Southern District Health Board chairman Dave Cull has announced he is stepping down as he faces an "ominous health challenge".
Former Dunedin Mayor Cull shared the news today.
"I have recently been diagnosed with a tumour on my pancreas.
"I need to undergo further tests to give more clarity as to type, treatment and prognosis.
"However regardless of what those reveal, it is clear that henceforth I will need to devote 100% of my energy to confronting this ominous health challenge and supporting my whānau.
He said this meant he was unable to commit the attention and energy needed for the role of Southern DHB chair.
"I have therefore tendered my resignation from the Board to the Minister of Health.
"I have greatly appreciated the confidence of the community and the Minister for first electing me to the Board, and then appointing me to the chair. It has been a privilege to serve – albeit briefly – in that role.
"Thanks to CEO Fleming, Southern DHB staff and my Board colleagues, for their support and indeed on-going care. My best wishes go to the Board and my successor as they confront the challenges ahead."
Southern DHB chief executive Chris Fleming expressed sincere best wishes of the organisation as Dave and his family faced this challenge.
"On behalf of Dave's many friends and colleagues at the DHB, we are sorry we will no longer benefit from his immense expertise on the board, and thank him for the significant contribution he has made so far as we transitioned from a Commissioner to a board structure.
"We wish Dave and his family every strength for the time ahead, and offer any support we can provide."
Cull's final day on the board will be October 15. He is being supported by Deputy Chair Dr David Perez, who will assume the role of Acting Chair when Cull steps down.
After standing down as mayor ahead of last year's local body elections, Cull was voted on the DHB's board and then named chairman in December.