Executive Director Mr Max Ritchie steps down from Neurological Foundation after 23 years of service

Tuesday, 11 April, 2017

After 23 years of dedicated service Mr Max Ritchie has stepped down from his role as Executive Director of the Neurological Foundation.

The Foundation was established in 1971 with the mission “to alleviate suffering from diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system through research and education". The Foundation remains the only dedicated charitable organisation committed to funding neurological research in New Zealand. Since his appointment in 1994, Max has made a major contribution to the continued growth and success of the organisation.

Neurological Foundation Interim Council Chair Dr Barry Snow says “It is clear to the Council and colleagues that Max has a high commitment to improving outcomes for the health and welfare of all New Zealanders. His leadership of the Neurological Foundation for the past 23 years, and of the Wellington Division of the Cancer Society prior to that, has seen the implementation and establishment of many ground-breaking initiatives that have impacted on patient care, research and the community,” Dr Snow says.

These initiatives include the establishment of the Daffodil Day campaign in New Zealand in 1988, pioneering the first Ronald McDonald House in Wellington in 1989, and fostering the creation of the only human brain bank resource in New Zealand in 1994 to advance neurological research nationally.

“Further,” Dr Snow says, “Max has championed the campaigns for the positions of the Neurological Foundation Chair of Clinical Neurology (Auckland) and Neurological Foundation Chair in Neurosurgery (Dunedin). Professorial positions are pivotal to the advancement of neurological, neuroscientific and neurosurgical research and patient care, across both treatment and rehabilitation.”

Max’s work in the charitable sector was recognised in 2015 when he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health and the community.

The Neurological Foundation Council would like to thank Max for his contribution and wishes him well in his retirement.

The Council has begun the process of finding a permanent replacement, and in the interim has appointed Miss Sue Giddens, a member of the Neurological Foundation’s senior management team for seven years, to take over in an acting capacity. 

For enquiries, please email admin@neurological.org.nz