2013 Royal Society for Public Health

The Royal Society for Public Health is an independent charity formed in October 2008 with the merger of the Royal Society of Health and the Royal Institute of Public Health. Its more than 6,000 members include food safety specialists, public health doctors, health promotion specialists, pharmacists, environmental health officers, nutritionists, civil engineers, health and safety specialists and many others. Almost 100,000 public health professionals take the society’s qualifications each year in such subjects as food hygiene, health and safety, nutrition and health improvement. The society also runs conferences in food safety, hospital hygiene, water, infection control, occupational medicine and nutrition for the elderly.

Robin Philipp, MBChB, FRCP, FFOM, FFPH, FAPHM, MSc, DCH, DPH, a former member of the Royal Society for Public Health’s Council, is a consultant occupational and public health physician and the director of the Centre for Health in Employment and the Environment at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

After completing his undergraduate training in his home country of New Zealand, Philipp then moved to the United Kingdom to complete his postgraduate education. His research and training interests include environmental epidemiology, physical pollutants and their effect on health, arts and health, human settlement needs for sustainable development and cultural and social capital growth.

He has served on many boards, councils and committees, including the Board of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, that body’s Ethics Committee, Fellowship Committee, and Communications Committee, the Royal Institute of Public Health Council, the Board of the Faculty for Occupational Medicine, the Nuffield Trust Steering Group for Arts and Health, the Society of Occupational Medicine Editorial Panel and as a World Health Organization adviser for Target 24, the Health For All Program, tourist health and travel medicine and for environment and well-being.

He founded and co-directed, at the request of the World Health Organization, the University of Bristol’s Centre for Environmental Health Promotion and Ecology.

Philipp authored the Core Public Health Standards, published in 2007, as the Bristol Royal Infirmary’s progress report of work in the Centre for Health in Employment and the Environment. Among his many other publications, he worked with New Zealand health and cultural leaders to author a paper for discussion on strengthening United Kingdom/New Zealand strategies for arts and health. That work explored the interdependence of mental health and emotional well-being, sustainable economic development, ways of engaging in creative endeavors to express and communicate thoughts, feelings and emotions and how engaging with works of art and in the arts can influence health, among other issues.

His research and teaching interests include environmental epidemiology, physical pollutants and their effects on health and the intersection of the arts, health and well-being. Philipp has taken a special interest in innovative developments for the Royal Society for Public Health and has acted as adviser on the potential for occupational health services to contribute to the wellbeing of staff working in the NHS, which is the United Kingdom’s largest employer. In addition, he has facilitated joint initiatives with the Phillip Family Foundation, including sponsorship of a special issue of the Royal Society for Public Health’s international journal, Public Health. He is committed to making an ongoing contribution to the advocacy and capacity building work of the society.