Meghna Manoharan: KHPeople

Find out how Meghna is helping to implement Vital 5 activities in south east London to tackle health inequalities in local communities.

What is your role? 

Meghna ManoharanAs a Programme Manager in the South East London Population Health & Equity Programme, I lead, coordinate and support Vital 5 activities across the health and care sector. Residents in south east London are becoming unwell at a younger age and dying earlier from preventable and treatable illness, because health and lifestyle risk factors are not being equitably treated and managed. There is also disparity in health care access, experience, and outcomes between our diverse communities in SEL.   

The Vital 5 (alcohol, tobacco, hypertension, mental health, healthy weight) are key drivers for health inequity, alongside wider determinants of health (e.g. power and discrimination, housing, education and skills, employment, and income/debt) and psycho-social factors (e.g. isolation, social support, social networks, self-esteem/confidence). 

My primary focus on the Vital 5 Programme involves developing and implementing strategic plans to improve population health outcomes, with a particular emphasis on reducing health inequities in the Core20Plus5 population.  

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I enjoy the variety in my role - it spans across stakeholder engagement and collaboration, project management, strategy and operational planning, financial planning and much more. Every day is different, faced with new wins and challenges - all underpinned by the support of a great team and the good will of the stakeholders I work with. Most importantly, it is a great opportunity to bring lasting impact, at a system level, on the health and wellbeing for those of greatest need.  

What inspired you to get into this work? 

In my previous role as a hospital pharmacist, I had firsthand experience of caring for patients that encountered system-level healthcare disparities and several preventable diseases. This sparked my interest in improving the health and care offer for the communities we serve at a system level through a prevention-lens. My clinical experience coupled with my business consulting experience in the health and care sector, equipped me to effectively contribute to this role. To date, this role has offered the opportunity to tackle health inequalities and promote the focus on prevention through a very specific programme of work - The Vital 5. This targeted effort, helped to create tangible actions that may lead to long term change for south east London residents.  

What are the benefits of working in partnership?  

I believe that partnership working enhances the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of initiatives. It’s an opportunity to bring our range of strengths and knowledge together to address complex challenges collectively. Most importantly, we work towards the greater good by building trust and positive relationships among all our stakeholders.  

What would be your one career top tip?  

Stay inquisitive and innovative by questioning the norm, reviewing current practice/services, seeking knowledge, and new ideas and embracing challenges as opportunities. 

Find out more about our Population Health and Equity programme