About Us

“The Social Incubator”

How can we turn the good intentions of ordinary clinicians into meaningful action on the social determinants and health inequality?

WHAM (Wellbeing and Health Action Movement) is an empowering-through-education organisation. Formed in 2021 by paediatricians responding to health inequality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHAM began as a ‘social incubator’ and digital platform for the peer-to-peer sharing of the Knowledge, Tools and Community to inform, empower and unite clinicians who wish to address social determinants and health inequality in their clinical practice.

WHAM’s Theory of Change

We cannot, nor want to, replace them. But we will gladly work with them.

It’s one thing to have a feeling that things are not right, but quite another to do something about it. If the health profession wants to move beyond words toward genuine action on health inequality, then we must take the responsibility for developing the know-how, skills and networks we need for ourselves. That’s where WHAM comes in.

WHAM aims take the uninitiated but well-meaning clinician on a journey of inner and outer discovery to to change the way we see, do and be as health professionals. Our Algorithms for Action and Rules for Radicals help to turn an otherwise unexpressed 'felt need' amongst ordinary clinicians into something 'real', tangible and potentially life changing.

In practice this means using but reclaiming the tools of medicine. For example, using the ideas of quality improvement and public health, but seeking to embed a more ambitious and expansive improvement and social mindset within the health workforce.

QI projects and screening tools on their own will not eliminate health inequalities. But we believe that WHAM’s approach - a conviction to do good with collective intelligence and care - could help to light a fire in the health profession.

What WHAM is not

There are numerous reliable sources of information on the data to show the importance of the social determinants of health and just how bad health ineuqalities are. We have consciously decided against replicating that material here - Wikipedia we are not!

That said, we believe that right action ought to be founded on sound evidence. We draw on the best research and latest reports to help guide our work and reference everything so that you can learn more for yourselves. By the same token, we hope you will use and reference our work to help make the case for change where you work.

There are also myriad organisations out there providing resources or campaigns aimed at addressing the social determinants of health and poverty. These organisations are often based in the third sector and marshal local and lived experience that we would be foolish to emulate.

We cannot, nor want to, replace them. But we will gladly work with them.

The Team

We’re not waiting for anyone to give us permission to do what’s right.

We are a small, informal, grassroots collective. Rooted in the belief that true change comes from the ground up - not from above - WHAM's organisational principles represent leadership from below: the collective operates non-hierarchically to crowdsource and open source the knowledge and tools to address health inequality in practice. This means that things aren’t perfect. We're not always on time and not everything is spelt (spelled?) correctly. We learn fast, and unlike medical institutions, we're not hamstrung by red tape. We can be agile and we can move quickly. Wham. We're tiny but we pack a punch.

Guddi Singh

Co-Founders

Emma Sunderland

Co-Founders

Tami Benzaken

Co-Founders

Hannah Zhu

Co-Founders

Helen Leveret

Co-Founders

Mary Salama

ColLaborators

Akudo Okereafor

ColLaborators

The greatest difficulty in life is to make knowledge effective, to convert it into practical wisdom

Sir William Osler