Bill Maher was addressing members of the HSE West Forum after it was confirmed last month that hospitals in Letterkenny, Sligo and Castlebar have been brought into the expanded group.
He said he and some board members have already visited Letterkenny and Sligo to meet with local management, and they're now involved in drawing up a strategic plan.
CEO Bill Maher told the HSE West Regional Forum Meeting that the Group now has more autonomy to manage funding and staffing, andf they have already begun developing a strategic plan, working to national standards of quality and care.
He sauid a key element of that plan will be how they play to the strengths of each of the hospitals in the Group, so that they will develop services that meet the needs of their patients and their locality.
In addition, he said, they have plans in place for a steering group to progress integration, with the intention of becoming the first hospital trust in the country.
Mr Maher said the next board meeting will take place in Galway on 18 June and will be held in public. He added this is the first of two public Board meetings planned for this year, as part of the commitment to provide real local accountability to the public from Galway to Donegal.