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iHV expresses heartfelt thanks to longstanding Trustees on their retirement and welcomes new Trustees

26th November 2021

iHV expresses heartfelt thanks to longstanding Trustees, Professor Dame Sarah Cowley and Jane Williams on their retirement, and welcomes new Trustees.

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Retiring iHV Trustees – Professor Dame Sarah Cowley and Jane Williams

After 9 years of inspirational leadership, Professor Dame Sarah Cowley DBE and Jane Williams have stepped down as Trustees at the iHV.

Pamela Goldberg, Chair of iHV’s Board of Trustees, paid tribute to their long tenure and said:

“When the Institute of Health Visiting was founded, limited terms for Trustees were established to ensure proper governance. The sting in the tail of this is that two more of our founding trustees retired this year. Professor Dame Sarah Cowley will be well known to anyone in public health. She is not only internationally recognised in her field but has been an inspiration to the profession and indeed to the Institute with her breadth of knowledge and wise counsel at all times. Jane Williams brought her frontline experience to the Institute with her focus on health visiting and early intervention. This has been immensely valuable as the Institute develops. Thank you both for ensuring that we are on a firm foundation.”

Our charity Trustees are central to the success of the iHV, and Sarah and Jane have been part of our journey since the start. They have taken on major responsibilities for no personal gain, provided energetic and inspirational leadership and been staunch advocates for health visitors.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, iHV Founder and former Executive Director, said:

“During my health visiting career, Sarah has always been the ‘wise owl’ of health visiting and it was that wisdom that she brought to the Institute, both as a member of the initial steering group which established the Institute in 2012, and subsequently as one of its first Trustees. As well as offering her skills in research, education, practice and policy, Sarah contributed significantly to policy developments by the Institute from her very in-depth knowledge of the twists and turns of health visiting policy over the past 40 years.

“When Jane joined the Institute board, it was after running one of the most successful health visiting services in England – so she brought the Institute a wealth of rich experience from her long career. Some of Jane’s particular contributions were in helping the board to understand how the Institute’s work could successfully dovetail with the needs of local health visiting managers, as well as with practice. She was also able to contribute to internal developments, such as policies, from her personal experience as a trustee on the board of another children’s charity.

“Both Jane and Sarah proved themselves to be invaluable members of the fledgling Institute board, helping move the organisation forwards from its earliest days to the successful UK-wide organisation that it is today. I am quite sure that both will want to stay close to the Institute and I am sure that will be welcomed by the executive team.”

Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director, said:

“Both Sarah and Jane are the ‘giants’ of health visiting. I feel very privileged to have had Sarah Cowley as my tutor many years ago when I trained to be a health visitor at King’s College London. Sarah has been an inspirational role model to me. Her guiding principles have stood the test of time; to drive change, and improve public health outcomes, we need to “do it with the evidence… and go upstream and create health”. And, I was well aware of Jane’s reputation as one of the most accomplished health visiting leaders long before I was fortunate to meet her in person a few years ago. Her wisdom and drive to keep babies, children and their families’ needs at the heart of health visiting has never faltered. I am particularly indebted to both Sarah and Jane for their enduring patience, kindness and support since I joined the Institute in 2019. ‘Thank you’ does not seem enough – everyone at the Institute will miss both of you as Trustees, but we know that you are not far away as lifelong friends of the iHV, and also staunch supporters of all health visitors.”

At our recent Board meeting, the iHV was delighted to welcome three new Trustees to its board. The Trustees have been appointed at a time when health visiting faces numerous challenges as well as opportunities with a renewed focus on the importance of the First 1001 Days of life and preventative public health across UK governments. They bring a wealth of experience from a number of sectors including research, education, senior operational leadership, inclusion and national policy. We look forward to working with all of them:

  • Sharin Baldwin is an iHV Fellow and works in London as the Nursing and Clinical Academic Lead of Nursing & Midwifery Services.  Members will recognise her from her presentations at iHV conferences particularly on her doctoral work on perinatal mental health and working with new fathers.
  • Theresa Bishop has 20 years’ health visiting experience and was a Professional Adviser for health visiting at the Department of Health during the ‘Call to Action’. Theresa is also an iHV Fellow with extensive experience in health visiting operational leadership, having led one of the Health Visiting Implementation Plan’s Early Implementer Trusts.
  • Alis Rasul is the Divisional Lead for health visiting in Birmingham and a clinical academic, currently undertaking her doctorate. Alis is also a Mary Seacole scholar and brings her experience from her work on tackling inequalities in healthcare for children and families from minoritised groups.