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Tackling alcohol misuse leads to President’s prize

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Published on 30 April 2020

Senior Lecturer John Mooney
Senior Lecturer John Mooney

John Mooney has been awarded the prestigious President’s Medal by The Faculty of Public Health (FPH), an organisation of up to 4,000 public health professionals across the UK and around the world.

The FPH makes the annual award in recognition of the outstanding contribution to public health policy and practice by a registered public health specialist.

John, a senior lecturer in Public Health at the University of Sunderland, was praised by a panel of judges who were “hugely impressed” with the breadth and scope of his research in alcohol harm reduction interventions and policies.

These have ranged from facilitating locally implemented policies around licensing in Sunderland to advocacy for national level measures such as alcohol minimum unit pricing and the prospects for incorporating health information in license decision making.

John also recently led a local evaluation of an early referral substance abuse service for young people in Sunderland, which was funded by Alcohol Change UK and he represents the Faculty’s Special Interest Group on Alcohol in the current Westminster consultation committee on UK alcohol strategy. 

He said: “It is such a privilege to receive this recognition from the Faculty. It’s also testament to all those colleagues and partners who have supported me and this important area of work over the years.”

The FPH award panel this year comprised of Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Professor Carol Brayne, Prof John Newton, and the current Faculty President, Professor Maggie Rae.

To receive the award from the current President has a special resonance for John, since Maggie was Training Programme Director in South West England, when he undertook his Faculty accreditation training. John has been a full Fellow of FPH since 2011.

He said: “Having gained my Fellowship through completing accredited training and membership exams, I combine my teaching and research interests with working part-time with the public health consultant team at Sunderland City Council. Having worked at the Universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield, my principle areas of interest have been in policy interventions to tackle chronic disease risk factors such as obesity and alcohol misuse.”

University of Sunderland professor Tony Alabaster, Dean in the faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, said: “John’s award is great news and much deserve. He has made a significant contribution in the area of alcohol harm reduction policies through his extensive research. 

“To be recognised at this national level is acknowledgement of John’s consistent efforts to make a difference to communities across the country.”

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is a registered charity, whose role is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and national populations.