The medical community is mourning the unexpected passing of Albury Wodonga Health chief executive Michael Kalimnios.
Mr Kalimnios died at his home on Tuesday, aged 57, after recent ill health.
Health board chair Matt Burke said he had steered the organisation through one of its hardest periods, caused by the pandemic, and his death had left those at the organisation "gutted".
"It's indeed a very sad occasion for Albury Wodonga Health to lose a guy like Michael Kalimnios," Mr Burke said.
"He was an outstanding CEO and he brought a lot of good ideas and initiatives to the organisation.
"He was a very gentle, humble man who had a really good vision for Albury Wodonga Health.
"We're all pretty gutted at the moment to have lost a man of his calibre and capability."
He was about halfway through a five year contract.
"When you think about the last few years it's all been covid,covid, covid, border closures, staff shortages," Mr Burke said.
"When you work on both sides of the river it causes a lot of issues, and he led us through that.
"His main qualities were his leadership and strategic thinking, his vision for Albury Wodonga Health's future.
"He was unbelievably skilled in those regards and his financial acumen was second to none."
Mr Kalimnios has family in Queensland.
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Mr Burke said it was a challenging time for staff.
"Michael was widely respected by all who knew and worked with him, and the Albury Wodonga Health board, executive, and all staff offer our sincere condolences to Michael's family, friends and many work colleagues," Mr Burke said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
"We recognise that this is also a challenging time for staff of Albury Wodonga Health and would like to acknowledge the support of the Victorian Department of Health, NSW Ministry of Health and our local health service and government partners."
"Details of funeral and memorial service arrangements will be advised in due course."
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said it was "deeply saddening" to learn of Mr Kalimnios' death.
"He's certainly a very respected leader of Albury Wodonga Health and my thoughts are very much with all at Albury Wodonga Health because this would be a tragic time for the team," Mr Clancy said.
"It's a demanding position, particularly through the COVD time, so on a personal level I'm going to feel the loss as he's been a good person to work alongside."
Wodonga mayor Kevin Poulton expressed his condolences to Mr Kalimnios' family, friends and Albury Wodonga Health staff.
"Michael steered our community through one of the most challenging periods in our lifetime in the COVID-19 pandemic, not only as the head of our health service but as the head of a cross-border health service," Cr Poulton said.
"He has left a tremendous legacy in his short time with the health service.
"We are extremely saddened by his passing and on behalf of my fellow councillors and council staff, I want to extend our deepest sympathy to Michael's family, his friends and all the staff across Albury Wodonga Health."
Deputy chief executive Janet Chapman will assume acting duties effective immediately.
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