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SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Yvonne Gibney  

Yvonne Gibney

Lead Nurse

  Travel & Flu

After obtaining her first travel medicine qualification at the London School of Tropical Medicine in 1986, Yvonne backpacked through Sub Saharan Africa, which further inspired her passion for both travel and travel health. She worked in Southern and West Africa for 13 years in roles that included:  refugee health, maternal/child health, primary care and occupational health, for local, US and UK governments, NGO's and corporate industry.

In the UK she has established and been involved with private sector and NHS travel clinics and works as a travel health educator for a variety of organisations.

She is a member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine, RCPS, Glasgow, and is the Regional Advisor, North West region. She has also been a lecturer, marker and student personal advisor on the Faculty’s Diploma and Foundation Travel Medicine courses and was a regular contributor to the Faculty's travel and news journal Emporiatrics. She is an administrator of the Travel Health Professionals Facebook Group.

Yvonne also works part time as Nurse Clinician in primary care and was shortlisted for the RCN Nurse Leader of the Year 2019 for her Changing the Culture of Vaccination in General Practice project. She presented the Project at the National Immunisation Network conference in April 2020.

She continues to travel at every opportunity and has recently followed the Silk Road through Iran and been trekking in Patagonia. 

Professor John Watkins  

Professor John Watkins

  Flu

John is a Consultant Epidemiologist with Public Health Wales and Cardiff University where he is involved in research and teaching, particularly in the areas of Epidemiology and infectious diseases such as Influenza and most recently COVID-19. He was the lead for teaching of Epidemiology and Public Health on the Medical Undergraduate Programme at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine for over 10 years. His main areas of research interest include health care quality and the complexity of healthcare delivery, infectious respiratory disease – especially influenza and its prevention. He is a specialist adviser to the Welsh Government, on Influenza and pandemic planning, where he has chaired its Influenza Advisory Group. In addition, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Professor Watkins has been part of the TAG Joint Policy group to the Welsh Government and a member of the UK Cabinet Office’s International Comparisons group. John was a member of the working group set up by the UK Department of Health to update the UK Influenza Pandemic plan. In 2009 he was one of 200 scientists from around the world who took part in the WHO’s workshop in developing the Global Research Agenda for Influenza.

John was a member of NICE’s Technology Appraisal Committee A from 2009 to 2019 and Committee D since 2020, he is the immediate past chair of AWMSG on which he has been a member for 10 years. In addition he is a member of the Welsh Government’s Cancer Implementation Group.

In 1986 John helped set up the GP sentinel practice network for influenza and a number of other conditions and has, ever since, been proactive in expanding and improving Influenza and respiratory disease surveillance in Wales.

His research has included studies on the impact of infectious respiratory disease, vaccine effectiveness and usage and the historical impact of pandemic disease.

Jenny Costello  

Jenny Costello (RN DIP HE) - General Practice Nurse Manager

  Flu

Jenny is a General Practice Nurse Manager with a passion for promoting awareness and uptake of vaccines in all fields, particularly the National Immunisation Campaigns. She is the Nurse Lead for the Annual Flu Campaign and in the 20/21 season co-ordinated the delivery and administration of over 9,000 vaccines.

After qualifying in 1995, Jenny worked in General Surgery in the hospital setting for 10 years. During this time, she consolidated her training and began her personal development. As a staff nurse, she worked on a 21-bed ward and progressed to become the Ward Sister of a 48-bed Vascular ward.

Since 2005, Jenny has worked in General Practice, progressing to Senior Practice Nurse in 2010 and then Nurse Manager in 2016. As a Nurse Manager, she is responsible for overseeing the safe and efficient provision of nursing services and the management of over twenty nursing staff at a practice serving almost 32,000 patients.

Clinically, Jenny is involved in the delivery of long-term care management reviews and General Practice Nurse duties. She has a keen interest in Respiratory and Diabetes management and has significant experience in insulin initiation and management, in addition to her experience and interest in immunisation.

Simon Cravell  

Dr Simon Carvell (MBChB, FRCGP) - General Practitioner

  Flu

Simon is a GP and Fellow of the Royal College of GPs. He has a particular interest in education and immunisation.

Qualifying from the University of Birmingham in 1994, Simon went on to train as a GP in hospitals in the West Midlands and Worcestershire – completing his GP training in 1999 and his MRCGP in 2000. In 2019, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of GPs. Simon now works in a large practice in Stourbridge, serving a population of 32,000 patients. He is the Lead Partner in Vaccination and Immunisation and Co-Lead Partner in his multidisciplinary team.

Furthering his interest in education, Simon is a Lead Postgraduate Trainer and an Undergraduate Tutor. He has been a member of the Emma’s Diary Editorial Board since 2005, supporting paper and online editorials for pregnant women. In addition to this, he has written articles for Management in Practice and the Doctors Column in the Shropshire Review. He has also provided consultancy support for Lifecycle Marketing and supported the development of online educational modules.

Simon is passionate about education, Primary Care, and supporting successful flu and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

Jo Lowry 

Joanna Lowry RN DTN BSc Hons MFTM RCPS (Glas)

  Travel

Joanna is a Specialist Nurse in Travel Health, with a Diploma in Tropical Nursing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Certificate of Travel Medicine (LSHTM). Joanna is honoured to be a Member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine from where she was also awarded a Diploma in Travel Medicine.

Originally working in Emergency Medicine, Joanna went on to specialise in Travel Health, and has worked in Harley Street as a Travel Health Nurse, and as a Specialist Nurse for The Travel Doctor New Zealand. In 2005 Joanna set up Winchester Travel Health and managed the company until 2016.

Alongside these roles, Joanna has worked for the NHS as a Sexual Health Nurse for 16 years which is the subject of her first-class degree. Joanna has experience of working as Lead Immunisation Nurse for an independent boarding school and is aware of the specific challenges this role demands and of course the importance of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.

Joanna’s passion is training, and she has a dynamic, engaging and interactive style. She was an Associate Trainer for NATHNAC (Public Health England,) providing Yellow Fever Immunisation Update Training nationally, and has delivered training across the country for multinational pharmaceutical companies, Health Education England and Local Medical Committees. All the training she provides follows the national competencies and the latest evidence-based guidance.

Joanna particularly enjoys teaching small groups of Nurses who are new to travel health and wondering what this unusual area of nursing is all about, and where to start!

Pauline MacDonald  

Pauline MacDonald

Independent Consultant Nurse

  Flu

Pauline is an Independent Consultant Nurse specialising in Immunisation and Infection Prevention, a field she has worked in for over 20 years.

She has had her own business, Infection Matters Limited, since 2008.

Pauline provides education, training and support to numerous public sector, private healthcare and pharmaceutical industry clients on infection prevention and immunisation issues.

She served in the Army for 25 years finishing as deputy to the Consultant in Communicable Disease in the Surgeon General’s Office at the Ministry of Defence.

She then worked in a NHS Primary Care Trust for 10 years followed by 18 months in Public Health in a Local Authority.

In 2014 she was employed by Public Health England (seconded to NHS England) as Programme Director for the national influenza, pneumococcal and shingles immunisation programmes. Pauline left this post at the end of March 2017.

For seven years Pauline was Nurse Member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent advisory committee that advises Ministers on matters relating to the provision of vaccination and immunisation services.

Pauline has experience of immunisation strategy, policy, implementation and delivery from national JCVI level down to local immunisation delivery in primary care, domiciliary and community based settings.

 

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Date of preparation: April 2021 | MAT-UK-2000222(v6.0)