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ICB executive leadership team

Executive medical director, Dr Neil O'Brien

Neil is currently chief clinical officer for South Tyneside and Sunderland and County Durham clinical commissioning groups and a GP in Chester Le Street. He also chairs the North East and North Cumbria Vaccination Board and has played a crucial role in leading our successful Covid-19 and flu vaccinations programmes. Neil has been a GP for 20 years.

Executive chief digital and information officer, Professor Graham Evans

Graham is the Chief Information and Technology Officer (CITO) for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, Graham is currently the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Integrated Care System (ICS).

Graham has held a number of national and regional leadership roles in the NHS relating to health informatics.

Executive director of people, Annie Laverty

Annie is currently chief experience officer at Northumbria Healthcare and leads an award-winning patient and staff experience programme. She is a qualified speech and language therapist with clinical expertise in stroke care and care of older people.

Executive director of corporate governance, communications and involvement, Claire Riley

Claire is currently executive director of communications and corporate affairs at Northumbria Healthcare where she has led a multi award-winning team for 12 years. Prior to this she was director of communications for the North East Strategic Health Authority where she joined in 2007 with over 20 years private sector experience gained within the region. 

Executive director of innovation – Aejaz Zahid

Aejaz is currently director of the South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw ICS Innovation Hub, a joint partnership between the Integrated Care System and the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network. Prior to his current role, Aejaz’s career has spanned academia, the NHS, non-profits and digital health start-ups developing innovative and award-winning healthcare technologies and services globally. Originally trained in the NHS as a clinical scientist, he has been a sloan fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts.

Executive director of finance – Jon Connolly

Jon is currently chief finance officer at North Tyneside and Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group. He began his career with the Audit Commission, joining the NHS in 2007 and has held senior finance positions in a range of NHS organisations across the North East and Cumbria.

Executive director of placed based partnerships (Central and Tees Valley), Dave Gallagher

Dave Gallagher is the accountable officer for the Tees Valley. He has extensive management experience across the NHS including in hospitals, at a strategic health authority and in commissioning, including 12 years in senior manager roles at South Tees Hospitals and as a director at Co Durham PCT. Prior to his current post, he was the accountable officer at Sunderland CCG for seven years.

Executive director of placed based partnerships (North and North Cumbria), Mark Adams 

Mark is the chief officer of the Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland and North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Groups.  Starting his career in private sector as a management consultant he joined the NHS in 1990 working within the NHS Provider Sector before moving into the Strategic Health Authority in the North East in 2003 and then on to director of commissioning for North of Tyne Primary Care Trusts.

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