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Changing lives through life changing work

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Published on 17 May 2018

Sharon Hodgson MP at Public Health event
Sharon Hodgson MP at Public Health event

The spotlight fell on Public Health at the University of Sunderland as a day-long conference got underway.

 The Life Changing, Changing Lives event heard from an array of experts, academics, politicians and professionals, who put Public Health under the microscope.

 The event, at Hope Street Xchange on Friday, 18 May, heard about different initiatives happening in Sunderland, including the University’s involvement in supporting the city’s Drug and Alcohol services.

 It also examined a global approach, led by the University’s Dr Rob Worrall, to improving wellbeing by preventing violence and corruption in Kenya, Uganda and Guatemala.

 Key note speaker on the day was Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health.

 Karen Carling, senior lecturer in Public Health at the University of Sunderland, said: “Public health is at the centre of government agenda today. It’s about wanting everyone to be able to make healthier choices.

 “We need to raise everyone’s awareness at every possible opportunity.  Public health is about helping people to stay healthy, and protecting them from threats to their health. 

 “Our event raised interest and knowledge of “public health” for local young people, teachers and careers advisors. It also showcased public health courses here at the University along with our research and partnerships with public health practitioners. 

 “This was an opportunity to provide a forum for sharing public health practice, networking and enhancing collaboration and knowledge translation."




Full itinerary from the event:

 10:00 – 11:00 Public health initiatives and issues

 Drugs and Alcohol (Jim Kennedy - Sunderland Youth Drug and Alcohol Programme)

Obesity and physical activity (Dr Lisa Board – University of Sunderland)

Emotional wellbeing (Kathy McKenna – Washington Mind)


11:00 – 11:45 “Mobile Health” Interactive activities/group work


11:45 -12:00Adverse childhood experiences (Prof Warren Larkin)


12.15 to 13:00 Lunch and registration for afternoon session


13:00 to 16.00 Afternoon Session – Public health practice, partnerships and research


Introduction and welcome – Prof Timothy Paget


13:00 - 13:30 Key note speaker:  Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health


13:30 – 14:25Session 1 – Practice, research and partnerships


13.30-13.50   What Fuse and the NIHR School for Public Health Research can offer you (Dr Peter van der Graaf/ Prof Jonathan Ling)


13.50-14.10   Alcohol policy, practice and research (John Mooney/ Jim Kennedy)


14.10-14.25   Place-based leadership development and its role in intersectoral urban violence prevention in Kenya, Uganda and Guatemala (Dr Rob Worrall)


14.25-14.40   Refreshment Break


14:40 -16.15Session 2 – Public health from Sunderland to beyond


14.40-15.00   Sunderland public health policy and practice (Gillian Gibson – Director of Public Health / Julie Parker-Walton - Registered Public Health Specialist)


15.00-15.15   Adverse childhood experiences (Prof Warren Larkin)


15.15- 15.30 Project ELEFANT– Impact of environmental exposures and lifestyle factors (Dr Tim Barrow)


15.30-15.45   HIV stigma and Positive Allies Charter Mark (Drew Dalton)


15.45-16.00   PhD research mini-presentations (Chinyere Ihejieto; Kareem Thompson; Joseph Seyi Sunday)


16.00-16.15 Cardiovascular occupational health screening (Dr Lisa Board)


16.15 Questions and Close - Prof Jonathan Ling