Press Releases 2014-2015

Professor John Wyn Owen on the future of Health Policy


On Tuesday, March 24th, eminent Health professional, Professor John Wyn Owen, delivered the first in a series of professorial lectures arranged by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, entitled, PEOPLE PLACES & HEALTH: reflections for health policy futures.

The lecture was delivered at the University’s campus in Carmarthen -  a place close to Professor Owen’s heart as it’s the town where he started his illustrious career.

His lecture centred around social cohesion and pride of place - “Cynefin” – which enable distinct communities to unify around ambitious goals to improve health care, wellbeing and economic growth. He also outlined how education and research are the foundations for health and wellbeing as well as for effective healthcare services for people and communities.

Lessons for health policy futures is based on the belief of the value of history for decision makers “as the future has nowhere to come but the past, hence the past has predictive value”  and  draws leading change in two chief officer positions first for the health of the people of Lambeth and second health of the people of Wales.

Securing a better future for the health of people and places - “Change the Welsh Way” - requires sound policy and putting wellbeing at the heart of public policy; using law as an instrument for social change and smart governance.

The lecture ended with some reflections and options for what UWTSD in partnership with others can do for the health of people and places in rural Wales.

Professor Owen’s impressive career has spanned the public, private and charity sectors in the UK as well as internationally including periods working with the NHS, the UK Civil Service and Australian Government Chief Executive Service. 

He currently advises the Welsh Government on matters relating to health protection and chairs the Welsh Government’s Health Protection Committee.

In addition to his Government advisory role, Professor Owen holds a number of different positions, including Treasurer and Council Member with the Learned Society of Wales; Deputy Chair UK Health Forum; RSPH Professorial Fellow and Professor College of Medicine Swansea University; and member of Administrative Council Madariaga Foundation College of Europe.

Over the course of Professor Owen’s illustrious career, he’s held a variety of prestigious roles including Chair of UWIC, Cardiff’s Metropolitan University (2005-2011); Chair Global Health Committee and Wales Board member UK Health Protection Committee (2005-2013); Secretary Nuffield Trust (1997-2005);Director General NSW Health and Chairman Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (1993-1997); Director NSW Cymru Wales and Chair of Secretary of State’s Health Executive Committee  (1984-1993); Executive Director United Medical Enterprises ( 1979-1984) and District Administrator St Thomas’ Health District (1974-1979).

Due to his vast experience and knowledge, Professor Owen has also served on a wide range of high profile committees, including being a member of WHO Technical Committee on Globalisation, Trade and Health; a member of International Board US Academy Health; a member IOM Global Health Committee US National Academies; a member EU Commission Expert Group on Foundations and R&D; Chairman International Committee and Europe in the World, European Foundation Centre Brussels.

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014


Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / / 07449 998476