Media release: Eastern Melbourne PHN appoints new Chairperson

29 July, 2016

The Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) Board of Directors has appointed former hospital CEO, Jim Swinden, to be its new Chairperson following the resignation of Dr Kathy Alexander at the Board Meeting on 24 June 2016.

Dr Alexander was recently appointed Chair of the Administrators at the City of Greater Geelong and said her new role would 'require an intense focus over the next year', meaning she would need to step down from her role with EMPHN.

Dr Alexander said 'I am proud to have been associated with the formation of EMPHN and would like to thank my fellow Board Directors for their engagement and effectiveness in leading the organisation through very difficult times to the point where its reputation and its potential as an innovative and influential player in health reform is clear to stakeholders and especially to the Federal Government.'

Mr Swinden comes to his new role as an experienced health services executive and an existing EMPHN Board Director. He is an Associate and Founding Director of Aspex Consulting and has held CEO roles at Freemasons Hospital, Como Private Hospital, Gippsland Southern Health Service and was Deputy CEO at the Royal Dental Hospital. He has also worked as a consultant with KPMG and has been a member of the boards of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Peninsula Health.

Mr Swinden said 'It is a critical time for PHNs with the new financial year marking the end of our establishment phase and the beginning of our real work in improving health care in Melbourne. This means better services, better health outcomes and better experiences of health care for patients and providers alike. Every day we are deepening our relationships with GPs, hospitals, health care providers and consumers to ensure we have the knowledge we need to commission world class services and system re-design initiatives.

‘The EMPHN Board and our staff team are sad to see Kathy Alexander depart, she has provided energetic leadership for the organisation during the establishment of EMPHN. We wish her all the best in her new role at the City of Greater Geelong.'

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) is one of 31 PHNs established by the Federal Government to facilitate improvement and integration initiatives within the primary health care system. EMPHN covers a population of around 1.5 million people and an area of nearly 4,000 km2 across Melbourne’s eastern and north eastern suburbs. Visit for more information.