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University of Waikato announces two new senior health appointments

24 January 2020

Professors Sarah and Roger Strasser
Professors Sarah and Roger Strasser will be taking up senior positions within Waikato University’s Te Huataki Waiora School of Health.

The University of Waikato has today announced two senior appointments which will boost the University’s teaching and learning capability in the health sector.

Professor Sarah Strasser, who will be joining Waikato from the University of Queensland, will be taking up the position of Dean of Te Huataki Waiora School of Health, and Professor Roger Strasser will be taking up the role of Professor of Rural Health within the school.

Waikato University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley, says these new appointments substantially increase the University’s capacity to play a leading role in addressing key issues and shortages currently facing New Zealand’s rural health sector.

Both Professor Sarah Strasser and Professor Roger Strasser are internationally recognised for the leadership they have provided in promoting innovative approaches to primary health care in rural and remote areas.

Professor Quigley says, “With these appointments supplementing our existing research and teaching capability in science, human performance and sport, we have now built the key team we need to advance the University’s ambitious agenda in health. These appointments are a critical part of the group that Professor Geoff Holmes – Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science – has been looking to assemble to implement our health strategy.”

Professor Sarah Strasser will commence her role in July, and is currently the Head of the Rural Clinical School and Regional Training Hubs at the University of Queensland.

She has extensive experience working at universities around the world in the areas of general practice, rural and remote health, as well as on a consultant basis for medical and health-based programmes.

Last year she was named a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to rural health and medical education.

As Dean, Professor Sarah Strasser will provide strategic and academic leadership expanding the range of education and research programmes at the School.

“I look forward to working with the academics and students in the Te Huataki Waiora School of Health in implementing programmes that address the health needs of New Zealanders,” she says.

Professor Roger Strasser will be taking up his position in May, and was most recently the Founding Dean and CEO of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Canada.

Prior to his role at Ontario, he was Head of Monash University’s School of Rural Health in Australia. Over the course of his career, he has gained an international reputation for developing strategies to train health professionals in and for rural communities.

As Professor of Rural Health, Roger will provide leadership in public engagement about the health workforce, models of medical training and primary care needs in provincial and rural areas, as well as developing rural health research.

“It is truly exciting for me to join the University of Waikato and contribute to developing world class rural health education and research in New Zealand,” he says.

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