New staff join the team

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has strengthened its team with the appointment of four new staff members.

They are Ruth Wilson, Paul Henry, Dr Micky Kerr and Rebecca Verlander.

Ruth has joined the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN as a programme manager. Her portfolio will focus on urgent and emergency care, which includes system flow, system leadership and using information in the best way to support strategic decision making.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Ruth worked with a wide range of NHS organisations including commissioners, acute trusts, mental health trusts and an ambulance trust.

Her experience includes: programme management of a change project across Yorkshire for Patient Transport Services; options appraisal for a new inpatient unit; evaluation of service redesign in adult mental health community services; running benchmarking services to enable mental health trusts to improve costs and quality; service user and patient engagement and delivery of wide ranging performance reviews at health and local government organisations.

Ruth enjoys coaching and mentoring people to improve their individual performance and work life balance.

Paul is also a programme manager and he will be working on a number of initiatives including enabling and supporting innovation in primary care as well as projects within the Digital Health work stream to promote Active Healthy Ageing and supporting young people in accessing mental health care.

Paul has more than 15 years’ experience of working in the NHS, including roles in a number NHS commissioners and an acute trust. He brings with him a wealth of experience in service, project and programme management as well as a background in patient and public engagement and communications.

His project management roles have included pathway and service redesign, delivering public consultations and project managing procurement.

Prior to joining the NHS, Paul worked as a Youth and Community Development Worker in Nottingham and delivered Environmental Education in schools.

Paul has also taken time out from the health sector to establish and run his own speciality coffee subscription company.

Dr Micky Kerr has joined the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN as Programme Manager (Evaluation). He will be developing and delivering evaluation expertise and support to programmes and projects across the Yorkshire and Humber region, including the area’s seven Vanguard sites chosen by NHS England to develop new ways of delivering health services.

Micky has an academic background in occupational and organisational psychology and has undertaken applied research across a range of NHS and industrial contexts. He has extensive experience of qualitative research approaches and cultivating collaborative partnerships with multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals and other stakeholders.

Recently, Micky has led qualitative research activities on a large European project to develop and implement technologies to support informal workplace learning for primary care professionals and on a National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) study to evaluate and improve new stroke rehabilitation services within the East Midlands region.

Rebecca Verlander first joined the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN in August 2016 as an intern supporting the organisation on a number of projects.

Her new role as Project Assistant will involve supporting Richard Stubbs, the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s interim Managing Director, in leading a number of projects promoting innovation as well as working across the organisation supporting other programmes.

Rebecca graduated from Cambridge University in June 2016 with a degree in Human Social and Political Sciences. She has a long-standing interest in innovation in health and social care that she has pursued through various projects, most recently a two-month self-organised tour of leading innovators and entrepreneurs in North America.

She is also particularly active in the area of mental health awareness and campaigning, which has included giving a talk on mental health at Cambridge University since graduating.

Richard Stubbs commented: “Ruth, Paul, Micky and Rebecca have a wealth of talent and knowledge and I am delighted to welcome them to our team.

“They join us at a very exciting time as we work with our NHS and industry partners to address the challenges health care is facing by delivering innovative projects and sharing knowledge and best practice.”