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Meet our Director of Commerce, Innovation & Capability Development

Shirlene_OhAs part of our day in a life series exploring the different team roles here at ICHP, Director of Commerce, Innovation & Capability Development, Dr Shirlene Oh, shares her day as part of ICHP with us.

I first open my eyes…

Usually at 6am when the whole household springs to action: my partner takes Puddington (dog) for a walk whilst Jonathan (12) makes his breakfast and I get ready for work. It takes me about an hour and three quarters get to work by train and tube so I often listen to podcasts (Great Lives, Desert Island Disc, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, TedTalks, etc.) to inspire me for the day, and respond to emails having been inspired!

I’m responsible for…

….three key areas of work in ICHP:

  • In my Commercial Director role for the AHSN, I support health providers to adopt innovation to solve problems and I support companies in their development and commercialisation journey to be adoption ready. Our new licence includes our commitment to be an Innovation Exchange to deliver impact both regionally with our STP and nationally on national programs. We work with healthcare providers and professionals to understand needs, scout for potential evidence-based solutions and support adoption of innovative solutions and change management. With funding from both NHS England and the Office for Life Sciences, we are planning to enhance our offering to innovators by improving our Pipeline Tool, guidance, signposting and support for grant applications as well as developing networks of investors for long-term investments. There is interest to collaborate across AHSNs on key areas of national impact e.g. smoking cessation.
  • The Integrated Care team provides population health management support to health systems through capability programmes, learning lab and bespoke consultancy in areas both in NWL (Harrow) and outside of NWL (Hampshire). We were successful in our application to be on the Health Systems Services Framework with our Offer that was launched by NHS England in 2018. I am passionate about population health as it provides a means of creating health whilst enabling efficient delivery of services across the wider determinants of health.
  • The Discover programme was launched in 2018 and focuses on engaging and recruiting patients as well as working with organisations interested in research, particularly in real-world evidence, as we are in a unique position to be able to do so.

My approach is to enable people to do their best work, hence my setting up capability programmes that give people the coaching and mentoring support, tools and methodology and most importantly space to step out of their day jobs to be able to make improvements and changes that they have always wanted to.

 My path took me…

I studied Chemistry and after my PhD I thought I wanted to be an academic. Thankfully my supervisor advised me to ‘go out to the real world for a couple of years’ before deciding. I never went back.  I enjoyed working in teams to realise impact. I joined Glaxo, which at the time was known as a ‘university quoted on the stock exchange’. After numerous stimulating and challenging roles,  I became very interested in systems in the ‘90s with Peter Senge and Arie de Geus’ work and decided to look into health systems. I joined ICHP when I saw a job advertised having already met our current and previous MD. I am still passionate about working across sectors in systems and have embarked on my Masters in Population Health Management at Johns Hopkins University.

 My daily calendars reminders look like…

Back-to-back meetings that range from presenting at a conference, meeting with clinicians and managers to co-design workshops e.g. CVD, holding an Innovation Surgery with an innovator, chairing the Commercial Directors, meeting with associations e.g. ABPI, meeting with academics to explore areas of synergy, etc.

The day ends with thoroughly enjoyable evenings: cooking new recipes with my family, reading (currently Murakami) or listening to music or watching TV (comedy, documentaries, detective series).

 My most memorable work moment…

It is fantastic to have supported teams in their innovation journey, who have successfully gone on to transform their work for the benefit of patients e.g. Cystic Fibrosis team at RBHT, Virtual Fracture Clinic at East Sussex Healthcare Trust. It is rewarding to continue to contribute to the stroke reduction in atrial fibrillation programme, having been at the start of the national collaboration. Also setting up our integrated care team and their success on the Health Systems Services Framework meaning we can further support system wide changes and transformations. Not forgetting the day the Discover programme was launched – 5 years since its conception at ICHP.

My biggest groan about my job is…

It can be really frustrating when I see plans not come to fruition and front-line staff not being able to have the time, space, cover, tools and support to bring about much needed change. In particular, complex adaptive change as faced by healthcare today, requires willingness to work across boundaries, embracing both short and long term goals, and approaches and behaviours that are different from programmatic approaches.

 My best part of my job…

It has to be working with those who want to make a difference to the lives of patients, families and those who provide care and services to them; working towards health creation whilst understanding the need to treat and support illness.

I have met such inspiring network leaders and it is a privilege to work with them as they focus on creating authentic relationships, build deep trust, lead networks beyond their organisations and put the mission before their own brand.