Meet the Team

The AHSN NENC team is made up of an Executive, a Core Team who provide central support, and Programme Managers who lead on our Health Improvement and Patient Safety Programmes.

Find out more about the members of our team below.

Séamus is the Chief Executive Officer of the AHSN NENC. He was previously Senior Manager of the NIHR Clinical Research Network for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear. Formerly a researcher and NHS laboratory scientist in Genetics, he has spent the last 20 years in a variety of managerial roles at the interface between academia and the NHS. The team say – Séamus is above all fair, he runs a tight ship, but we all know what we need to do by when! He is an excellent motivator and gives credit where credit is due…or not, either way it is all done…

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Nicola ensures the smooth running of the AHSN NENC on a day-to-day basis. Since gaining a PhD in Chemistry from Durham University Nicola has worked in a variety of roles supporting business and industry in the North East. She worked as a Programme Manager and then Head of NHS Innovations North before taking up the position as Innovation Director at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria in 2013. The team say – Nicola’s forte is communication, she can read people in an instant and is always thinking 10 steps ahead, she has an acute…

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In 2017 Julia filled the large shoes of Professor Oliver James who previously occupied this position in the AHSN NENC. Julia graduated from Newcastle University Medical School in 1990. Since then she has worked in a range of roles in the North East of England. She became a Consultant Physician with an interest in Geriatric Medicine in 2000 and Professor of Ageing and Medicine at Newcastle University in 2008. She was Dean of Clinical Medicine in the Faculty of Medical Sciences until 2015 and more recently Director of Newcastle Academic Health Partners. She has a PhD in physiological sciences from…

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Stephanie has been part of the Finance team at the AHSN NENC since early 2014. Stephanie began her career as an NHS Regional Finance Trainee in 1992 in the South Thames Region before working as a Management Accountant for East Surrey Health Authority. Stephanie left the NHS in 1998 to gain wider industry experience and worked for UBS, GE and Dyson, she returned to the NHS in 2007 to take up a role first as a Project Accountant then as Directorate Accountant with The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The team say – ‘Yes we need it, yes…

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Since joining the AHSN in 2013 Beth has led on the management of a range of projects and programmes in the Health Improvement workstream. She has worked in the Life Sciences all of her career, working in an Immunology research department followed by 13 years as a marketing and project manager for a software company developing proteomics and metabolomics data analysis solutions. Beth currently oversees the AHSN’s Health Programmes, working closely with the Project Support Officers, Programme Leads and Medical Director to help ensure the successful delivery and roll out of these initiatives. She is also responsible for the AHSN…

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Kirstie has held a variety of marketing and communications roles with a variety of companies and organisations including the NIHR Clinical Research Network, Northern England Clinical Networks and NHS Innovations North. She provides strategic leadership at the AHSN NENC to ensure effective engagement with members and stakeholders and achieve the regional and national communications objectives of the Network.

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Working within the Communications team at AHSN NENC Sarah’s focus is on event management. Sarah manages the whole process from the planning stage, right through to running the actual day itself and ensures our events run smoothly and professionally. Sarah also manages the Bright Ideas in Health Awards, a competition to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams working within the NHS, industry and academia, who believe that the services provided to patients can be improved, either through a technical innovation or through better service delivery. The Awards are now celebrating their fifteenth year and are the largest healthcare event…

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Working within the Communications team at the AHSN NENC Donna’s focus is on branding and content.  As one of 15 AHSNs nationally and a multitude of local member organisations it is essential the core values and brand are communicated consistently and effectively. Donna ensures the outcomes and impact of the projects ran by the AHSN NENC reaches our audience by producing content for our local portal: The Innovation Library as well as the National AHSN Atlas portal. Donna also supports the wider team with events and other comms related activity as required. She joined the AHSN NENC in 2016 after…

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Sarah works with the AHSN NENC Communications team focusing on digital communications. On a day-to-day basis Sarah works on the AHSN NENC website, social media and email marketing as well as digital media campaigns to promote specific programmes and projects. Sarah also works with the wider comms team on events, content and branding as required. Sarah joined the AHSN NENC after working in various B2B digital comms roles spanning the public sector and third sector.

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Having graduated from a BSc in Electronic Media and Communications in 2001, Graham started his career developing brochures, promotional items and e-procurement websites for estate agencies across the country. Following an MA in Media and Public Relations, Graham moved onto a two-year project to communicate the launch of the new Civil Service Pension Scheme on behalf of Cabinet Office. In late 2015 Graham’s career took him into clinical research communications with the NIHR CRN and since May 2018 he has been part of the AHSN NENC Communications team. A real ‘comms all-rounder’, Graham has a love of strategic communications campaigns…

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Michelle began employment for Northumbria Police in 1996 involved in children’s Safeguarding. She then went on to spend over twenty years working in Forensic Science where she was promoted into a specialised role, training for five years to become a qualified, nationally registered Fingerprint Expert who represented Northumbria Police in several high-profile cases. She brings with her to the AHSN NENC an enthusiastic, diligent and honest personality to assist with the project management of the National Health Improvement Programmes.

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