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Remembering James Williams: A Tribute to a Visionary Leader in Public Health

Medway Council mourns the loss of James Williams, Director of Public Health, who passed away after a brief illness. James leaves behind a legacy of dedicated service and transformative leadership, particularly in the realm of public health response to COVID-19.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

Since joining Medway Council in 2017, James spearheaded a remarkable transformation in the council’s approach to public health delivery. His unwavering ambition to enhance community resilience led to numerous initiatives, including the multi-award-winning A Better Medway programs, which have positively impacted tens of thousands of residents.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

James played a pivotal role in steering Medway’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging his expertise to safeguard the community and save lives. His efforts were instrumental in establishing the region’s first COVID testing centres, offering vital testing resources to residents.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

Beyond his contributions to Medway, James was a key figure in addressing health inequalities across the southeast region and played a pivotal role in transforming health systems in Kent and Medway.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

James’s passion extended beyond his professional endeavours; he was a celebrated athlete, representing Britain in three Olympic Games in fencing. His dedication to sports continued post-retirement, as he mentored and coached young talent, emphasizing the transformative power of sports in community development.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

Reflecting on James’s impact, colleagues and community leaders praised his unwavering commitment to championing the underprivileged and ensuring equal opportunities for all.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

Cllr Teresa Murray, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Public Health, hailed James as an “Olympian in all senses of the word,” citing his profound impact on community resilience and early intervention initiatives.

Remembering James Williams: A Tribute To A Visionary Leader In Public Health

Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of Medway Council, expressed admiration for James’s inspirational leadership and pledged to uphold his legacy.

Richard Hicks, Chief Executive of Medway Council, fondly remembered James as a positive and beloved figure, whose legacy will endure.

Cedi Frederick, Chair of the Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board, highlighted James’s infectious passion and drive, which contributed significantly to improving health outcomes in the region.

Dr. Rachael Hornigold, from UKHSA South East, and Dr. Anjan Ghosh, Kent County Council’s Director of Public Health, echoed sentiments of shock and sadness at James’s passing, emphasizing his profound impact on public health.

James Williams leaves behind a lasting legacy of compassion, dedication, and excellence. His memory will continue to inspire and guide those who had the privilege of knowing and working with him. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.

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