CEO search: Health leader announces resignation
A MACKAY hospital boss who led the region through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is stepping down from her role.
Mackay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Jo Whitehead has resigned after three years in the top job.
Ms Whitehead will return to the UK with her GP husband to take up a position as chief executive of a health service in Wales.
The move will allow them to be closer to their adult daughters.
The recruitment process to find a replacement has already begun, with an advertisement posted on the Queensland Government's Smart Jobs website for a 12-month temporary role.
A Mackay HHS spokeswoman said the position was advertised as temporary to ensure the business of the service continued, while also allowing an appropriate amount of time to recruit the best candidate.
Ms Whitehead's last day with Mackay HHS will be 10 November.
In a statement, Ms Whitehead said she was proud to be involved in many achievements at the health service during her time in Mackay.
"From new and expanded clinical services, to new wards and capital projects to our first Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation to First Nations people, there is much everyone can be proud of," she said.
"I cherish the many trips I have been able to make to our rural facilities and will never forget these unique years that have included anything from floods, bushfires, shark bites to playing Santa every year and of course leading our response to COVID-19."
Ms Whitehead came to Mackay HHS in March 2017 just before Cyclone Debbie and after a stint at neighbouring Central Queensland HHS.