Loss of talented man and special friend – Geoff Coldham

Geoff Coldham
Geoff Coldham

On Tuesday 21 July, 2015 CM Health and the New Zealand orthopaedic community tragically lost an esteemed colleague and great friend, Geoff Coldham. Geoff spent the last 25 years at Middlemore, 15 of those as a very dedicated surgeon, developing highly specialised skills in spinal surgery and showing a deep passion for this specialty area. Geoff’s commitment and presence at Middlemore began as far back as the early 1990’s as a House Officer and then a Registrar, commencing as an Orthopaedic Consultant in 1999.

Geoff was a highly respected and skilled surgeon, delivering care with the utmost professionalism, knowledge and integrity with a drive for excellence in care. As a strong advocate for best clinical practice for spinal patients and as a key member of the Middlemore Hospital spinal service he played a major role in CM Health becoming one of only two Regional Spinal Cord Impairment services in New Zealand.

With exceptional leadership qualities Geoff developed a very high-profile career over many years as the Secretary of the NZ National Spine Society, developing a reputation as a man with superb organisational skills and one of the best for putting together teaching, conferences, meetings and events. He is recognised internationally as a skilled and experienced surgeon in complex spinal surgery and has bridged the world’s geographical distances, successfully bringing the international spinal community closer. He was responsible for creating the inaugural joint meeting of the NZ, Australian and Canadian spine societies.

Geoff’s life was entwined throughout the lives of the orthopaedic department as a much-loved and cherished friend and mate, sharing many a round of golf and regular tennis matches on Thursday nights. Geoff was an extremely competitive fishing buddy sharing many great times on the water and tales of the sea.

He was a very much-loved husband of Diana and special dad of son Hunter and daughter Madison with an enormous drive and commitment to their many interests and achievements throughout their lives.

Geoff was loved by all and will forever be a part of Middlemore history and memories.



Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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