About Us

About Us

The Trustees

George Vickers

M.N.Z.M., J.P., Consultant-Part-time

George has an enviable background in business and community affairs and was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit by the Queen in 2009.  A long-standing (over 50 years) member of Lions International, George represents the northern most part of The Heart Trust region at Te Kauwhata.  He was elected to the Trust in 1983 and finds the results achieved by heart professionals inspirational. “These people perform miracles everyday and the support of the Trust is a basic part of that and I find that hugely rewarding,” he says.

Geoff McDonald

BCom, LLB, Solicitor (Chair)

Geoff is a retired solicitor from the Hamilton law firm of Norris Ward McKinnon.  He sees The Heart Trust as playing a vital support role to the Waikato Hospital's Cardiac Services.  “Without the financial support of the Trust, cardiac services would risk losing some of its early access to state of the art equipment that enables such a high standard of care to cardiac patients,” says Geoff.


Ann Cloke


Anne is passionate in her support for the heart professionals at the Waikato Hospital Cardiac Unit and the way they enhance people’s lives right across the region. This comes from personal experience with her husband Bernie requiring and receiving life changing procedures using equipment funded by the Trust. “It’s a tribute to the Trust and cardiologists that he can now live life to the full,” says Anne. You can read Bernie’s story here.

Dr Clyde Wade

MB, ChB, MBA, FRACP, Cardiologist (Chair Scientific Committee)

Clyde has been a cardiologist at Waikato Hospital for over 30 years. He was principally responsible for the development of cardiac surgery and coronary angioplasty at Waikato and was the cardiac unit’s first Clinical Director. Clyde has held senior clinical and management posts at Waikato Hospital and is currently an elected member of the DHB. “I have always regarded the Trust as the cardiac unit’s ‘secret weapon’. I have no doubt that without the support of the Trust, the people of the Midland region would not have the world class services they have,” he said.

Dr Denis Friedlander

MNZM, MB, ChB, FRACP, FRCP (Lond.), FRCP (Ed.), Cardiologist

Denis was appointed as Waikato Hospital’s first cardiologist in 1966 and was responsible for establishing the Coronary Care Unit, the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, the Marathon Club and the Halcyon Club for cardiac rehabilitation. Denis was the inspiration behind the formation of the Trust and is a foundation Trustee. “I realised that without our own community based funding, the Waikato Cardiac unit would have to stand in the queue for Government funding behind the so-called main centres. The Trust has been successful beyond my wildest dreams as we now have a unit that is as good as any in Australasia,” he says.

Sue Martin

BN, Clinical Nurse Manager

Sue’s experience and knowledge of cardiology has served the Trust well for over 8 years. She has a long career in cardiology becoming Charge Nurse of the Cardiology Unit in 1998 where she still leads a team of registered nurses. Sue is proud the Trust has supported colleagues with extra training and development and provided equipment for the benefit of many patients in the community.

Leonie Tisch

Leonie, has held various governance and leadership roles in the community, including four years on the Waikato District Health Board, and after twelve years retired as a councillor on the Matamata Piako District in 2016.  She is a Rotarian and in 2017/18 will be the Rotary International District Governor for District 9930 which encompasses the central north island from Huntly in the north to Waipukurau in the south. Leonie, a mother of two and grandmother of two, has been a trustee since 1995. She has always kept a sharp eye out for the health and wellbeing of others.  "I'll continue to support The Heart Trust in making a real difference to the lives in our community," says Leonie.

Dr Chris Milne

MB, ChB, Dip Sports Med, RNZCGP, FACSP, Physician

Chris, a sports and exercise physician, has served as team doctor for the Chiefs super rugby team and the NZ Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams. In his work with elite and recreational athletes he has dealt with many heart related issues and is passionate about ensuring world class heart care is available in the Midland health region.

Gerard van den Heuvel

Gerard is a retired dairy farmer. He was a National Councillor for Livestock Improvement Corporation. He has investments in commercial property and is currently Board Chairman of a commercial property limited partnership. He is on the board of Te Aroha Lions and it is through Lions that he became involved with The Heart Trust. He feels passionately about The Heart Trust having benefited personally from the cardiac services at Waikato Hospital. He feels a need to help others received the same high standard treatment.


Dr Pranesh M Jogia

Cardiologist and Intensive Care Specialist MBChB FRACP FCICM FCSANZ

Pranesh is a Cardiologist and an Intensive Care Specialist at Waikato Hospital. He grew up in Hamilton and is passionate about seeing that all residents of the greater Waikato region are delivered world class Cardiac Care services.

His subspecialty interest includes looking after critically ill cardiac patients and cardiac imaging, and he understands first-hand the technology necessary to care for patients in this area. He is privileged to be part of the Heart Trust, which assists the Midland Region to continue to be at the forefront of patient care.