Dr Stefanie Gissing is the Cancer Alliance Healthy Communities Project Manager.

Throughout her career in clinical medicine she has always had a passion for the wider aspects of health and healthcare, particularly the prevention of non-communicable diseases. stef gissing IWD.jpg

During medical school she completed the Masters in Public Health, with a published dissertation looking at drivers of dietary behaviour in African women living in urban areas. She was also on the national committee of the charity Students for Global Health with numerous roles including event co-ordination, network capacity building and training, and leading delegations and presenting at international conferences.

She also undertook an internship at the WHO headquarters looking at home-based management of childhood obesity. This internship, alongside her Foundation Programme rotation with Public Health England, really cemented her desire to work in the field of helping to prevent people from becoming unwell. After her Foundation Training she joined an international research team in Leeds looking at health planning in urban contexts in LMICs, and completed the Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene at the London School of Tropical Medicine.

Although she enjoys seeing patients and helping people more directly, Stef decided to make the jump into public health at the beginning of last year by joining the Cancer Alliance.

She has brought her clinical experience, research skills, and enthusiastic passion for prevention to her role to reduce inequalities in screening uptake, as well as prevention indicators such as smoking cessation and healthy weight.

She hopes to improve the uptake of cancer screening across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, leading to more cancers being diagnosed early and therefore more people living longer with and beyond cancer.

Her main projects include CancerSMART with Tracy Holmes and Yorkshire Cancer Community: a growing network of community members who are empowered to spread positive health messages with their peers related to prevention and early diagnosis of cancer.

Upcoming work includes a screening uptake media campaign targeted at populations which tend to have lower uptake, namely people over 60 years old, and some South Asian groups. She is also working with primary care to look at using behavioural science to improve screening uptake, and working with the Health and Care Partnership Prevention Network to drive forward towards Smokefree 2030. She occasionally returns to A&E to keep her clinical skills up-to-date and more recently has volunteered as a vaccinator for the COVID-19 programme.

In her free time, Steph enjoys exploring the Peak District near her home in Sheffield, reading lots of books, and buying ever more plants to cram into her flat.