New Sunderland health chief ready to help lead fight against Covid as she takes on role
A new role has been set up to help Sunderland’s people live better and healthier – with the battle against Covid part of the task ahead.
The city’s first Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning takes has begun in the job this week.
Gerry Taylor joins Sunderland City Council from Luton Council, where she was Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, which also saw her work as director of adult social services and integrated commissioning.
The new post will see her head up a new directorate, bringing together Public Health with the Integrated Commissioning of services across the council and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group for the first time.
The move aim to develop a single plan for prevention and wellbeing for Sunderland and will also see her lead the city's public health response to the Covid pandemic.
Gerry will replace former Director of Public Health Gillian Gibson, who has taken up a post with Public Health England.
Ms Taylor, said: "I am really pleased to be returning to my native North East to work as part of Sunderland’s team to improve health and reduce inequalities, particularly at this vital time for public health in the city."
Council leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: "I'm delighted Gerry has agreed to join us in this key new role which will help drive forward improvements to the health and wellbeing of our 277,000 residents and reduce the health inequalities that continue to beset our communities.
"Good health is essential to Sunderland's transformation into a modern prosperous and globally recognised city where people can live healthier, longer, happy independent lives.”
Cabinet member for healthy city, Councillor Dr Geoffrey Walker, added: "This is an incredibly challenging time for public health in our city and Gerry will be at forefront of our continued efforts to tackle the Covid pandemic working with Public Health England and partners across the city and the region."
David Chandler, Deputy Chief Officer and Chief Finance Officer at NHS Sunderland CCG, added: "We're very pleased to welcome Gerry to her new role in the city. It's more important than ever for our NHS and council to work closely together, and Gerry's newly created role will help us to build healthier communities across Sunderland."