Members of the School of Public Health held a very productive and informative meeting today with senior members of Imperial College including Sarah Waterbury, Vice President (Advancement); Maggie Dallman, Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships); Angela Bowen, Director of Development (Faculty of Medicine); and Tom Pearson, Head of Special Projects (Academic Partnerships).
The Department of Primary Care & Public Health in the School of Public Health works with local community stakeholders – such as voluntary groups, local authorities, and general practitioners – on a range of community-based outreach projects. These projects aim to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents; improve access to professional careers for children from deprived backgrounds; and give medical students experience of working with deprived and marginalised groups to develop skills in health coaching and behavioural change. This work is in addition to the very high-quality teaching and research programmes undertaken by the department.
Objectives for the future include developing a central coordinating function to bring this outreach work together; and integrate better with ongoing academic work in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, the School of Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine, and Imperial College. We also need to expand the academic outputs from this work – such as conference presentations and journal articles – and give our students and clinical trainees greater opportunities to play a role in this work, thereby improving their skills and also the well-being of our local population.