Health Innovation East announces new Chair

Tracy Dowling will bring a wealth of leadership experience from healthcare organisations in our region.

Published: 27th April 2022

Introducing our new Chair

Health Innovation East has today announced that Tracy Dowling has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board.

She brings her extensive experience in healthcare leadership in the region, including sixteen years in roles at boardroom level. She has also been a non-executive director at Health Innovation East for the last two years.

Tracy left her role as Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust last autumn after a 38-year NHS career, in which she started as a radiographer before she moved into management and leadership roles. As well as her qualifications in radiography, she holds an MBA and a management qualification from the Institute for Health Service Management.

Tracy is a strong advocate for research and innovation, having worked closely with Health Innovation East on the informing VALues-based practice in persistent Depression (i-VALiD) project to develop a values-based approach to the depression pathway, combining patient and clinician perspectives with latest evidence.

Speaking about the appointment, Tracy said:

“I feel privileged to take on this new role as Chair at a time when AHSNs have never been in more demand as we reset post pandemic. There is a massive amount of innovation out there, but many innovators really struggle to get their ideas adopted. Historically, the rhetoric had been that it takes a really long time for a good idea to be developed into something rolled out at scale across healthcare; throughout the pandemic we’ve shown that needn’t be the case, embedding new practice and solutions quickly. We need to capitalise on what we’ve learned as a healthcare system about innovation and adoption as we continue to restore and develop services following the pandemic.

“At Health Innovation East, we are in an ideal place to work with our region’s integrated care systems to bring those innovations with the biggest potential to the fore to deliver a positive impact for our patients and workforce. This means maintaining a focus on what those innovations on the horizon might be and using evidence and data, alongside feedback from citizens and patients to ensure we’re getting it right and that we’re continuing to improve how we support our region’s healthcare services and innovation community.”

Health Innovation East would like to thank Elisabeth Buggins CBE for her contribution during her time as our Chair as she steps down from the role after almost seven years.

Hear Tracy’s thoughts on her appointment

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