Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive Officer of the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), has been elected as Chair of the AHSN Network, which brings together the 15 AHSNs that cover England. Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer of Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, will take on the role of Vice Chair. The Chair and Vice Chair have an essential remit, leading and maintaining the collective ambition of the Network’s 15 AHSNs via their Chief Executive Officers.
Gary has been at the helm of the Oxford AHSN since its formation in 2013. He has twice held the post of Vice Chair of the national AHSN Network. He led the successful atrial fibrillation national programme (2018-20) and now leads the new national programmes supporting primary care in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease through interventions to improve lipid management and identifying and treating people with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH).
Gary said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role at an important time for AHSNs and the wider NHS. Through the pandemic AHSNs have demonstrated our value to local health systems and NHS regional teams, providing practical support and leadership through key initiatives including COVID Oximetry @home. We need to continue to build on these strengths in our future national and local work, and – working with our NHS partners, academia and industry – accelerate the uptake of well-evidenced innovations and clinical pathway redesign that improve health and social care outcomes.”
Richard, who will take on the role of Vice Chair also leads on the AHSN Network’s equality and diversity agenda and international workstream. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of Yorkshire and Humber AHSN since 2016. Richard is a member of the NHS Assembly, a board member of Healthcare UK’s Strategic Advisory Board and chairs the steering board for NHS Confederation’s NHS BAME Leaders Network. In 2020 Richard was named as one of the Top50 BAME Health Power List by the Health Service Journal.
Richard said: “I am extremely excited to take on the role as Vice Chair for the AHSN Network. As we emerge from the pandemic it is even more crucial that we continue our journey to transform the way that we deliver healthcare in the NHS, informed by our yearlong work on NHS Reset. In addition to this, we have a responsibility to strengthen the representation of diverse innovation and to strive for equality in healthcare. I’m really proud of everything we’ve done to date on AHSN diversity and will continue to prioritise health inequalities in this new role.”
Piers Ricketts, who has been the Network’s Chair since June 2019 and will continue his current role as Chief Executive Officer of Eastern AHSN, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution.
When reflecting on his tenure as AHSN Network Chair, Piers said: “Looking back over my period of nearly two years as Chair of the AHSN Network, we have some great collective achievements to be proud of. We’ve supported nearly half a million patients through our national programmes and supported over 4,000 companies to position their innovations for the NHS.”
I’ve no doubt that the AHSN Network will continue to do important work for the benefit of patients and the NHS and to support our great health and life sciences industries through the adoption and spread of the innovations they create. It’s my pleasure to hand over my Chair duties to Professor Gary Ford of Oxford AHSN, and to welcome Richard Stubbs from Yorkshire and Humber AHSN as Vice Chair.”