With Dr Hassan Khimji and Professor Chitta Choudhury at the RSPH launch.
I was invited to the launch of the Royal Society for Public Health this afternoon. This new Royal Society is dedicated to the promotion and protection of collective human health and wellbeing. It will advise on policy development, provide education and training services, encourage scientific research, disseminate information and certify products, training centres and processes.
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis in the inaugural chair and the chair elect from April 2009 is Dr Selwyn Hodge. Professor Richard Parish is the chief executive.
Held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, many key leaders participated, including:
– Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission
– Sir Derek Wanless, author of Securing our Future Health (2002) and Our Future Health Secured? (2007)
– Sir Ronald De Witt, chief executive of Her Majesty’s Courts Service and executive director of the Department of Constitutional Affairs corporate board
– Professor Mala Rao, RSPH Ambassador to India
– Dr Fiona Adshead, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
– Dr Linda Degutis, president, American Public Health Association
– Dr Georges Benjamin, chief executive, American Public Health Association
Hazel Stuteley OBE introduced herself as a ‘Sir Derek Groupie’, resulting in the first of many laughs during her presentation. And between the jokes, Hazel gave us a number of very serious messages. She reminded us of the famous Mary Mead quotation, ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’.
Hazel told us of how a small group of thoughtful committed citizens in England’s poorest County (Cornwall) did just that ……. in Falmouth. In a true example of multiagency working (health, police, education), significant reductions were achieved in asthma, teenage pregnancies and postnatal depression. There were big improvements in child protection. This and much more was achieved with excellent value for money too – less than 50 pence a day, for each resident.
The Royal Society for Public Health is the result of a merger between the Royal Society of Health and the Royal Institute of Public Health. Membership of the new Royal Society includes professionals from health protection, environmental health, the health professions including medicine, health & safety, food hygiene, nutrition, health promotion, teaching, research, social care and more.