Alumni Profile: Vicky Hobart

Vicky Hobart speaking at ISUH Valencia 2022

Current job title and organisation

GLA Group Director of Public Health & Deputy Statutory Health Adviser

Greater London Authority and Office of Health Improvement and Disparities

Can you please tell us a bit about your current work/research?

The GLA Group Public Health Unit was established in April 2022 to maximise deployment of public health expertise and support London’s recovery from the COVID pandemic. The Unit supports the Mayor’s vision for health and provides public health advice to the Mayor, London Assembly and GLA Group including Transport for London, Mayors Office for Police and Crime, London Violence Reduction Unit, London Fire Commissioner, and Old Oak Development Corporation. We work to embed health in all policies with a focus on ensuring prevention and resilience, health and wellbeing, and health inequalities are part of every GLA Group organisation and directorate’s strategy and planning. This is achieved through a detailed understanding of health and public health, effective relationships within and without the GLA Group and the ability to influence at the highest levels.

I joined the GLA in February 2018, initially leading the Health Team with a focus on health in all policies, delivering the Mayor’s health programmes for London, and developing the GLA role in championing and challenging the health and care system. The first year focused on the Mayor’s new Health Inequalities Strategy for London, which was launched in September 2018, and in April 2022 I was appointed as the GLA Group’s first Director of Public Health. 

This follows three years as Director of Public Health, Adult Care and Wellbeing for the London Borough of Redbridge, leading establishment of an integrated public health and adult social care team focused on strategy, policy and commissioning.  My earlier career includes eight years working in a health system overseas, and various teaching and research roles.

I chaired the London Association of Directors of Public Health from 2015-2018 and support public health training as both an educational supervisor and examiner.

What course and year did you study at LSHTM?

MSc Health Promotion Sciences, School of Public Health, 1996-97

Why did you choose to study with LSHTM?

I grew up in London and was working in Seychelles at the time. I wanted to study public health in an institution with a global perspective and with international students.

Did you have to overcome any challenges to study with us?

The cost was challenging, even then, and I had to balance part time work and studies.

What were your favourite memories from your studies with us?

That feeling of being surrounded by so many bright, committed and interesting people doing really important work.

How has your LSHTM degree helped you in your career? The course gave me a fantastic technical foundation and broad knowledge and understanding.

What would you like to achieve in future?

The new GLA Group public health unit is a really exciting development. We are already working with other City regions in the UK, and slowly developing relationships with other global cities to help us navigate the challenges that lie ahead – aging populations, widening inequalities, and climate change.

If you are reading this and want to collaborate, get in touch!

Do you have any advice for students/recent graduates?

Stick with it. Be inquisitive, get a breadth of experience and reflect on what you are observing and learning as you go along.

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