Closing Plenary Session
Friday, 24 July
8:00-8:45 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (0800-0845)
State of Nursing Report
Elizabeth Iro was appointed Chief Nursing Officer for the World Health Organization (WHO) by Director-General Dr. Tedros in October 2017. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Iro was the Cook Islands' Secretary of Health.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ms. Iro to our team as WHO’s Chief Nursing Officer,” said Dr Tedros. “Nurses play a critical role not only in delivering healthcare to millions around the world, but also in transforming health policies, promoting health in communities, and supporting patients and families. Nurses are central to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Iro will keep that perspective front and centre at WHO.”
Ms. Iro has more than 30 years of experience in public health in the Cook Islands and regionally. As Secretary of Health, she implemented health reforms to strengthen the country’s health system. These include developing the country’s National Health Roadmap 2017-2036, the National Health Strategic Plan 2017-2021, and the Health Clinical Workforce Plan.
She had previously served as the country’s Chief Nursing Officer and Acting Director of Hospital Health Services. For the first 25 years of her career, she was a staff nurse, midwife, and charge midwife at hospitals in the Cook Islands and New Zealand.