Blog > COUCH Health expands community engagement with key new hires

COUCH Health expands community engagement with key new hires

Manchester, 9 Jan 2024 – COUCH Health, pioneers in clinical trial diversity are thrilled to announce the expansion of its community engagement initiatives through the addition of three key new hires. 

First up, Dr Kelly Pickard-Smith joined as the Director of Community Engagement in October 2023. Kelly brings a wealth of experience in bringing in, developing and building digital communities for marginalised groups and fostering collaborative relationships between communities. Kelly is a multi-award-winning DE&I specialist with numerous publications to her name. Kelly’s expertise will be instrumental in amplifying COUCH Health’s impact in community engagement initiatives. 

“There is a saying in the disability and chronic ill health community ‘nothing about us without us’” says Kelly. “It is imperative the clinical research and healthcare sector design new treatments and care pathways with the very people and communities they are meant to benefit. Community really will be at the heart of all we do and I am delighted to be here at COUCH leading a team of community experts and working in a company with an ethos committed to community, health equity and access for all.” 

In addition, we are delighted to welcome Dr Amy Bonsall and Mert Kaplanoglu to our team. Amy joins as Community Engagement Manager and is a well-respected multi-award-winning DE&I specialist and has created digital communities for marginalised groups. Amy has engaged with groups in the UK and Globally and has run creative engagement programmes. Mert joins as a Community Engagement Executive and has gained a MSc in the Psychology of Advertising, with his thesis being on representation and tokenism in digital advertising.  

The community engagement team all have distinguished careers in public health and community engagement, and their combined expertise will significantly enhance our capacity to develop innovative and effective health communication strategies. 

Finally, we are excited to announce that Perla Nunes joins COUCH Health as a consultant overseeing US engagement. Perla’s extensive experience in the US healthcare market will be invaluable as we seek to deepen our connections and broaden our impact in communities across the United States. 

“These new additions to our team mark a significant milestone in COUCH Health’s journey,” said Ash Rishi, CEO of COUCH Health. “Each of them brings unique skills and perspectives that will enrich our ability to connect with communities and create meaningful change in making research more inclusive. 

COUCH Health is committed to enhancing health outcomes through effective community engagement. With these strategic hires, the organisation is poised to make an even greater impact, both locally and internationally. 

For more information, explore our website further or get in contact here.

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