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Joanna Saunders


About Joanna Saunders

Lead Consultant on Whole Systems Approaches to Tackling Obesity - a programme funded by Public Health England. Along with Carol Weir, Joanna is one of the Lead Consultants on the programme, interfacing with local authorities to lead the Appreciative Inquiry process. She has significant experience in working with senior colleagues in LAs and the NHS to learn what really matters and to co-produce workable solutions.

She has worked in senior Public Health roles in local government and the NHS for over 20 years, and prior to that in varying roles in the NHS. Until recently she was Head of Health Improvement at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, where she was responsible for the commissioning, management and delivery of a range of public health programmes and partnership targets and outcomes including children and young peoples’ health, obesity, nutrition, tobacco control, mental health promotion, workplace health, road safety and Rotherham’s Health Trainer service. In previous roles she has led on tobacco control and area-based working and carried out a range of roles in primary care development, corporate planning, postgraduate medical education and health services research prior to her public health career.

Joanna is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, where she is on the Editorial Board of their publication “Perspectives in Public Health” and has provided advice on recent policy publications.

Outside her day job, Joanna has been on the Boards of a number of voluntary sector organisations in Sheffield and Rotherham and a school governor. She is currently the Chair of HealthWatch Rotherham.

Research Interests

Joanna supports the engagement of 4 Local Government organisations in the Whole Systems programme and leads activities with them to design, develop and refine a routemap for Local Authorities wishing to apply Systems Thinking to complex public health problems.

The research outputs from the programme focus on the use of Systems Thinking and approaches in addressing complex public health problems within the local government context, including a systematic review of the literature and papers describing tools developed as part of the programme.

Selected Publications

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