Dr Shaheem de Vries took over as Groote Schuur Hospital’s new CEO from the beginning of the month, replacing Dr Bhavna Patel, who retired at the end of January.
Dr De Vries was the director of the provincial Emergency Medical Services from 2013 to 2022 and clinical medical manager of the services from 2022 until last year.
“We know that his past dedication and experience in the Department of Health and Wellness provides him with a solid foundation to continue to serve the people of the province,” said Health MEC Professor Nomafrench Mbombo.
The head of the provincial health department, Dr Keith Cloete, said: “We are confident that Dr De Vries will be an invaluable addition to our senior leadership team and pivotal in continuing Groote Schuur Hospital’s legacy of being a world leader in health-care provision.”
Dr De Vries said Groote Schuur Hospital had “remained an example of quality care while also leading in the field of research and innovation” and Dr Patel had been a formidable leader.
Dr Patel has been at the hospital for 23 years, first as a public-health registrar and later in various senior-management roles until her appointment as CEO in 2013.
She shepherded the hospital through the Covid-19 pandemic and oversaw the opening of the neonatal unit in 2015, a new hospital entrance in 2021 and the adolescents unit in 2022.
“I am truly humbled and honoured to have served this wonderful institution and communities of the province and wish to express my deepest gratitude to all my colleagues, staff, and patients for the opportunity to be CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital,” she said.
“I also believe that I leave our hospital well positioned to overcome any challenges and face the many opportunities to remain a national and international leader in health care.”
Dr Cloete said Dr Patel had served the people of the province and beyond with distinction.
“Dr Patel has led the hospital team with impeccable leadership and grace. She leaves a legacy of excellence in public service.”