We’re very excited to announce that Meningitis Research Foundation’s (MRF) Chief Executive, Vinny Smith, has been nominated and is a finalist for the ‘Influencer Award’ in the Directory of Social Change Awards.
To vote, simply click here, select Vinny Smith from the list and then submit.
Vinny was nominated for the award because in 3 years since joining MRF, he has helped transform the charity whilst making sure we keep focusing on support for people and families.
When Vinny joined MRF, large scale vaccine programmes around the world had meant that meningitis was often thought of as ‘job done’. Cases and deaths were falling and policy and funding priorities were turning elsewhere.
He helped remind people that meningitis is still a leading cause of infant death in the UK, and highlighted for the first time that, despite much success, meningitis and neonatal sepsis are still the second biggest infectious killers of under-fives globally.
Vinny is a passionate advocate for the importance of the patient voice in all aspects of meningitis policy and the need to keep supporting those experiencing this dreadful disease. His efforts in the UK and globally have seen him present in the UK, US and Africa and he has joined the Steering Committee of the Global Meningococcal Initiative – an international group of expert scientists, doctors and public health officials.
His determination to see meningitis prioritised globally gained real traction when he devised the concept for, and led the organisation of a meeting, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), with 50 experts including health officials, pharmaceutical companies, scientists and civil society from around the world, held at Wilton Park in May 2017.
The meeting held at Wilton Park and subsequent report helped WHO to commit to developing a new World Health Organization global task force to defeat meningitis by 2030.
Vinny is leading MRF closer towards its vision of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia.