Two of our colleagues, working on research of national significance at the University of Plymouth, have been awarded academic promotions.
Dr Kerryn Husk and Dr Dawn Swancutt have progressed to Associate Professor of Health Services (Research) and Senior Research Fellow, respectively.
Dr Husk, who leads research into the implementation of national social prescribing programmes said: “I am very lucky that PenARC affords me the freedom to work with brilliant and inspiring people on subjects that I find fascinating and rewarding. I’ve been really grateful for the input, guidance and help that I’ve received from my colleagues in Exeter and Plymouth, particularly Prof Richard Byng, Dr Nick Axford and Jo Smith. I’m hugely pleased for Dawn, too, it’s a much deserved-promotion.”
Dr Swancutt, who is the programme manager for a nationally important evaluation programme improving group treatment for people with severe obesity, PROGROUP, said: “I’m very grateful for the ongoing support from PenARC. It’s helped me to develop the skills necessary to meet the promotion criteria. I’m delighted to have achieved promotion while continuing within the same role – I’m aware that this doesn’t happen very often.”
Dr Swancutt joined PenARC in 2014, managing new projects arising from our question prioritisation programme. Used to working across multidisciplinary teams to gather a holistic picture of health improvement, she is enjoying the challenge of her new role as manager of the first major programme of its kind in specialist weight management services. She said: “Obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges facing us and of even more concern in the Covid-19 era. PROGROUP sets out to establish a strong sense of connectedness between people, helping to support weight loss and improved wellbeing. It’s a really important programme.”
Dr Swancutt is also working with fellow researchers at the University of Plymouth to develop the SHERPA model for GPs – a new three-step method for evidence-informed and interpretative decision making.
Dr Husk is part of a consortium commissioned to evaluate the rollout of a national scheme of social prescriptions for activities to better connect people to the natural environment, delivered by community organisations. Part of a £5.8m investment by the Government and the National Academy of Social Prescribing at a time when the impact of green spaces on mental health is in sharp focus, Dr Husk is passionate about creating positive change and recognises the importance of adequate funding and resourcing: “Community assets are at the very core of the green social prescribing offer, so linked funding and support is vital.”
Warm congratulations go to Kerryn and Dawn from all their colleagues at PenARC.