David O’Brien will be taking the reigns of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) board of directors.

The executive committee made the announcement Sept. 8.

It said O’Brien, who had been vice-chair, had been promoted following the resignation of Dr. Jan Walker.

“I am disappointed to be leaving the board at this critical time in HHHS’ journey,” Dr. Walker said in a media release. “My family requires more support to address some health challenges, and I must step away to focus on them. I know HHHS will be in good hands with this strong board team in place.”

O’Brien has been a board member since June 2018. Prior to becoming chair, he served as chair of the finance committee and then vice-chair of the board, and, according to the release, “has been a key member of the executive committee of the board that helped to steer HHHS through some difficult years.”

Prior to retirement, O’Brien’s career included extensive executive leadership roles including city manager for the City of Mississauga, the City of Ottawa, and the City of Gloucester, various positions for the City of Sudbury, president and CEO of Toronto Hydro, and other corporate roles.

“He has broad governance experience, serving as director on many boards throughout his career including for hospitals,” the release said.

It added the resident of Dysart et al, “is committed to giving back to the community through his involvement on multiple boards, including at the Haliburton County Development Corporation and the Haliburton County Public Library.

“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Jan Walker for her dedicated service to the board of directors and HHHS since 2015,” O’Brien said. “Under her leadership over the past year, HHHS has continued to deliver the high-quality health care services our community relies on, despite significant challenges including the health human resource crisis being experienced across the province. We will miss Dr. Walker, and will continue to work hard to guide HHHS forward for our community.”