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World Health Organization IT chief is new St John CIO

World Health Organization IT chief is new St John CIO

Martin Catterall returns to New Zealand after 20 years, assumes post in early 2014.

St John has appointed Martin Catterall, to the newly created chief information officer role.

Catterall has been the director of information technology and telecommunications for the World Health Organization for the past nine years. He will join St John in February 2014.

Based in Switzerland, he was responsible for leading WHO’s global IT function. He established and implemented the global IT strategic direction while managing the growth of various information systems and communication networks to unite several hundred global offices and thousands of WHO staff members into a single connected organisation.

“The St John CIO role represented an opportunity to utilise the IT management competencies I’ve developed over time while also maintaining a strong link with health and valued humanitarian objectives,” says Catterall.

The newly created role of CIO will report directly to St John CEO, Peter Bradley. Former ST John ICT director Peter McDowall has left to take up a contract with New Zealand Police.

In the interim, Malcolm McCay will be acting CIO. He is on secondment from PwC Advisory where he is an associate director.

Catterall graduated from Otago University with a Bachelor of Science (1984) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Science (1985).

He and his family have been away from New Zealand for over 20 years. His first IT role was as a programmer analyst for the Department of Labour in Wellington before he moved into database management. He was headhunted from NZ Post by Dairy Farm International in Hong Kong in 1992. In 1996 Catterall moved to Australia where he became the Asia Pacific Year 2000 Project Manager for Kellogg.

He moved to Malaysia with Kellogg before working with Singapore retail chain ‘Cold Storage’ implementing a bespoke ERP system.

At the WHO, Catterall has led the change of shifting IT from simply being a service provider to becoming more of a strategic partner with the rest of the business. He has overseen structural changes as the IT team moved offshore to lower cost locations or established strategic outsourcing partnerships for appropriate areas.

Key services in Catterall’s portfolio included delivering a global ERP solution, a global private network and implementing an move to global unified communications for all staff members.

St John started recruiting for the role in August. “The technological face of healthcare is moving quickly, and we need an innovator and expert to steer this ship from an IT perspective,” the not-for-profit organisation stated on its website.

St John is number 70 in the CIO100, the annual report on the top ICT using organisations in New Zealand. See CIO100 2013 report

The current chief executive Peter Bradley joined St John last year, from the London Ambulance Service (LAS), where he was CEO. “Previously the St John ICT team has been part of a wider finance, admin and ICT function,” says Bradley on the creation of the role.

“The move to have ICT as a distinct function reflects the specialised technological leadership we require in a challenging and changing environment where we are the largest primary healthcare provider in the country. The ICT team supports the systems and technology that in turn support frontline crews who treat and transport over 400,000 patients each year, and our communications centres handling over 360,000 111 emergency call for ambulance, each year,” says Bradley.

“In addition to improving the quality of internal support services and information management the CIO will be tasked with ensuring continuous improvement of our performance and capability and on integration with our health partners.”

“An example of that integration is the electronic patient report forms project we are leading for the ambulance sector, which will improve the quality and safety of our care and services and patients’ experiences – because we’ll have clear information that we can link up with other Health providers.”

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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