Our People

Annabel Toogood

Executive Director

MedAssist NZ Executive Director Annabel Toogood has worked in the air ambulance sector for over ten years and has extensive experience in mission management, logistics, inter-hospital transfers and coordinating international retrievals and repatriations. Annabel leads a passionate team of professionals committed to providing the highest standard of aeromedical and patient care.

Deidre Smith

Case Manager

Deidre is our patient case manager and has over 20 years of experience in the medical and aviation fields.

Deidre has been with the company since 2022 and her career has spanned over medical and aviation, spending 11 years flying internationally with Air New Zealand. Once settling into life on the ground, Deidre moved into the medical division, working in private hospitals both here in Hawke’s Bay and in Auckland.

Deidre’s patient centric focus and ability to execute smooth patient journeys makes her a huge asset to the MedAssist team.

Outside of work Deidre loves to muck about on her lifestyle block, riding her horses and enjoying all the great things about living the dream in sunny Hawkes Bay.

Dr. Shay McGuinness (MBChB, FFICM, FRCA, FANZCA)

Medical Director

Dr Shay McGuinness is the Medical Director of Med Assist NZ and a specialist in intensive care at the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Intensive Care Units (ICU) at Auckland City Hospital, one of the busiest ICUs in Australasia.

Dr McGuinness provides clinical oversight for patient transports performed via dedicated air ambulance or commercial airlines and clinical advice via telemedicine to hospitals throughout the South Pacific.

Outside of medicine, Dr McGuinness is a qualified aeroplane and helicopter pilot and has a keen interest in boating, fishing and scuba diving.

Angela Coward

Director of Flight Nursing

Angela is the Director of Flight Nursing for MedAssist NZ and NZAAS, overseeing the groups patient referrals and assessments. In addition, Angela forms part of the ICU retrieval flight team and flying on commercial airlines, caring for their patients throughout the world.

Angela has been a flight nurse for ten years and holds post-graduate qualifications in Aeromedical retrieval and critical care.

Tom Bridgeman (CA)

Group Finance Manager

Tom Bridgeman is the Group Finance Manager and a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Tom has been with the company since 2018. He started his career with BDO in Wellington before spending two years living and working abroad in Edinburgh.

Tom has an analytic and critical eye and heads up an enthusiastic admin division which keeps the finances operating smoothly.

He is always on the lookout for improvement and brings this positive change mindset to the role.

Outside of finance, Tom is a keen mountain biker and enjoys getting into the outdoors.

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