6- Meet our new team members!

UK-Med / 6- Meet our new team members!

The UK-Med team has grown significantly over the past year and we are so lucky to have so many new faces join us. All our staff bring with them a wealth of experience, new skills and the hard-working ethos needed to carry out our vital humanitarian health work.

Meet all the new staff below:

Sarah Collis

Health Programme Manager (Outbreak)

Sarah joined the team in August 2019. She holds an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has over seven years’ combined experience in clinical nursing, primary health provision and emergency co-ordination; public health in emergencies, outbreak response; infection prevention control, field epidemiology and public health for vulnerable populations. Sarah has worked in several humanitarian contexts and outbreak responses all over the world for multiple infectious diseases including: Ebola, Leishmaniasis, Cholera, Malaria and Measles. Sarah has become a vital pillar of the programmes team and since joining us has deployed to Sierra Leone, Samoa, Rwanda and is currently in Bangladesh responding to the COVID-19 outbreak in Rohingya refugee camps.

Claire Simpson

Humanitarian Pharmacist

Claire joined the team in September 2019. She is a clinical pharmacist with over 15 years of experience in hospital and community pharmacy in the UK and four years working in the humanitarian sector across the globe. Since joining Claire has been working with the logistics team preparing the warehouse to receive UK EMT pharmaceutical stock. This has included revising numerous SOPs, temperature monitoring and mapping, installation of air-conditioning and set up of two large refrigerated containers. In addition to this Claire has been working with the Health Team on SOPs for the UK EMT, formularies for UK EMT, type 1 and Outbreak cells and staff health medical kits for deployments. She has also been offering constant and highly valued support to the HR and programs team in recruitment of clinicians onto our Humanitarian Health register.

Lina Echeverri

Health Director

A Medical Doctor by profession, Lina joined the team in December 2019. She brings with her 16 years of international experience working in clinical, disaster and public health settings. She also has extensive experience in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies, Protracted Crisis, and Outbreaks. She has worked with many familiar names in the sector including Medecins Sans Frontieres, ICRC, Save the Children and the WHO. Lina has a strong research background in Disaster Medicine and is a faculty member currently working towards a PhD with the internationally renowned Italian research centre in Emergency and Disaster Medicine CRIMEDIM. In a short space of time, Lina has become an invaluable member of the senior management team. Through her vast network in the humanitarian sector and expertise, Lina has helped to drive forward the global reach of UK-Med at a pace we have never seen.

Mel Johnson

Humanitarian Health Advisor

Mel joined UK-Med in January 2020 and is a vital addition to the health team. A nurse and humanitarian health professional with a background of five years in the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps and NHS, her areas of experience include pre-hospital and emergency care, secondary care including medical, surgical and isolation settings, clinical training, management and leadership. Mel is a incredibly valuable member of our team and since has deployed to Greece for an assessment of Moria refugee camp. She is currently in Bangladesh working as the focal point for a isolation and treatment centre (ITC) serving the Rohingya refugee population in Cox's Bazar.

Alex Hunter

WASH Manager

Alex joined the team in January 2020 as our first ever Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Manager. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge having worked over the years in WASH roles with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Since joining, Alex has been working to develop UK-Med's WASH capacity and capability for our Type 1 and Type 2 responses as well as outbreak specific responses. He has recently returned from Bangladesh where he used his WASH expertise to support the COVID-19 support work in Cox's Bazar. The main tasks included ensuring the ITC were adequately mapped with the location WASH essentials such as buckets, waste bins, chlorine stations and hand washing points.

David Anderson

Health Advisor

David is an emergency medicine nurse by profession and formally joined the team as staff member in February 2020. David been a huge supporter of the organisation since October 2017 when he deployed to Yangon General Hospital in Myanmar mass casualty simulation-based training. He was most recently seconded to the NHS Nightingale North West for three months as the Director of Quality and IPC, bringing his experience of responding to a multitude of outbreaks from Ebola in West Africa to the recent measles outbreak in Samoa. David offers continued and highly valued support, ideas and expertise to every single team in the organisation.

Tom Los

Warehouse Assistant

Tom is a graduate in consumer marketing and product development and joined the team in February 2020. An organised and hardworking individual, he has been a fantastic and much needed addition to the team. Based in our warehouse, Tom has been working alongside our Logistics Officer to ensure the smooth running of the warehouse which houses our kit and equipment for our international deployments and UK-based training. Most recently Tom as been working alongside our Humanitarian Pharmacist and Procurement to ensure the warehouse is ready to safely store and handle drugs now we have been granted newly a Wholesale Distribution Authorisation (WDA) licence.

Michelle Hanegaard

Training & Capacity Building Manager

Michelle joined the team in March this year manages UK-Med’s training portfolio, designing and delivering training to ensure that healthcare professionals are able to respond effectively to humanitarian emergencies. She brings a wealth of experience in leading and implementing learning programmes and has a background in international development. Since joining Michelle has been working hard to develop our training programs for members particularly focusing on how the current lock-down maybe affect them. She has developed and ran several well received just-in-time seminars and after months of hard work, launched our online training induction program for new members last week.

Ian Wait

Head Of Finance

Ian joined UK-Med as Head of Finance in March 2020. He has over 20 years' experience of strategic financial management in central and local government roles, and has also acted as a Trustee for several north-west charities. Since joining us Ian has been working hard across the organisation and with different teams to streamline and develop our finance systems. He has also been working tirelessly alongside our Head of Operations to ensure our grant for renewal with DFID is in order, and is leading the way handling all aspects of budgeting and financial management of UK-Med.

Tess Williams

Head Of Operations

Tess joined UK-Med in March 2020 and brings over 20 years’ experience working in programme management the humanitarian sector. Tess has worked for a number of NGOs in the field and in the UK including Oxfam, Merlin and Care International in first phase and ongoing responses. Tess has also worked as a Risk Management and Security Consultant facilitating HEAT courses and running safeguarding workshops. As our first ever formal Operations staff, since joining Tess has been working tirelessly to develop our operations systems and has very quickly become an invaluable member of the team. She has been working around the clock to oversee the development and running of our COVID-19 related deployments as well as recruitment to wider registers. She has been offering vital and continued support to the programmes and HR team.

Gabbi Grey

Supply Chain Lead

Gabbi joined UK-Med as Procurement and Supply Chain Lead in April 2020. She is an experienced humanitarian supply chain professional who has worked in a diverse range of contexts including South Sudan, Nigeria and the MENA region. Gabbi has managed medical supply chain at both programme and country level. Since joining, Gabbi has been working extremely hard to analyse, develop and streamline our current procurement systems. She has been procuring items and choosing suppliers for our Outbreak Response kit bags and researching individual country restrictions and requirements around bringing goods/equipment into countries. Most recently she has been working alongside our Humanitarian Pharmacist following our newly granted licence to procure, store and export our own drugs for international deployments.

Alison Mee

Communications and Media Manager

Ali is the newest addition to our team, joining us in April, and brings a wealth of experience from 20 years in broadcast media production and communications. Ali has worked in regional radio news and on the production of 11 TV documentary series for ITV1, BBC2 and Channel 4. She has two years of experience with NGOs - the Asia Foundation, UNICEF in Cambodia; and eight years in the commercial publishing and events sector project managing digital marketing campaigns and producing films for clients including Dulux and Marks and Spencer. Ali also speaks Spanish and can shoot and edit her own films. Since joining Ali has been working extremely hard on sourcing and developing video and design-led social media content from the field. She has been producing web content for our international COVID-19 responses and engaging our UK-Med members in a communications focus group.

A huge thank-you to all our new staff for their continued hard work- Welcome to the team!