Hal Boronovskis has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of PlusLife.

Today’s announcement comes as current PlusLife Managing Director Anne Cowie prepares to retire after 28 years at the helm of Western Australia’s only bone and tissue bank.

Since starting as the founding staff member of PlusLife in 1993, Mrs Cowie has steered the organisation to significant growth, increasing the not-for-profit from two staff – herself and an administration role – to a workforce of 34 managing hundreds of bone and tissue donations each year.

PlusLife Board Chairman Bart Boelen said Mr Boronovskis was the successful candidate in a strong field of contenders for the position, citing his long-running connection to the health sector both in Western Australia and interstate.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Hal Boronovskis as the new Chief Executive Officer of PlusLife,” Mr Boelen said.

“Mr Boronovskis has demonstrated a great depth of knowledge and leadership in the health sector and in management roles over many years, including as the State Manager of DonateLife in WA, the state’s organ and tissue donation agency.

“He has also managed a multitude of significant projects to improve services for healthcare consumers in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

“In addition, Mr Boronovskis has served on the Board of PlusLife since 2017, so holds an innate understanding of the organisation and our strategic plans going forward.”

Mr Boronovskis will step down from his position as a PlusLife Board Director when he takes up the Chief Executive role on October 25.

Mr Boronovskis said he was excited to take up the role and paid tribute to his predecessor.

“I’m delighted to join PlusLife as the new Chief Executive Officer and look forward to working with the dedicated team,” he said.

“PlusLife is a remarkable organisation that does some extraordinary, yet sometimes understated, work in the community. I am excited to help further grow its presence to ensure more people can become beneficiaries of life-changing allograft donations.”

Through PlusLife’s two donor programs, patients having a hip replacement operation can donate the ball part of their hip, which is used commonly in a ground-up form for children with spinal deformities. And, like organ donation, bone, tendons and ligaments can be donated after death with consent from the deceased’s next-of-kin.

Grafts are used for patients undergoing life-transforming operations, such as complex joint surgery and treatments for patients with dental and facial bone loss. In many cases it has saved children with cancer the distress of a limb amputation.

Since its inception 28 years ago, PlusLife has provided more than 22,300 grafts that have helped more than 12,500 patients, many of whom are children with bone cancer and spinal deformities.

Last year alone, 672 bone and tissue donations were made to PlusLife.

Mr Boelen also paid tribute to Mrs Cowie, saying PlusLife may not be what it is today without her hard work and influence.

“I would like to acknowledge the dedicated work of Anne Cowie to PlusLife over the past 28 years. Her commitment to the cause has been unwavering and her determination and hard work has seen the Perth Bone and Tissue Bank grow from extremely humble beginnings to the successful enterprise it is today,” he said.

“But the road has not been without challenge. Just a few years ago, PlusLife faced the threat of closure when a suitable location could not be found for its operations and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted heavily on the number of tissue donations to PlusLife at a time when demand for allograft is at record levels.

“Successfully navigating these challenges is testament to Anne’s dedication and commitment to the cause and overwhelming desire to help others. We thank her for her hard work and wish her all the very best for the future.”