November: a month of new staff for DECIPHer

PictureDECIPHer’s newest additions: (L-R) Catherine Turney, Helen Hindley, Hannah Littlecott, Gillian Hewitt

Things at DECIPHer have been very busy staff-wise in the last month. We were pleased to welcome four new full-time members of staff during November, so thought we’d dedicate a blog post to introducing them.

Helen Hindley is DECIPHer’s new research development coordinator, and will coordinate studies through the adoption and affiliation processes of PHIRN and DECIPHer. Helen previously worked in the NHS in vascular surgery, working to deliver service improvements in the care of aneurysm patients. The skills and experiences that Helen has gained from this role will help in improving the data collection processes currently in place for monitoring studies within DECIPHer and PHIRN. Prior to that, Helen worked with children and families delivering health education sessions in Newport. She is very passionate about the need to instil the importance of a balanced diet and exercise at an early age. Helen is very excited about the opportunities that this new role will bring and says she has had a very warm welcome from the DECIPHer team.

Gillian Hewitt joined DECIPHer as research associate to work on a schools health research network project for Wales. This will involve helping to secure funding for the network and then implementing it with partners from the education and health sectors. Gillian previously worked at Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London on a mixed methods study that explored interprofessional teamwork in acute and community stroke care. She has an MSc in Public Health Nutrition (LSHTM) and a PhD (University of Westminster) for which she evaluated the use of a participatory approach with older people living in residential homes in Guyana.

Hannah Littlecott is a new research assistant, who will initially be working on grant applications. She completed her MSc in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health at the University of Bristol in 2011. Hannah has previously worked as a research and administrative assistant for several research projects within the Department for Health at the University of Bath. These projects included the European Youth Heart Study, the Avon Network for the Promotion of Active Ageing in the Community and a school leavers project which aimed to increase healthy habits among 16- to 18-year-olds. She has also completed work experience in Seville, which involved working on a project to investigate the effect of a Mediterranean-style breakfast on lipid metabolism among obese children.

Catherine Turney joined DECIPHer as research and knowledge exchange assistant, and will be developing and implementing the Centre’s communications and knowledge exchange strategy. She will be responsible for communicating DECIPHer’s work to academic and non-academic audiences, using media including the DECIPHer website, blog and Twitter account (@DECIPHerCentre). Her first task is revamping this very blog, so watch this space! Catherine has a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Sociology, both from the University of Bristol. She previously worked as a research associate for a not-for-profit organisation carrying out national surveys of patient experience, and undertakes voluntary editing work for a website providing a platform for young people’s voices in the arts.

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