Public Health Newsletter – Issue 2 September 2016

Welcome to the second edition of our Public Health Section newsletter. Other than the continual noise of workers sawing through stone it’s been a quiet summer here in ScHARR. I hope everybody has been able to get a break!
Even though July and August have been quiet, plenty of good things have happened since the last newsletter. People have taken on new roles, awards have been received and grants have been won.
In this edition of the newsletter the two main stories are from Sarita Panday, one of our PhD students from Nepal, and from Michelle, who discusses the work of the EVIDENT partnership.
We’ve also included a selection of recent publications (I’m sure there are many more that are not listed!).

Thanks again to Karen for putting the newsletter together, and please do let Karen know of any news that you would like to go in the next edition.

All the best for the coming semester.


News and Congratulations

Congratulations to Prof Liddy Goyder, who has been appointed Director of Research at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) in Sheffield.

The NCSEM aims to improve the health and well being of the nation through physical activity and was established in 2012 as a legacy to the Olympic Games. The Sheffield-based NCSEM brings together researchers and institutions from across the city who are working to create a culture of physical activity in the region.

Read More


We have two new HEA Fellows through the Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme – Congratulations to Prof Sarah Salway, SFHEA (Personal Pathway) and Dr Liz Such, FHEA (Personal Pathway).


Dr Lindsay Blank has been elected as a staff member of the University Senate (for one year applicable from 1 Oct 2016 to 30 Sep 2017). The Senate is responsible for regulating and directing the academic work of the University and meets quarterly.


Congratulations to Louisa Shilton who now works for the Faculty based in the Medical School, Louisa passed her viva on 13 July with no corrections or amendments – well done!


Congratulations to Dr Kelly MacKenzie on her success in being offered a prestigious NIHR Fellowship. Kelly is delighted and looking forward to the new challenges ahead when she starts her Fellowship from 1 October 2016.


Prof Liddy Goyder and Dr Hannah Jordan were both selected in the Editor’s Picks for their respective  poster abstracts for the forthcoming Society for Social Medicine (SSM) Annual Scientific Meeting, which featured in the SSM’s Winter Newsletter Vol 7 Issue 3 August 2016.  Liddy‘s entitled  ‘‘Horses for courses’ or ‘One size fits all’? Developing appropriate methods of stakeholder involvement to inform evaluation of complex interventions in Europe’ and  Hannah’s entitled  ‘Wild at heart: A mixed method evaluation of a wildlife-related intervention for older people.’ Well done to both!


On a more personal note, congratulations also go to Kelly MacKenzie who recently had a surprise proposal whilst on holiday in Scotland and is now engaged to fiancé Kevin!
Congratulations to Katie Powell who also recently got engaged – must be something in the air!


ScHARR Research Stimulation Award – an update from Dr Katie Powell on how the money for her project has been used to good effect

The Research Stimulation prize was used to scope out the feasibility of a study on loneliness and isolation among minority ethnic groups. The funding was helpful in facilitating a scoping review of published literature and grey sources to assess whether a systematic review was possible. We assessed the volume and quality of published literature to develop realistic timelines for a literature review and used this to inform a proposal for funding. We also used the stimulation funds to map potential stakeholders and recruit them to a consultation group – informing the development of the bid.


Meet Sarita Panday, PhD student

Hi everyone – I’m Sarita Panday from Nepal. I recently submitted my PhD thesis in Public Health at ScHARR (Faculty Scholarships) and I am awaiting my viva in September. My PhD explored the role of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) in maternal healthcare provision in Nepal from the perspectives of health workers, service users and FCHVs themselves. FCHVs are one of the most utilised, yet underrepresented groups, therefore, my study explored about their services, including the strategies they use to deliver such services, and the factors that promote or hinder their service provision in two geographical regions of the country. I will be presenting these findings at the Fourth Global Symposium on Health System Research in Vancouver, Canada this year from 14-18 November under the theme of Implementing improvement and innovation in health services and systems Symposium’s ‘field-building dimensions.

My presentation title is “Female community health volunteers (FCHVs) providing maternal health services in Nepal: health system support and barriers.” I came to know about the conference from Julie Balen and I am very grateful to my supervisors, Paul Bissell and Mark Strong for their support and encouragement to attend this international conference. The conference will also be an opportunity to engage with colleagues from around the globe who share an interest and a passion for improving health systems of low and middle income countries.

Prior to coming to the UK, I completed a combined Masters in Public Health and Health Management in the University of New South Wales, Australia and I am an alumna of Australian Leadership Awards 2009/2010. I am also a trained nurse (BSc Nursing, Distinction).

I am glad that the University of Sheffield and my department of Public Health has supported me well to acquire and develop a sound theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and experiences to contribute to the populations whose health needs are unmet. I am passionate to work for the health improvement of the most vulnerable groups in real-life settings and now, I feel ready to offer different and rich perspectives in undertaking health care research in low-income countries.


Focus on nutrition in Africa

Each issue we hope to bring you articles of interest from different areas of our business.

Here, Prof Michelle Holdsworth gives us some insights into current work undertaken on nutrition in Africa.

The EVIDENT partnership

Prof Michelle Holdsworth, Dr Robert Akparibo and Dr Andrew Booth are all part of the EVIDENT (Evidence-informed Decision-making in Nutrition and Health) partnership.  EVIDENT is an international hub of North-South partners created to strengthen capacities to address the gap between what research tells us works and local needs in nutrition and health in Africa.  This is achieved by empowering stakeholders in local, national government and others to identify and prioritise their key nutrition concerns and, providing them with a platform where these can be addressed. The network provides reviews of evidence, locally-appropriate guidance, and facilitates the translation of evidence into policy. Pilot projects are now underway in Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa. Unlike other initiatives that aim to help improve the use of evidence in decision making in health broadly, EVIDENT focuses on nutrition. EVIDENT encompasses all issues that are at the forefront of global nutrition and health policy: stunting, underweight, maternal and child health, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and non-communicable diseases. This initiative is important as finite resources for research and ever-increasing research waste highlight an urgent need to prioritise research agendas, especially in resources-limited settings. For us in ScHARR, the EVIDENT partnership allows us to contribute our expertise in public health nutrition with that of different systematic review methodologies.


Robert discussing his ideas on realist evidence synthesis at a project meeting in Ethiopia.

You can find greater detail on the EVIDENT project website at: http://www.evident-network.org/

The programme co-ordinator of EVIDENT (Roos Verstraeten from the Nutrition team in the Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium) will be spending the month of September in ScHARR. Roos is a nutritionist  with a particular interest in review methodologies and diet related NCDs in low and middle income countries. You can contact Roos directly (rverstraeten@itg.be) or via Michelle (michelle.holdsworth@sheffield.ac.uk) if you would like to arrange to meet up with her whilst she is here.


Recent Publications

Barnes A, Brown Garrett W, Harman S. Understanding global health and development partnerships: Perspectives from African and global health system professionals. Journal of Social Science & Medicinedoi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.04.033
S. Moffatt, S. Lawson, R. Patterson, E. Holding, A. Dennison, S. Sowden, J. Brown. A qualitative study of the impact of the UK ‘bedroom tax’. Journal of Public Health
doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv031
Angie Clonan, Katharine E. Roberts, Michelle Holdsworth. Socioeconomic and demographic drivers of red and processed meat consumption: implications for health and environmental sustainability. Cambridge Journals, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
doi:10.1017/S0029665116000100
Whittingham K, Barnes S, Dawson J.  Methodological challenges of a mixed methods study with a complex carer population. Nurse Researcher
doi:10.7748/nr.23.5.31.s7
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