Dr Burns was presented with a specially engraved quaich and a certificate in recognition of his pioneering work linking the effects of the environment to human health in Scotland at the Institute’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Edinburgh recently.
Harry Burns was appointed as Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in 2005 and is the Scottish Government’s principal medical adviser. He has direct involvement in the development of health policy in all its dimensions including health protection and health improvement.In exploring and publicly considering the physiological mechanisms, and particularly the role of stress, underpinning arguably Scotland’s greatest health challenge – the stark differences in health and wellbeing between the better off and the socio-economically disadvantaged, he has inspired many in the wider public health workforce to look afresh at their priorities and approaches. For environmental health professionals this has meant careful reflection on how we might more effectively influence the quality of Scotland’s urban and rural places. In his first annual report as CMO, developed around the theme of children’s health, Dr Burns accorded a prominent role to environment in influencing the health and safety of Scotland’s children.
Ken Macintosh MSP was presented with the REHIS Meritorious Endeavours in Environmental Health Award for 2007 at the same event.
Ken Macintosh has long been an advocate for the introduction of stricter controls on premises where sunbeds are operated for public use. In 2006 he introduced a Private Bill to the Scottish Parliament which aimed to introduce stricter controls. Although the Bill did not receive sufficient support or parliamentary time and was unsuccessful Ken has continued to work towards the introduction of stricter controls which will reduce the incidence of skin cancers in Scotland and the new Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008 which received Royal Assent in July, contains provisions for the regulation of such premises.
The Institute recognises Ken’s contribution to the protection of public health in Scotland with the presentation of this award.