Sarah Dalton has been appointed Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), effective 1 January 2020.
At present Ms Dalton works as an Industrial Officer at ASMS, serving the Northland, Waitemata, and Auckland DHBs.
Ian Powell signalled last year he will leave ASMS at the end of 2019. He has led the union since its formation in 1989.
ASMS President Professor Murray Barclay says Mr Powell’s departure is the most significant change in the union’s history.
“We undertook a rigorous external recruitment process. I am pleased to announce Sarah’s appointment as the new face of ASMS.
“Over the coming months we will farewell Ian, who built the union into the force it is today.”
ASMS represents more than 90% of senior doctors and dentists working in public hospitals, an extraordinary level of coverage by today’s standards.
As well as fighting for pay and conditions, Mr Powell positioned ASMS as an advocacy body for the public health service with a strong focus on research and policy analysis.
“Sarah will build on Ian’s legacy of strong leadership and advocacy.
“She relates well to members throughout the country and is respected by senior managers in DHBs. “Sarah has strengthened the voice of our women members through women’s networking initiatives,” Professor Barclay says.
Mr Powell said: “I’m delighted with the appointment and feel chuffed about being replaced with someone of Sarah’s calibre. She has been an outstanding industrial officer demonstrating strong insight, intellect, and emotional intelligence.”
“It feels good to be leaving the association in such good hands,” Mr Powell says.
Before joining ASMS in 2015, Ms Dalton worked at the PPTA for seven years, as a Field Officer, and as an Advisory Officer on Professional Issues.
Ms Dalton has held several teaching positions, including that of Assistant Principal at Aotea College and Head of Department for English at Upper Hutt College.
Ms Dalton said it was a privilege to be appointed.
“I look forward to being in a position to advocate for specialists and for the health of all New Zealanders through increased access to public health care. To improve outcomes health decision-makers must address the severe shortfall of specialists in the public health service.”