Child Public Health leadership recognised

November 14 / 148

Professor Elizabeth Waters
Professor Elizabeth Waters

Professor Elizabeth Waters has received the Anne Anderson Award at the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad, India.

The award recognises the contributions of women who have promoted female leadership and contribution within the Cochrane Collaboration, an organisation that promotes evidence-informed health decision-making through its global network of more than 31,000 members.

It is named after reproductive physiologist Anne Anderson, a pioneer in the development of evidence-based health care as a school of thought and practice, and whose work inspired the creation of the Cochrane Collaboration.

Professor Waters is Director of the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program in the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne. 

She said she felt quite emotional when she won, as she had a personal connection with the woman who inspired the award.

“Anne Anderson wrote books with an amazing woman, Anne McPherson, who was a friend and my GP when I had my first child as a PhD student at Oxford University, and whose philosophical approach to engaging patients and adolescents in decisions about their health is so similar to mine,” she said.

“It is the approach we have taken to establishing the Public Health Group within the Cochrane Collaboration as well – engaging stakeholders in shaping and owning the direction and contribution it can make.”

In her work with the Cochrane Collaboration, Professor Waters has acted as an advocate for development of health knowledge in the Child Health Field and Public Health Group, representing the organisation at the WHO-Cochrane Partnership Group. 

Professor Waters was also the lead author on one of the Collaboration’s most widely cited reviews into the prevention of childhood obesity.

As part of the award, Professor Waters was given US$3000 to pledge at her discretion to support female health professionals working in low-resource regions. Her chosen beneficiaries are Subhadra Menon from Public Health Foundation of India and Melissa Lewis of Public Health Evidence South Asia at Manipal University.

“They are both amazing women involved in areas which are essential to improvements in the quality and impact of evidence in public health,” Professor Waters said.

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