New Centre to tackle health inequalities in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

"We know that the conditions in which people are born, live, work or play can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing and life expectancy. In Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, there have been great strides to improve health, but there is still more to do."

Judy Kurth, Director of CHAD

A NEW research centre which is focused on the health needs of communities across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is being launched next week.

The Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) is the result of an innovative partnership between Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council.

Respected academic Professor Sian Griffith has been appointed Chair of CHAD and Judy Kurth as Director.  Based at Staffordshire University, CHAD has appointed two full time researchers and PhD students who will work collaboratively with researchers based elsewhere in the University.

Judy, who previously worked as strategic manager, safe and healthy communities at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “We know that the conditions in which people are born, live, work or play can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing and life expectancy.   In Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, there have been great strides to improve health, but there is still more to do.” 
 
"CHAD is focused on reducing health inequalities and improving the health and care of our local populations.   The Centre will work in partnership with our communities, local government, NHS and third sector organisations to ensure that research is targeted at the top priorities locally and makes a real difference to people’s lives."

The launch at Staffordshire University Science Centre will be attended by senior figures in healthcare across the county and Professor Sir Michael Marmot, President of the World Medical Association and author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world, will be delivering a keynote speech.

Dr Nigel Thomas, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Staffordshire University said: "A key recommendation from Sir Michael Marmot is that creating the conditions for people to lead flourishing lives, and empowering individuals and communities, is key to the reduction of health inequalities.  His challenge to improve health by tackling the causes and move beyond a focus on health services has been hugely influential and we look forward to hearing from him."

County Councillor Alan White, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council said: "We want people in Staffordshire to live long, healthy and happy lives.  A key part of this ambition is ensuring we have as much data as possible, so we can work out how best to tackle health issues, and perhaps even prevent them from occurring in the first place.  The research provided through CHAD will make a tremendous difference to how we tackle health inequalities in the county."

Dr Lesley Mountford, director of public health and adult social care at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, added: "CHAD is embarking on a number of service evaluations and we are committed to involving our communities in all stages of the project from identifying research priorities and carrying out research to benefitting from the findings."

Members of the public can find out more and register their interest by signing up as a CHAD friend on the website.

• The launch of CHAD takes place in Staffordshire University Science Centre on Monday September 19 at 6pm. For more information on CHAD, visit the website http://www.chadresearch.co.uk

• Michael Marmot is Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, and President of the World Medical Association. He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world  and Status Syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health (2004).

• Professor Sian Griffiths has a wide range of academic roles nationally and globally in relation to public health and health inequalities and is an Associate Board Member of Public Health England.


 

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