Our Patron - Dr Geetha Subramanian MBE
WHFS (Women's Health and Family Services) is delighted to welcome Dr Geetha Subramanian MBE as our Patron. Dr Subramanian, a consultant gynaecologist, worked in community women’s health in Tower Hamlets from 1986 until her retirement in October 2014.
She has made significant changes to the way the service has been delivered in the areas of family planning, termination of unplanned pregnancy, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM /C) and young people’s sexual health. With the support of her team at Mile End Hospital she took the initiative to introduce and establish new services, such as the management of FGM /C and a specific team for reaching young women with the objectives of reducing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections through education and focused service provision.
She successfully established a centre of excellence, THCASH (Tower Hamlets Contraception and Sexual Health Services), for providing specific clinical services for the women of Tower Hamlets. Under her leadership, the department continued to expand to deliver community-based gynaecology and sexual health care in a culturally sensitive manner to the often deprived, vulnerable, and occasionally desperate individuals.
In recognition of her continued, significant contribution over the years in Tower Hamlets, Dr Subramanian was selected in 2007 for the ‘Asian Women of Achievement’ award, under the Public Sector category. More recently, she was made an MBE in January 2013 for her services to the women and young people in Tower Hamlets.
On being awarded the MBE, Bart's Health NHS Medical Director, Dr Steve Ryan, said:
Dr Subramanian and her team personified the Barts Health commitment to changing the lives of people from east London and beyond. [Their] dedicated work is an example of the positive difference community health services can make.
Under Dr Subramanian’s leadership, THCASH has emerged as one of the country’s most effective and innovative community contraception and sexual health services, establishing new services such as the reversal of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the provision of religious and cultural male circumcision for babies from the local Muslim community, as well as creating a team dedicated to engaging with young people to reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
The team’s work has resulted in the highest reduction in the rate of teenage pregnancies of all London PCTs and the second highest reduction in the country between 1998 and 2008.
Dr Subramanian is seen above addressing the WHFS event at the Houses of Parliament
in October 2014, which brought together over 80 women from the Tower Hamlets
Somali community, specialist health professionals, midwives and officials from the Department of Public Health to discuss the challenges that health professionals
have in delivering FGM /C services.