Health mela visionary accepts prestigious new appointment
Professor Romesh Gupta OBE to take up Honorary Professor role at UCLan
In a boost for community health across the region, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has appointed a pioneer of the health mela concept to the position of Honorary Professor.
Professor Romesh Gupta OBE, Chair of the Steering Group of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing (NFHW), has agreed to take up the prestigious role within UCLan’s School of Medicine.
The new appointment is a tangible symbol of the ongoing collaboration between UCLan and the NFHW to promote community involvement in all forms of health improvement. Both organisations look forward to the new opportunities for promoting community health and wellbeing that Professor Gupta's appointment will bring.
Speaking about his new role Professor Gupta said: “I am very pleased to have been given this opportunity to work closer than ever before with colleagues in UCLan’s School of Medicine and the wider University. This provides a whole new spectrum of opportunities to enhance community health and wellbeing across the North West and further afield.
“For example, in addition to the forthcoming annual Health Mela to be held at UCLan on Saturday, 4 April, next year we are already planning a series of health-themed roadshows the first focused on 'diet, nutrition and health’.
“To promote individual and community health effectively, we need to be right in the heart of the community and that's just where we intend to be.”
Professor Cathy Jackson, Executive Dean and Head of UCLan’s School of Medicine, added: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work more closely with the NFHW. Our joint vision is to both continue to grow the contribution from staff and students of this and other schools within the University, in the health mela and other community health-related activities.
"To promote individual and community health effectively, we need to be right in the heart of the community and that's just where we intend to be."
“The NFHW shares the aims of both the School of Medicine and the wider University in helping to support improvements in the health of all within the region and beyond and we look forward to working with Professor Gupta to develop further ways in which we can bring this about.”
Russell Hogarth, Honorary Fellow and Community Engagement Ambassador at UCLan and Community Engagement Officer for NFHW, emphasised the wider significance of the new partnership development: “It's great news for University staff, students and the wider community. We first brought the Preston Health Mela to UCLan back in 2015 and since then it's become an annual event on campus that's gone from strength-to-strength attracting up to 2000 people throughout the day.
“We are already working in partnership with the UCLan Faculty of Health and Wellbeing and colleagues within the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, so having the Medical School on board demonstrates a genuine commitment from the University to supporting the NFHW initiative of taking health matters directly to the public.”