Professor Edward Kunonga
Director of Transformation and Population Health Management
Edward joined the NECS team as Director of Transformation and Population Health Management in 2023. He also fulfils the role of Director of Population Health Management at NHS North East and North Cumbria ICB.
Edward has worked across the North East health and care system for a number of years and is passionate about population health and tackling health inequalities. Before joining NECS, Edward was working as a Public Health Consultant across County Durham and Darlington NHS Acute Foundation Trust and Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust where he worked across the Durham and Darlington patch and across the region on prevention, population health and tackling inequalities programmes.
Edward is a public health consultant and completed his higher specialist training in public health with the Northern Deanery Postgraduate Public Health Training Programme between 2006 and 2010. He worked for nine years as a Director of Public Health and Public Protection across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, holding a diverse portfolio of public health, public protection and leisure services and overseeing the establishment of joint public health service across the two councils and the creation of a joint Health and Wellbeing board.
Originally training as a physiotherapist, Edward worked in a large hospital in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, before relocating to the UK in 2001 to work at Middlesbrough General Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, on the UKPHR Public Health Register and holds epidemiology and business administration qualifications.
He is also an Honorary Professor at Teesside University where he is involved in teaching and research.
Edward said: “I went into healthcare with a desire to make a difference. During my time as a frontline clinician, I enjoyed making a difference to patient’s lives and outcomes, but could only do this one patient at a time. Working in population health, there are plenty of opportunities to have a positive impact on many people.
“Achieving improvements in population health outcomes requires leadership and collaborative working. There is not one person, team or organisation who has all the solutions for addressing the population health challenges. Our work depends on the strength and effectiveness of our partnerships and we work across systems to ensure a focus on prevention, tackling health inequalities, equitable, value-based and sustainable healthcare. It is an exciting time to work in population health management.”