New CEO appointed for Braemar Hospital


Hamilton’s Braemar Hospital has appointed Fiona Michel as new chief executive officer.

Currently based in Wellington, she has been assisting the government with the national roll-out of the Government’s Covid 19 vaccination and immunisation programme.

“I am delighted to take up the reins of such a highly regarded organisation as Braemar Hospital. 

“I have the deepest respect for the health care sector, especially over recent times and am looking forward to continuing the legacy that has served the people of Waikato so well for the past 95 years,” Michel said.

The announcement of her appointment was made by Braemar Hospital’s board chairman Graeme Milne, who said Michel will take up her new position in December, when she will relocate with her family to the Waikato, where she already owns property.

Graeme Milne

Graeme Milne

Milne said that Braemar’s current CEO Paul Bennett notified the hospital board earlier this year of his intention to retire after 20 years in the position.

“The board conducted an extensive executive search process which understandably attracted significant interest,” Milne said.

“The calibre of applicants was extremely high, with a very laudable field of candidates shortlisted and then interviewed.

“But it was Michel’s strong experience and capability which shone through.”

Michel is currently seconded by Dr Ashley Bloomfield from her role as chief people and culture officer at Vector to assist in the national roll out of the COVID Vaccination and Immunisation Programme.

“She comes to us with an impressive career in executive leadership and senior management, not only in the health sector but also in insurance, banking and the New Zealand Police,” Milne said.

In addition to working in the technology, banking, insurance and public sectors for more than two decades in New Zealand and overseas, Michel has won awards in New Zealand and Australia for achievement in human resources, leadership, culture transformation, and industrial relations.

She holds a Master of Business Administration, is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow Certified Practitioner and non-executive director of the Australian Human Resources Institute and an independent director on dairy farming entity Fortuna Group.

Braemar Charitable Trust chair Victoria Ashplant also acknowledged Ms Michel’s appointment.

“The trust, as shareholder of Braemar Hospital, is delighted with this appointment, and is looking forward to working alongside Fiona and the other members of the Braemar Hospital team to continue the legacy of improving health outcomes in the Waikato region in the future,” she said.

Michel’s appointment was announced by Milne to Braemar staff at the end of September. Milne acknowledged Bennett’s “significant tenure as CEO and thanked him for his substantial contribution to the success of Braemar Hospital”, a contribution which will be formally recognised later this year.


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