New medical director for asthma foundation

Dr James Fingleton. Supplied image.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation New Zealand has a new medical director.

Dr James Fingleton, BM, PhD, FRACP is a respiratory physician and Clinical Leader for Respiratory at Wellington Regional Hospital, where he runs the severe asthma service.

"I'm excited about taking on the Medical Director role," says Dr Fingleton. "With the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing, it's more important than ever for New Zealanders to have the tools and knowledge they need to look after their respiratory health. I look forward to supporting the Foundation to continue to be the leading New Zealand authority on respiratory conditions."

Dr Fingleton is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Otago and Honorary Research Associate at Victoria University of Wellington.

His research interests focus on the treatment of airways disease, particularly severe asthma and COPD, with a particular interest in personalised medicine. He has been a member of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board since last year, and as Medical Director he will take on the Board Chair role.

"Dr Fingleton brings a wealth of experience to the Medical Director role, and the Foundation is delighted to have him on board," says Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, Chief Executive Letitia Harding.

The Medical Director and Scientific Advisory Board work closely with the Foundation to ensure that it delivers sound, evidence-based respiratory health knowledge. The Board comprises some of New Zealand's leading experts in respiratory health service delivery and research, and brings quality assurance and strong credibility to the work of the Foundation.

Dr Fingleton takes over the Medical Director role from respiratory physician Dr Stuart Jones, who held the role for four years. During this time, Dr Jones's achievements included leading the development of the new COPD guidelines alongside Professor Bob Hancox, and contributing his expertise to the Foundation's campaigning and advocacy around vaping regulations.

"I'd like to thank Dr Jones for his significant contribution to the work of the Foundation," says Letitia. "While he is stepping down from the Medical Director Role, he will continue to be a valued member of our Scientific Advisory Board."

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