The First President of AphA is appointed

Posted : December 21, 2018 - / /


At the annual conference in Cardiff we held a vote as to whether the Association should appoint a President.  The response was a resounding yes.  We also asked all those who were there about the process for making such an appointment.  It was agreed that the first appointment should be made by the Board of Directors.  With this mandate the Board of Directors drew up a shortlist of potential candidates who we felt shared our values and our vision for the Association, and who were passionate about the contribution that a vibrant and competent analytical workforce can make to patient care.

The stand out candidate for all of us was Professor Martin Pitt at the University of Exeter, so we were delighted when Martin accepted the offer to be the first President of the AphA.  The Board of Directors are looking forward to working with Martin to shape the future of AphA, and his many years of experience and his unique perspective on health care analytics will be a great asset to the Association.

Martin will officially take up his position on January 1, 2019, and I am sure you will join me in welcoming him into the Association as our first President.

Quote from Martin:

I was honoured, and to be honest a little surprised, when Paul Stroner rang and asked whether I would like to be president of AphA. My immediate thought was ‘does this mean I will now have to wear suit and tie to attend Apha events?’ Over several years now I have seen Apha grow and flourish into an energetic and truly essential national network. The 2018 Cardiff conference showed just how clearly Apha is fulfilling its key role in promoting the cause of analysts and data science generally within the NHS. What comes next? I am tempted to say: ‘watch this space – you ain’t seen nothing yet’. Whatever happens however, I am delighted to be part of the continued development of Apha and will do my best to promote its objectives as part of the team.


In 2010 Martin Pitt is was appointed Director of PenCHORD (the Peninsula Collaboration for Health Operational Research and Development) a research team based at Exeter University. In this context, he leads a wide range of applied projects using modelling and analytical techniques to improve the delivery of health and care across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. In addition, PenCHORD has pioneered a range of capacity building initiatives to build skills amongst analytical and service improvement staff within the NHS. At the core of PenCHORD is a highly applied and collaborative approach where research is driven by the specified needs of the healthcare organisations (see

From 2003 to 2010, Martin worked as part of a group which developed cost-effectiveness models for use in health technology assessment for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellent (NICE).

Martin has a long-standing interest in the effective integration and implementation of research in health services and specifically in the use of visualisation techniques to improve the communication of research to key user groups. Recently, for instance, he initiated the MindtheGap project funded by the Health Foundation – Applied Advanced Analytics programme. This is focused on improving communication between decision and policy makers and analysts in the NHS. In 2004 he established the UK Modelling and Simulation in Healthcare Network (MASHnet) a nationwide organisation aiming at building links between health service, research and commercial sectors to improve understanding and effective implementation of these techniques for service delivery. Within MASHnet, Martin now chairs the PLETHORA initiative (PLanning the Effective Transformation of Healthcare using Operational Research and advanced Analytics) a national project to promote more effective use of these tools. He is a long standing member of Apha and strongly supports its aims and objectives.