Swansea University has presented an honorary award to Helen Howson, an eminent figure in the world of health and care.

Helen is a public health consultant with a wide range of public health, health policy and strategic planning and delivery experience at local, national, and international levels.

She is the Director of the Bevan Commission, the leading Think Tank for Health and Care in Wales, based at Swansea University’s School of Management, where her role involves providing independent advice to the Minister for Health and Social Care and supporting its translation into practice across Wales. Helen was also instrumental in establishing the Bevan Academy and the Bevan Innovators and in leading the agenda for innovation and transformation. 

Helen has held several senior positions within Welsh Government latterly as Senior Strategy Advisor and Head of Primary and Community Health Strategy. She spent some time on secondment to Public Health Wales as Director of Strategic Programmes and as an Expert Advisor to the Bevan Commission where she was instrumental in leading its work, particularly the Prudent Healthcare agenda. She was also responsible for leading the Ministerial Review of Health Improvement and in Wales, establishing the Early Years Programme and supporting service transformation in Cardiff and the Vale Health Board.

Helen previously held a number of senior posts within the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Health Promotion Authority for Wales and Heartbeat Wales. She has been responsible for developing, managing and evaluating health programmes and contracts at National and International levels including European Public Health Programmes, co-chairing a European Union Advisory Group and managing a Five Countries European Project on Health Inequalities. She has provided national and international expertise to WHO, the EU and other healthcare systems and governments, including the Russian, New Zealand and Spanish Ministries of Health.

Helen co designed and taught on the WHO Public Health master’s programme at Karolinska University, Stockholm for over 10 years and was the Director of a postgraduate Leadership Programme for doctors and dentists at Bristol University.

Through her tireless work and passion, Helen Howson has made an immeasurable difference to the provision of and teaching of health and care, in Wales and abroad, and it is wonderful that she has such a strong connection to Swansea University through her role with the Bevan Commission. 

On receiving her honorary award, Helen said: “I am really delighted and honoured to receive this prestigious award from Swansea University in recognition of my work in health. As Director of the Bevan Commission we greatly value the strong links and support we have with Swansea University and the opportunities this offers in strengthening teaching and research across both policy and practice.”