On the 16th July 2018, WEPHREN marked its 1 year anniversary as a community of practice on The Global Health Network by hosting the Inaugural Alex Gatherer Memorial Lecture in London by Professor Brie Williams from the University of California, San Francisco.
Professor Sir Muir Gray introduced the lecture, highlighting the work of Alex Gatherer and his pioneering efforts regarding prison health as part of public health and his mantra to ‘just make it happen’ and we were honoured to have members of Dr Gatherer’s family members in the audience to also hear Dr Plugge and I outlining the achievements and future plans for WEPHREN.
Professor Williams presented on the importance of humanity in prison health and the need to put health first in the consideration of prison reforms. Her presentation gave example of the impact of this approach.
The event was attended by 50 delegates from international organisations such as WHO, Penal Reform International, ECDC and members of the WEPHREN Steering Committee as well as UK bodies such as NHS England and Her Majesty's Prisons and Probation Services. Third sector and academic institutions were also well represented, as were prison health practitioners.
One of the delegates commented, "It was a great event - really inspiring - made me realise why I'm in this area of work".
It was a proud moment for WHO, represented by Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe and PHE, represented by Dr Eamonn O'Moore, and with the network's support WEPHREN will go from strength to strength.