In the context of the changing external environment in community health, the Boards of EACH and Your Community Health have been assessing their options to ensure a sustainable future and continued accessible and responsive services for our local communities.
After in-depth discussions the Boards have reached an understanding that, subject to member approval, legal and financial advice, a merger between Your Community Health and EACH should be pursued.
Both organisations have long and proud histories of providing community health services and enjoy strong connections to their local communities. Both organisations also recognise the importance of the social determinants of health and have embedded a ‘whole of person’ approach to their work.
Joining together to provide services in the northern Melbourne region is a positive step forward for both organisations. Together we could provide an integrated range of community health services and would be well positioned to ensure inclusive, accessible services are made available for all people in our community, especially those who face barriers when accessing services.
Having taken this significant step, both organisations will now enter into a rigorous due diligence process before any further decision is made. To facilitate the merger process and to ensure openness and full engagement of both organisations, a Joint Governance Steering Committee has been established which is jointly chaired and equally represented by the Boards and CEOs of both organisations. This committee will steer the merger process.
If the outcome of the due diligence process is acceptable to both organisations and receives member approval, we anticipate we would merge organisations in May 2020.
During the merger transition process both organisations will continue to deliver business as usual. There will be some leadership changes during this transition period. Penny Anderson, CEO, will be leaving Your Community Health on Friday 1st November at which point an Interim CEO will lead the organisation through the merger process.
Penny has led the organisation through periods of significant change over the last five years. She has been instrumental in positioning the organisation for the future and taking the bold steps needed to ensure ongoing accessible services for our clients and community. On behalf of the Board we would like to thank her for her vision, continued hard work and consistent focus on the needs of our community and staff.
Your Community Health Board have appointed Phillip Bain as Interim CEO to guide the organisation through the merger. Phillip is highly experienced and indeed was a Director and then Chair of Darebin Community Health for 10 years up to January 2012. He was CEO of Plenty Valley Community Health in the City of Whittlesea for four years until its merger with Dianella Community Health. He has a long history in the community, vocational education and health sectors and is experienced in merger processes. Phillip is warmly welcomed back.
Peter Ruzyla will remain the CEO of EACH during the transition period and be appointed as the CEO of the joint entity post the implementation of the merger.
Both Your Community Health and EACH are proud to have adapted to change and have repositioned themselves over the years, still standing alongside their community members for over 45 years. We are jointly pleased to be leading our respective organisations into this next stage, with a firm focus on sustaining accessible services to our communities with confidence that together we can uphold the values of community health.