it has validated the findings of the Heather Simpson report, that clinicians must be involved in ongoing developments in a “nothing for me without me” approach. 

I remain hopeful that we will see a change from the attitude that clinicians are kind of “pesky” towards a collaborative future. 

From the outset I knew that we needed to move to a more democratic elected process of leadership as our organisation matured and I am gratified that this has been within such a short time frame. 

For me it is time to bid farewell to the leadership team of CiLN and welcome new blood, I feel very proud to have worked with you all on this collaborative and I know that we are all contributing to an exciting future for Clinical Informatics in NZ. I would like to thank HiNZ, my co-chairs, Rebecca McBeth and especially our founding members, of whom there are many, for allowing me to go on this ride with you. Ka kite anō.


Karen Blake, Head of Clinical Informatics, healthAlliance

It’s been an incredibly rewarding time over the past two and a half years, working alongside Ruth, Rebecca, Nathan and the CiLN Advisory Panel to create a vibrant and dynamic organisation. 

From an idea and 20 likeminded people meeting in a small room in Wellington, to having over 400 clinicians and 150 digital health colleagues meeting regularly on Discourse and at our in-person events to share, collaborate, debate, and disagree with each other. 

The support of HiNZ and Kim Mundell has been invaluable, and has enabled us to keep the membership of CiLN free to all members. I encourage everyone in CiLN to become a HiNZ member, as it in turns enables CiLN to function and grow. 

Anyone who knows me well, will have heard me speak about the importance of multidisciplinary representation in clinical informatics and in leadership roles. I trust that CiLN will continue to foster a community of multidisciplinary engagement and representation, and the voices of all are heard and respected. 

I look forward to the day when nurses, midwives and allied health professionals become CCIOs along with our medical colleagues, and when every DHB, PHO, alliance and industry partner has a clinical informatics team leading and collaborating on digital health initiatives.

I am excited to see where CiLN goes, with new leadership at the helm and I believe it is time to make space for others to step into the co-chair role. 

Thank you to Ruth for having the original idea to all get together, and thank you to you all for joining CiLN and making our community thrive. I look forward to seeing you all on Discourse, and in person when attending conferences again becomes part of our world.

Read more CiLN Advisory Panel updates:

CiLN Advisory Panel update – July 2020
CiLN Advisory Panel update – June 2020

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