After an extensive search, a new Chair has been appointed to the board of Western Health's fundraising arm, the Western Health Foundation.
Karen Bolinger will take up the role from mid-October this year.
Ms Bolinger was most recently the Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention Bureau from 2011 until earlier this year. Prior to that, she held a number of senior executive roles in various organisations across not for profit and commercial entities along with board positions at local and international level.
Chair of the Western Health Board, The Hon Bronwyn Pike, said she is thrilled that the organisation has been able to attract Ms Bolinger to the Foundation Chair role.
"Karen is a visionary thinker with extensive networks, high level strategic planning capacity and a track record of strengthening brands and increasing economic impact," Ms Pike said.
At the Melbourne Convention Bureau, Ms Bolinger increased the Bureau's economic impact by 65% over five years, delivering growth in economic contribution from $180mil to $500mil over 6 years.
Ms Bolinger will replace Bob Scarborough as Chair of Western Health Foundation. Mr Scarborough, former Chairman of Moonee Valley Racing Club, led the Western Health Foundation from its establishment in 2012 and leaves behind a strong legacy of support for the three hospitals and public health care programs under the Western Health umbrella. Notably, the Foundation recently funded a $2.5M redevelopment of Williamstown Hospital's central visitor and patient areas. It has also contributed over $1.2M to the newly opened Joan Kirner Women's and Children's Hospital.
"Western Health provides healthcare to a population of around one million people in a region characterised by significant socio economic disadvantage and the challenges associated with great diversity. Our communities experience high rates of disease and many of our patients live with chronic and complex conditions," Ms Pike explained.
"We need a strong and effective Foundation to support the great range of needs we would like to address, ranging from research into conditions prevalent in our communities, to additional capital funding to enhance the services we are able to offer.
"With the build of the New Footscray Hospital soon to get underway, we will also need to develop solid fundraising campaigns to support value add components in that critical project.
"We look forward to the leadership Ms Bolinger will be able to provide for the Western Health Foundation and thank her for agreeing to join us."