The South African health care system desperately needs visionary leaders to address the challenges that the industry is facing. SAIHCM annually recognises leaders in health care management from all sectors of the industry. This prestigious award acknowledges those health sector managers who:

  • have a tangible record of achievement;
  • have demonstrated leadership behaviour; and
  • have shown commitment to innovation and transformation in health care management.
  • Nomination criteria:

  • 1. The nominee is currently holding a leadership position as a health care manager in South Africa;
  • 2. The nominee’s achievements and the changes he/she has brought about have made a positive difference to the lives of the South African people.
  • 3. The nominee has a tangible record of achievement, i.e. it can be demonstrated that the nominee has successfully initiated an activity that positively contributed to health care. Activities can include :
  • a. project/s implemented;
  • b. policies that were successfully implemented;
  • c. being a recognised advocate for some population with specific health care needs; and
  • d. having exhibited moral courage in the pursuit of providing better health care.
  • 4. The nominee embodies high professional standards in a chosen area of expertise and has made a demonstrable contribution to his/her field.

    These annual awards are made by a panel of peers that form the SAIHCM Awards Committee.

The South African Institute of Health Care Managers (SAIHCM) congratulates all the nominees for the TOP 25 INFLUENTIAL LEADERS in the health care industry in South Africa.

All the nominations received contained truly inspirational motivations and are worthy of making it onto this prestigious list of TOP 25 INFLUENTIAL LEADERS in the heath care industry in South Africa.

The nominees were representative of the public – and private health sector, pharmaceutical industry, academia, professional bodies, NGO’s and Human Sciences Research Council.

On 04 October 2007, the TOP 25 INFLUENTIAL LEADERS in the health care industry will be honoured

for their contributions and delivery performance during a cocktail function at Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre, Benoni, Gauteng

The South African Institute of Health Care Managers (SAIHCM) will present the following leaders (in alphabetical order) with the TOP 25 INFLUENTIAL LEADERS in Health Care.

Name Organisation Position
Dr. Kamy S Chetty National Department of Health Deputy Director-General
Dr. Lillian Dudley Health Systems Trust Chief Exeutive Director
Prof. Tshepo Gugushe Faculty of Dentistry / Health Sciences MEDUNSA Dean
Prof. Rachel V Gumbi University of Zululand Rector and Vice Chancellor
Ms Thembeka Gwagwa DENOSA General Secretary
Dr Liz Gwyther Hospice Palliative Care Association Chairperson
Dr Kgosi Letlape SA Medical Association Chairperson of the National Council
Mr Patrick Masope Council of Medical Scheme Registrar
Prof. Bongani M Mayosi University of Cape Town Head of the Department of Medicine
Mr Ahmed Nana Lenmed Finicial Director
Mr. Stavros Nicolaou Pharmacare Holdings t/a Aspen Pharmacare Senior Executive: Head of Strategy
Dr. Laetitia C Rispel SA Human Sciences Research Council Executive Director: Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS and Health
Dr. Olive Shisana SA Human Sciences Research Council Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Mosioua S Shuping Phambili Dismed Group Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Ivan Toms City of Cape Town Executive Director: City Health
Prof. Stuart Whittaker Council for Health Service Accreditation of SA Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Gustaaf G Wolvaardt Foundation for Professional Development Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Sibongile Zungu Mpumalanga Dept. of Health & Social Sciences Head of Department

We thank Wits University School of Public Health for sponsoring the Award Ceremony



In 2007 the SAIHCM decided that there were worthy leaders and managers in the field of health that were doing exceptional health sometimes under difficult circumstances who were not receiving the acknowledgement they deserved. The Institute promotes the development of professionalism, preparedness and effectiveness of health care managers in the country and determined to identify and acknowledge those that have accomplished levels of excellence within the field. The SAIHCM determined that they would identify leaders and managers who excel in the field and who contribute to meeting the many challenges within the South African health system with passion and professional commitment. The first awards were bestowed on worthy recipients in 2007 at the 3rd SAIHCM Conference.

The SAIHCM received 16 nominations from health care professionals country wide and after reflection by the awards committee it was determined that 6 health care managers were worthy of the honour in 2008. All have shown visionary leadership and have contributed to good management of projects, programmes or health care services which have impacted on improving health care delivery or meeting the many health challenges we are confronted with in SA.

Nomination criteria for the award are as follows:

  • The nominee is currently holding a leadership position as a health care manager in South Africa at a national level
  • The nominee’s achievements in a challenging environment, in improving or changing health systems and/or in service delivery should have a positive impact of the health and lives of the South African people
  • A tangible record should be available to demonstrate the nominee’s achievements.
  • The nominee embodies high professional standards in the chosen area of expertise and has made a validated contribution to his or her field

We congratulate the recipients and thank them for their dedication, vision, passion and other traits that have pushed them to go beyond self to serve and help our fellow South Africans attain better lives through appropriate health care.

The committee decided that a SAIHCM Certificate of Commendation be bestowed on 3 leaders in health management positions who have contributed to improving or changing health systems and service delivery at provincial or regional level within South African. This is the first time this commendation has been awarded.



Dr Costa’s career in healthcare investments has earned her recognition as a top rated healthcare analyst as well as a rated global fund manager. These ratings have been bestowed on her by the Financial Mail and the Financial Week. She is fiercely objective and brings a strong analytical and independent view to any activity she is involved in.

She has consulted in healthcare in SA for a number of years and joined Netcare in May 2006 to create a Health Policy Unit.

This unit plays a multi-dimension role dealing with health policy, health economics and strategy issues for the Netcare group and for the private health care sector in general.

Following the Health Indaba convened by the Minister of Health 2007, the CEO’s of the various private hospitals formed a Hospital Task Force to constructively address issues pertaining to the private sector. Ms da Costa co-ordinated and led this group which submitted a 17 chapter report detailing analysis, responses and solutions to the issues raised by the industries stakeholders. This was a first for the private sector and challenged pre-existing perceptions of health care in delivery in SA.

This year she has attained wider sector of co-operation and has submitted proposals to the Department oh Health on bench marketing for the private health industry. She has also co-ordinated and submitted responses on amendments to the National Health Bill and other legislation that impacts on health. Through this input she has improved communication between the public and private health sectors and has opened the door at this time of change within the health care industry in SA with the aim of improving the health care to all South Africans.



An Aids activist for many years Dr Grimwood heads up the UK based charity organisation to assists SA children both affected and infected by the HIV, AIDS and TB epidemic. He is a passionate leader whose vision has built the ARK HIV/AIDS programme from launch to its current state.

At present the ARK's ART programme provides lifesaving treatment and care to HIV positive primary caregivers, their partners and children in 109 government clinics in 4 provinces within SA. At the organisations launch in 2003 it set targets of placing 32,000 on the ART programme by 2010. It met this target by June 2008!

ARK's programmes have benefited 64,000 people preventing children from being orphaned by keeping their parents or care giver alive. This is a PPP programme which aims to make this programme sustainable in the future. A multi-professional response teams known as the Swift Acting Treatment Programme (SWAP) has been established to work with government to establish and run HIV treatment services.

Dr Grimwood believes in community support being an important part of success in these programmes and has developed programmes to include community members to support patients in adherence. This has ensured job creation and up-schilling of previously unskilled workers. To date 1000 community workers have been trained to support patients in this area.

Through these interventions Dr Grimwood has made an impact on the lives of many South Africans.



As the DOH National Project Manager he heads up the largest HIV/AIDS Treatment Programme in the world, with more than 500 000 patients initiated on HAART in 411 accredited facilities across 53 districts and 86% of sub-districts across SA. The annual budget for this programme is R2.8 bn. In the first 4 years of the project he met all government targets in an environment that was not always supportive.

He has been involved in the development of both HIV&AIDS policy and the strategic plan in South Africa as well as in the SADC region. He has also been party to the development of clinical and quality assurance guidelines.

Dr Kalombo manages all the activities of the Comprehensive Care Plan ensuring that systems are in place in all provinces, that human resource are optimally managed and health professionals are developed to meet the challenge of treating those infected with HIV and Aids. He is responsible for business plans, budget allocation and managing expenditure, the accreditation of new ART facilities, monitoring, evaluation, research, the patient information system. He also managers private public partnerships with international funders, local NGO’s, and also private companies who are assisting in the role-out of ART.

He presently serves as chairperson of the Annual Forum of the SADC National AIDS Authorities and is a member of the Discovery HIV Care Advisory Committee of the Vitality Health Style Programme they offer there members.

Dr David Kalombo is credited for being a great leader and believes that the role of the manager is primarily to ensure that the subordinates are able to achieve their objectives. Without the systems he has implemented, the SA ART program would not have reached and even exceeded its goals in the first 4 years of its existence.



Dr Sanne has engaged in research which has contributed to the development of affordable therapy being made available to patients infected with the HIV virus and has also conducted research in the field of integrative medicine which is aimed at increasing the recognition of alternative medical practices. He is also a consultant in general medicine and infectious diseases on a part-time basis.

As founding director of the CHRU, Dr Sanne was responsible for the development of a pharmaceutical industry funded research programme which focused on the development of medicines in the field of HIV and antimicrobials. The development of the research unit included the training and hiring investigators, coordinators, pharmacists and administrative support staff. The unit has grown to over 70 employees with ongoing research funding level by international funders of approx. R30M per annum.

Dr Sanne is at present the Managing Director of Right to Care (RTC) and has been responsible for the development of this Section 21 Company (not for profit) to target increased access to care, support of people living with HIV/AIDS as well as ARV treatment. The organization initially targeted the increased access to HIV testing and treatment in the employed sector. In partnership with Alexander Forbes Pty Ltd an employer funded HIV program was formed, “Direct AIDS Intervention” (DAI). Using a unique economic model the project was able to bring over 130,000 employees in 38 companies onto the DAI program. In 2007 Right to Care formed a partnership with the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight Industry, to build a unique industry wide program providing access to HIV education, testing and treatment for over 71,000 employees.

With funding from the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the organization has been well positioned to implement ART treatment. With this aid and under Dr Senne's leadership the organization has grown and now has 500 employees in over 100 treatment sites across the country with innovative strategies appropriate to the needs of the different stakeholders and improve health care to thousands of South Africans.



Dr Sim is a clinical virologist who moved from the National Institute for Virology to set up Toga laboratories in 1999.

He has conceptualized, refined and implemented a number of distinct, but interlinked, strategies in the field of pathology testing for viral and other infectious diseases. This has been particularly noteworthy in the field of laboratory support for the management of HIV and Aids. The first demonstration of Dr Sim’s commitment to driving access for patients with HIV infection was to halve the cost of their monitoring package expenses, which had been one of the barriers to effective treatment in SA. This provoked prompt and often vigorous responses from private pathology providers. Dr Sim’s commitment and steadfastness prevailed and the eventual outcome was a new benchmark price for monitoring packages in the private sector. This action was applauded by providers of antiretroviral therapies in the mining and industrial sectors. It also received endorsement from various treatment activist organizations.

A further strategy developed by Dr Sim relates to the provision of laboratory services in peripheral settings. This model flies in the face of current paradigms which promote centralization of laboratory testing, a strategy promoted by the World Health Organisation. Carefully chosen, robust, best-of-breed technologies are placed adjacent to treatment sites in rural settings. These laboratories are often housed in shipping containers, or Togatainers. The longest container laboratory in operational services is at the Archbishop Desmond Tutu HIV Centre in Cape Town and is situated alongside the clinic in Guguletu (2003, controlling approx. 3500 patients on ARV’s), together with Ndlovu Medical Centre in rural Limpopo (2003, controlling approx 1450 patients on ARV’s and 1000 in the Wellness Clinic). These laboratories have also turned out to become “remigration projects for Medical Technologists” as technologists were only employable in urban areas can now work in these rural laboratories. These laboratories allow for:

  • Prompt turn-around-times from test to reporting,
  • No loss of results because of logistics involving transport of samples or results
  • Innovative IT solutions for individual and program evaluation,
  • Laboratories that support HIV- treatment programmes and will provide stimulus to drive enhanced health care for a whole host of other chronic medical conditions.
  • Cost effective laboratories services on site
  • Education and capacity building of local community members

Dr Sims latest innovative strategy is in the process of being implemented. It is called Measure-To-Roll-Out or METRO and is likely to have a profound effect in resource constrained situations. Dr Sims visionary leadership to improve health care to fellow South Africans makes him a worthy winner of this award.



Dr Venter oversees one of the largest NGO based AIDS treatment programmes in South Africa. He is also the President of the HIV Clinician Society, a position he has used to fearlessly campaign for improvement of HIV and AIDS services throughout South Africa. In an era where criticism of government was equated with disloyalty he has not flinched from pointing out where the country has been failing its HIV positive population.

Dr Venter has also been instrumental in developing the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society adult antiretroviral treatment guidelines in 2002, 2004 and 2008.

He serves on the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society Opportunistic Infection Guideline Committees in 2002 and 2004> Other guidelines he has helped develop include those of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of NRTI-associated Symptomatic Hyperlactataemia and Lactic Acidosis; 2006

He was the convenor of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society Clinical Guidelines on Antiretroviral Therapy Management for displaced populations and in 2007 and assisted in the development of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Cryptococcal Meningitis and Disseminated Cryptococcosis in HIV-infected patients. In 2007 he helped develop guidelines for the prevention and treatment of HIV in arrested, detained and sentenced persons and was behind the first positive to positive renal transplant with the development of Guidelines for Renal Replacement Therapy for HIV-infected Individuals in Southern Africa in 2008

As a visionary leader he is perhaps most well known for his unwavering promotion of ethical practice and as a leading advocate for health and health professionals. He has led country wide support for health practitioners targeted who were dismissed for doing their job and for going the extra mile to treat their patients with treatment they needed, but was not always available from the Department of Health. Through this process he has given hope to many frustrated health professionals across SA has had health professionals reinstated to continue their valuable contribution to the health of South African people often in rural underserved areas. Dr Venter is a worthy recipient of this award.

Citations for spedial commenadations:

Dr A Mansvelder : CEO Stanger Hospital KZN

Dr MJ Manamela: CEO Natalspruit Hospital Gauteng

Ms MC Ramokotjo: District Management Freestate

Leaders in Healthcare management award ceremony 2011
Eight distinguished leaders in the healthcare management were honoured at the SAIHCM Top 10 Influential Leaders in Health Care Management award ceremony which took place in conjunction with the Foundation for Professional Development’s (FPD) graduation on the 25th November 2011 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. Deputy Health Minister, Dr Gwen Ramakgopa delivered a keynote address and SAIHCM chairperson, Prof. Julia Mekwa presented the awards.

Within the realm of the vision, “to enhance and promote high standards of professional health care management in both the public and private sectors in South Africa” SAIHCM seeks to facilitate the transformation of health care delivery in South Africa, the purpose of which is to achieve new levels of professionalism, preparedness and effectiveness in health care management.
Membership to SAIHCM is voluntary and at present includes many well-known leaders in the field of healthcare management.

SAIHCM annually recognizes 10 Top Influential Leaders in Health Care Management. These are individuals who having been nominated by their peers are found to present with a tangible record of achievement, demonstrate leadership behavior and show commitment to innovation and transformation in health care management. The awards are made by a panel of peers that form the SAIHCM Awards Committee.

The recipients of the award were:

Dr Nicolas Crisp

Dr Crisp is the Managing Director of Benguela Health (Pty) Ltd, a public company working in several countries across the African continent including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania. In South Africa he led the establishment of the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) and served as Acting CEO on three occasions. He also led the transfer of the mortuaries from SAPS to health departments. He recently served as Special Advisor to Minister Barbara Hogan and is presently appointed by Minister Motsoaledi to lead the project to reform the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and Medicines Regulatory Authority (MRA).

In Nigeria Dr Crisp has played a major role in the establishment of the National AIDS Control Agency (NACA), the reform of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and has worked with several Ministers on development of National Strategic Plans.

Previously, he served as medical officer, research officer at the National Institute for Tropical Diseases, Regional director for the Department of National Health and Population Development for Northern and Eastern Transvaal (Limpopo & Mpumalanga) and Superintendent General for the Department of Health and Welfare, Northern Province (Limpopo)

Dr Ernest Darkoh

Through his leadership on BroadReach Dr Darkoh has overseen the development of systems and infrastructure across 23 major hospitals and their associated 300 clinics across five (5) provinces resulting in 60,000 patients being enrolled on ARV therapy and hundreds of thousands reached with behavior change interventions and support. He has pioneered a methodology for training health care workers in leadership and management skills which he implemented in Botswana, Ethiopia and currently in South Africa and has served as one of the faculty for a Kaiser Foundation funded Leadership and Management training program organized for the senior-most health leadership team.

Outside of South Africa, Dr Darkoh was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the Young Global Leaders. He also serves on the United States President’s Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS (PACHA), the board of the Medicines for Malaria Venture, and the Gilead Health Policy Advisory Board.

Dr Irwin Friedman

Dr Friedman’s experience in health care management started over three decades ago as a director of the Valley Trust socio-medical health promotion project, with a commitment to improve wellbeing and eradicate poverty among the disadvantaged communities in KZN. As a director in a primary health care setting he adopted a participatory and inclusive management style both with community as well as colleagues and staff.

At the University of Natal he helped to set up NICHE (Natal Institute of Community Health Education) a multi-disciplinary, community-based initiative training undergraduate students across all health disciplines on how to work collaboratively with vision and commitment to provide

comprehensive care in an egalitarian environment.
With the advent of the democratic elections he served as the director of the National Progressive Primary Health Care Network which reinforced the importance of a participatory and appreciative approach in building advocacy for the involvement of community health workers in the improvement of health care. He spent some years doing consultancy in community mobilization during the establishment of the Africa Centre for Population Health. Most recently he was the director of research at the Health Systems Trust which saw the emergence and thriving of new researchers. Dr Friedman currently works as public health physician.

Dr Hendrik Hanekom

Dr Hendrik Hanekom was appointed CEO of the Medical Association of South Africa (SAMA) in 1990. In the same year he was appointed a member of the World Medical Association (WMA) and chaired the Socio Medical Affairs Committee.

During his term at SAMA he transformed the organization integrating all the disparate medical professional organizations into a new organization - the South African Medical Association, and from being just a representative body to a knowledge-based service organization. The Foundation for a Professional Development (FPD) was a direct outcome of this transformation. He implemented information architecture, equipping the organization for digital economy.

He established NovaHealth, a company pioneering health care innovation, with partner and colleague George Veliotes. NovaHealth is the founding and majority shareholder of Intercare, a health care provider organization which has established 13 medical and dental centres, a sub-acute and rehabilitation hospital as well as a corporate head office in Lynwood, Pretoria. During 2010 health care services were delivered to 600 000 patients country wide.

The Group currently provides jobs for 456 employees.

Dr Helga Holst

Dr Holst has served McCord Hospital in the position of Medical Superintendent for 17 years. Under her leadership the hospital has developed strong partnerships with medical and research institutions and funding bodies throughout the world which all benefit the hospital and its patients.

She has overseen a major Change Management Strategy with the implementation of an electronic patient record system, a Business Unit management structure, and the initiation of a major capital campaign for the rebuilding of the hospital to position it for its next century of significance and service. The hospital’s HIV Programme, Sinikithemba, is one of the largest in South Africa and has initiated over 8000 people on ART, of which 1000 are children

She works tirelessly to ensure McCord delivers good quality, affordable health care for as many people as possible.

Sister Alison Munro

Appointed in 2000 as the director for the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference AIDS program Sister Alison Munro established a network of support for people living with HIV and AIDS in the most remote and marginalized communities of South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland.

Between 2002 and 2004 this network provided home-based care and palliative services to more than 40,000 patients, care and support to almost 9000 orphans, and training in home-based care and orphan care to more than 5000 volunteers.
In a 2006 UNAIDS publication this network by Sister Alison was selected as a model of best practice in terms of the quality of services offered.

Prof. James McIntyre

Dr McIntyre is the Executive Director of Anova Health Institute and a recognized international authority on mother-to-child transmission of HIV and HIV in women, and has published extensively in this area. His research on MTCT has included work on short course antiretroviral regimens including the PETRA study and the SAINT trial. He leads the CIPRA-SA “Safeguard the household” collaborative South African research program, funded by the US National Institute for Health. More recently he has been a leading investigator on issues of Nevirapine resistance following use in pregnant women, and on possible strategies to reduce this risk. Dr McIntyre has also been a consultant to WHO and UNAIDS and has authored several WHO documents on HIV in pregnancy.

He has played a central role on international policy panels, and chaired the WHO guideline committee of the Ghent Working Group on HIV in women and children, and advised UNICEF on strategies to prevent such transmission in Africa and Eastern Europe. Since 2008, Dr McIntyre has chaired the Expert Advisory Group/ Protocol Review Committee for UNITAID, and innovative international funding mechanism for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which distributes in excess of $400 million.

Ms Zane Wilson

Ms Zane Wilson has brought mental health care to under-privileged, under resourced communities in rural South Africa. She founded SADAG to give all South Africans a safe place to turn to when they need advice, support and treatment options. Through SADAG Ms Wilson promoted outreach work to educate communities and create awareness about mental health. Working with home-based community caregivers and traditional healers has enabled SADAG to gauge how mental illness is perceived and treated and has resulted in the development of a formula to capacitate and empower entire communities

Ms Wilson spearheaded the successful movement for a change in the way medical aids view Bipolar Disorder which has led to the legislative amendment of the Bipolar Algorithm.

View Photo's from the Leadership Ceremony