Australia’s peak body for rural, regional and remote health, the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), has appointed rural clinician Dr Gabrielle O’Kane as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Dr O’Kane, a dietitian, academic and researcher, brings with her more than 35 years of experience working in outback private and public practice in New South Wales. An Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra’s Health Research Institute, she has most recently been responsible for commissioning and governing drug and alcohol services for the South East New South Wales Primary Health Network, Coordinaire.

NRHA Chair Tanya Lehmann congratulated Dr O’Kane and welcomed her to the role. “The NRHA Board is excited by the passion, lived rural clinical practice and teaching experience that Dr O’Kane brings to our organisation. Her academic rigour, business acumen, creativity, warmth and career achievements very much align with the NRHA’s mission to advocate for better and more accessible health services across rural, regional and remote Australia,” said Ms Lehmann.

Dr O’Kane’s appointment comes at a key time for the national alliance which has 37 member organisations representing health professionals, service providers, consumers, educators and researchers working in rural, regional and remote Australia. She succeeds Mark Diamond and will take up her new position from 8 July.

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