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New joint role appointed between the East Midlands AHSN and NIHR ARC East Midlands

Professor Marion Walker MBE has been recently appointed to a new leadership role as Collaborations Lead for the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and NIHR ARC East Midlands. This vital role provides a pivotal link to enable both organisations to work collaboratively to bring research and innovation deployment to the forefront, supporting innovation from bench to bedside.

Professor Walker has supported work undertaken by the NIHR ARC East Midlands since its creation 13 years ago.  She has spent most of her career researching and leading stroke rehabilitation, becoming recognised as a world-leading authority in this area.  

This new role aims to strengthen the relationship by putting into practice research and innovation combining expertise on key priorities for the health and care system. The partnership means greater emphasis can be brought to undertaking research to then identify innovations that address the needs of specific populations.

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) are supporting a national NHS England and Improvement approach to support the reduction of health inequalities both locally and nationally by targeting populations who face unfair and poor health outcomes (Core20Plus5). The new formal relationship will mean both the NIHR ARC East Midlands and East Midlands AHSN greater capacity to identify opportunities and innovations that help to address health inequalities.

The new partnership also supports the national AHSN Pipeline of Innovation, comprising over 1,000 initiatives at all stages from discovery through to deployment to embedding innovation and then sustaining it so it becomes ‘business as usual.’ The new joint role will enable research outputs to be harnessed, strengthening the innovation pipeline both locally and nationally.

Nicole McGlennon, Managing Director, East Midlands AHSN said: “We’re very pleased to formally welcome Professor Marion Walker into this Collaborations Lead role. Marion has a wealth of experience and expertise which embodies leadership and championing research and innovation.

Marion will join us one day a week, leading our collaboration between the East Midlands AHSN and NIHR ARC East Midlands. This formal role will mean we can strengthen collaboration between the two organisations to have a greater impact for the benefit of patients.”

Professor Marion Walker MBE, Emeritus Professor Stroke Rehabilitation and NIHR Emeritus Senior Investigator said: “It is a privilege to be a key connector between both ambitious and impactful organisations. I look forward to working with all colleagues to ensure research evidence and innovation make a difference to patients and all communities”

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, at the University of Leicester and Chief Executive Officer, of NIHR ARC East Midlands, added: “Marion will be invaluable for this vital role which will further enhance the relationships, and encourage more collaboration, between our two great organisations. Marion has been an integral part of NIHR ARC East Midlands and the relevant experience, knowledge and contacts to be a huge success. We welcome this appointment, it is good news for the East Midlands.”

Published on: 15 Nov 2022