Pat Garcia steps down as CHA chief to take on new role in Catholic health sector

Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia, the nation’s largest non-government provider grouping of health and aged care services, has announced its chief executive, Mr Pat Garcia, will be standing down after four years in the role.

Mr Garcia will be taking up a new role in the Catholic Health sector, as Group General Manager Public Affairs and General Counsel at St Vincent’s Health Australia.

CHA Chair John Watkins AM said Pat’s contribution to CHA, and the health sector more broadly, had been invaluable.

“Pat has worked tirelessly, during an unforeseeably challenging period, to advocate on behalf of the hospitals and aged care facilities in our network and the people they care for,” Mr Watkins said.

“Under Pat’s stewardship, CHA not only navigated the challenging landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic but also spearheaded campaigns to promote vaccination and extend gratitude to our indefatigable healthcare workers. He helped ensure sustainability funding for hospitals when elective surgeries were suspended, enabling them to continue providing essential services throughout these unprecedented times.

“His brave advocacy for user contributions to take a more prominent role in aged care funding played an instrumental role in reshaping the national debate. I now note user contributions are established as a key consideration for the federal Aged Care Taskforce.

“Pat’s important new role at St Vincent’s is well-deserved, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Mr Garcia also chaired the aged care sector’s steering committee for the sector-wide ‘It’s time for better aged care’ campaign, reinforcing the call for substantial policy reforms and funding boosts in this critical sector following the release of the Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations.

“I was honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to lead CHA and I’m proud of our accomplishments over the past four years,” Mr Garcia said.

“The Catholic Health sector is a crucial pillar of Australian society and I’m so proud to have served in this role for the national peak. We’ve built strong foundations for a fair and more robust aged care system and have taken significant strides to uplift the entire health sector. I have every confidence that CHA will continue to champion these crucial initiatives.”

CHA personnel were invited on the Aged Care Taskforce and the Jobs and Skills Summit under Mr Garcia’s leadership, further cementing CHA’s position as a critical player in health and aged care policy reforms.

Mr Garcia is an Adjunct Professor of Politics and International Relations, and has degrees in Law, Finance & Marketing, Public Policy, International Law and Security. He is highly regarded for his experience as a political strategist, policy maker and board member.

Catholic Health Australia is the largest non-government grouping of health, community and aged care providers in Australia. It advocates for positive change in the social justice, health and aged care sectors.

St Vincent’s is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care service provider operating public and private hospitals, aged care, medical research, emergency departments, and community services in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. With its first hospital founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1857, St Vincent’s is known for both its world-leading clinical excellence (eg: heart and lung transplants, cancer therapies, palliative care, neurosurgery, precision medicine) and its purpose-driven focus on supporting at-risk populations in areas such as correctional health, homeless health, mental health and addiction medicine.

Mr Garcia will leave CHA in late August. The Board will commence the search for a new Chief Executive shortly.

/Public Release.