Her retirement was confirmed this week by Ministry of Health secretary Elizabeth Iro, who has appointed Valentino Wichman as the acting director of Community Health Services.
Wichman looked after policy and planning work for the ministry before taking over the post left vacant by Dr Herman.
“The vacancy for director of CHS (Community Health Services) has now been out for 14 days before shortlisting and interviews are done. In the meantime, Valentino is in the acting role,” Iro said.
Dr Herman, a researcher and registered nurse, was the first Cook Islands nurse to gain a doctorate.
Her PhD thesis, which was funded through a HRC Pacific Health Research PhD Scholarship, laid out a new holistic model to promote the health of young people and was one of the first to do so within a Cook Islands context.
Herman worked for more than 40 years in health care in Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands, including five years as senior tutor and six years as principal of the Cook Islands School of Nursing.
She began her PhD in 2008 in the hope of motivating and inspiring other Cook Islands nurses and women to pursue doctorate studies.
Dr Herman’s two-year term as director of the Community Health Services ended on September 4.