Angela graduated in medicine from the University of Nottingham in 1995 and worked in a number of hospital posts in England and Northern Ireland before entering public health in 2001. She has a Masters in Public Health from University College, Dublin and worked in a number of Public Health bodies across Northern Ireland between 2001 and 2011 including the previous Eastern and Northern Health and Social Services Boards, the Health Promotion Agency, the Public Health Agency and the Institute of Public Health. Angela has worked across all areas of public health including health protection, service improvement, research and health improvement/promotion but her passion has always been around addressing health inequalities and improving those social determinants which we know can severely impact a person’s health and life experience. Angela left work in 2011 to focus on raising her two young daughters but returned to work to help with the contact tracing process during the pandemic. Whilst raising her daughters she also put her skills to use applying for funds/grants for a local playgroup and primary school.
Personally, Angela was diagnosed in 2004 with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a rare autoimmune blood clotting disorder, first described in 1983. APS has a wide range of symptoms affecting multiple systems. She has experienced first hand the difficulties in getting diagnosis and treatment plans for rarer diseases and in finding information and support. She has also navigated the difficulties in managing a long-term illness along with working and then raising a family. Her experiences have made her a strong advocate for APS and she is keen to see greater awareness of rare diseases and how to diagnose them amongst healthcare professionals and stronger clinical networks across the UK (and indeed wider) for rare diseases.