A new Director of Health, Dr Darren Clarke (photo attached), has been appointed on a two-year contract and will take up his position on St Helena in June 2015.
Darren’s professional background spans more than 30 years in State and Commonwealth Government health-related organisations in Australia, initially as a clinician and then predominantly in management, quality improvement, regulation and academia.
Commenting on his new role, Darren said:
“This role represents an outstanding opportunity and I am keenly looking forward to improving healthcare on the Island and building on the excellent achievements of the current Director, David Jenkins.”
Prior to commencing his present role in 2008, as an Assistant State Manager with the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services, Darren gained extensive experience from 1995 onwards as a Director of Nursing and Health Service Manager in acute and sub-acute services. This included residential and community care activities.
Encouraging a collaborative and team-based approach to healthcare, Darren says that he actively advocates for the adoption of contemporary evidence-based medical practices, particularly through the continual professional development of staff.
“To enable sustainable, flexible and responsive health systems, it is imperative that appropriate strategies are implemented to address key challenges, such as the increasing demands of an ageing population and rising rates of chronic diseases. Improving the health and wellbeing of St Helenians will be my key objective and can be achieved through dynamic, multifaceted interventions, with greater levels of cooperation, collaboration and integration between the health service and consumers.
“Change is inevitable – there are always new opportunities to embrace and new challenges to overcome. Quality and safety are also inextricably linked and I will be very focused on ensuring that all areas of the health system in St Helena achieve and sustain the highest possible outcomes.”
Chief Secretary, Roy Burke said:
“I am delighted to be welcoming Darren and his daughter to St Helena, especially at this time when our health system is facing significant challenges and changes. Darren brings leadership and a wealth of experience from his previous roles in health.”
During the 1980’s, Darren undertook general nursing training and midwifery training at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. He then completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree, followed by a Master of Nursing degree at Flinders University in South Australia. In 2010 Darren completed a Doctor of Health Science degree at The University of Sydney in New South Wales.
Outcome focused, his interests include organisational and cultural change, organisation development and performance optimisation. Darren is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality.
Darren is married to Dina and they have three daughters – Alexandra (20), Sophia (16) and Isabella (14). Due to family commitments, Dina is remaining in Australia with Alexandra (who is studying medicine at Monash University in Melbourne), and Sophia (who is undertaking studies toward an International Baccalaureate). Isabella is excitedly accompanying her father to St Helena in June.
17 April 2015