Regeneration bosses across Cumbria and the North West have been paying tribute to Maggie Chadwick, chair of NHS Cumbria and director of Cumbria Vision, who died at home this week at the age of 63.
Roger Liddle, chairman of regeneration agency Cumbria Vision, said: "I and the board of Cumbria Vision are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Maggie. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family and close friends at what will be a very difficult time. Maggie was solid gold; strongly principled, big-hearted, totally devoted to Cumbria and its people. She still had much more to offer and we will all miss her a great deal."
She was appointed as a co-opted member of the Cumbria Vision Board in June 2008. As well as roles in Cumbria, she was a founder member of the North West Development Agency from 1998 to 2001.
Robert Hough, chairman of the NWDA, said: "Maggie was a highly respected individual and her loss is very sad news for all who knew and worked with her. She was a passionate advocate for health service reform and for the region. As a founding member of the NWDA Board, she made a vital contribution to the agency's work from its inception and on behalf of the NWDA I would like to offer our sincere condolences."
Chadwick chaired NHS Cumbria since 2006, supporting GPs and other clinicians in taking forward a series of reforms to health services in the county. She graduated in modern languages from Lancaster University, and began her career in further and higher education. She was principal and chief executive of Furness College in Barrow from 1990 to 2000 and an Honorary Fellow of Lancaster University Management School. She had an enduring interest in private-public sector partnerships as a means of economic regeneration and community well-being, and served as a Labour councillor for the John O' Gaunt ward on Lancaster City Council from 2005 to 2007. She also served as a non-executive director of the Cumbria and Lancashire Strategic Health Authority from 2001. Earlier this week, her appointment by the Government Equalities Office to serve as a national diversity ambassador was announced.
Sue Page, NHS Cumbria's Chief Executive, said: "We are all shocked and deeply saddened by Maggie's death. She was an indomitable champion for the NHS in Cumbria and someone whose dedication and charm touched everyone she worked with. She was very close to her parents and my deepest sympathies go to them at this time."