NHSA strengthens senior team

Three new appointments have been made in the organisation

10th January 2024

The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) has made some significant changes to its leadership team: Hannah Davies has been appointed as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer; Ruth Boston has been promoted to Head of Communications; and Alexis Darby becomes Head of Public Affairs.

Hannah has taken on the Deputy CEO role effective from 1st Jan 2024 and does this alongside her duties as Executive Director of Health Equity North.

Hannah joined the NHSA in 2016 leading its communications and public affairs work. Since 2018 she has supported the development of the alliance’s health inequalities programme, with outputs including seminal work such as the Health for Wealth, Child of the North and Covid-19 reports.

In her new role Hannah will work with NHSA Chief Executive Dr Séamus O’Neill to support governance, strategy and operational delivery on behalf of the NHSA member organisations.

Hannah said: “The Northern Health Science Alliance is a fantastic organisation which makes a significant impact to the 16 million people living across the North of England and I am honoured to have been appointed to this role.

“Our region is home to amazing life science and research organisations and through building collaborations and developing the opportunities presented by these we can work on building a strong, productive northern economy.”

Senior Communications Manager Ruth Boston and Senior Public Affairs Manager, Alexis Darby, have been appointed Head of Communications and Head of Public Affairs respectively.

Ruth has worked for the NHSA for five years, following a career in journalism and public relations, and Alexis joined the organisation in 2022 after working for MPs and political parties. The are stepping up with a wealth of expertise to build on the successes of the Public Affairs and Policy team, which remains a key component of the NHSA offer to its member organisations as we advocate for health and life sciences in the North.

Ruth said: “I’m delighted to be taking a leading role within the NHSA’s communications team at an exciting time for the organisation. I’m looking forward to building on our strong portfolio of impactful communications campaigns that highlight a wide range of issues affecting the health and economic prosperity of the North.”

Alexis said: “I am excited to step up to the role of Head of Public Affairs at the Northern Health Science Alliance. I’m particularly looking forward to guiding strategic initiatives and championing impactful policies in our life sciences domain and for Health Equity North. Through the NHSA, we have real possibilities to boost the regional economy and address entrenched health inequalities across our region.”

Dr Séamus O’Neill, NHSA Chief Executive, said: “We are always looking to develop and strengthen the NHSA as a team and organisation. In doing so we will offer value to our members in terms of excellence in convening and advocacy. That’s why these well-earned promotions are so key to the NHSA’s future – we have the right expertise available to our members and have an increasingly impressive track record in impactful public relations, communications, and policy-related research.

“We take staff development and succession planning very seriously in the team. That is a strength, and we will continue to prioritise it as a company. I also take immense pride in offering these opportunities to women within our organisation. The NHSA has, for some years now, celebrated and supported women in innovation, and I believe supporting equality and opportunities in the workplace remains crucial to our success.”

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