The Mentoring Scheme
Scholars are paired up with an expert mentor who helps them to focus their projects, assists with methodology, gives valuable support and advice, and helps to ensure that any results obtained are accurate, valid and meaningful. The mentors come from all over the world from a variety of professional backgrounds and bring a range of expertise and experience. This includes world renowned academics from various disciplines, smoking cessation experts, media, public relations and IT experts, mental health and social care practitioners, educators and consumers. Mentors are involved in the scholarship selection process and will, where possible, be available to meet with scholars at the GFN conference in Warsaw to begin the mentoring process. Mentors will be allocated according to the focus of the individual scholarship projects.
Meet the Mentors
Jon originally trained in general and mental health nursing, and subsequently held several key roles in a Merseyside drug treatment service. Working with HIT in Liverpool, he went on to develop and deliver training programmes for drug treatment professionals and was lead author on the influential ‘Safer Injecting Briefing’. He has written a wide variety of guidance aimed at those working with drug users, alongside information and advice for people who use drugs. Jon was a founder member and a subsequent Chair of the UK Harm Reduction Alliance. He co-founded a successful commercial company, developing and supplying innovative equipment for drug users, which influenced important, positive changes in relevant UK law. More recently, often working closely with KAC, he has learned a range of new skills, enabling him to channel his previous experience into producing a wide range of harm reduction videos, many of which have been aimed at reducing tobacco related harm. Jon is both a former smoker and a former vaper. He first tried vaping in 2010 and quickly realised the enormous potential it held for health gains.
Marewa Glover is Director of the Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty and Smoking, an international programme aimed at reducing smoking-related harms among indigenous people. Marewa is a Māori (New Zealand indigenous) behavioural scientist with over 25 years’ experience in tobacco control and over 100 scientific papers. She is recognized internationally for her advocacy on tobacco harm reduction and received the Outstanding Advocate Award from the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw. She is an INNCO scientific advisor and an associate member of the New Nicotine Alliance UK. Previously Marewa was a Professor of Public Health at Massey University and she recently completed a term as Chair of End Smoking NZ. In 2017, she was a Finalist in the 2017 Women of Influence Awards in New Zealand. Marewa is on Twitter as @MarewaGlover.
Neil Hunt is a freelance researcher and now works as a full time forensic mental health nurse, also supervising a young persons’ early intervention substance use team. He has previously held positions as a lecturer and Honorary Senior Research Associate at the University of Kent and as Honorary Research Fellow with the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has published extensively in peer reviewed journals and books covering areas such as: transitions to injecting; reviews of the harm reduction evidence base; cannabis and mental health; drug consumption rooms; young persons’ substance use, and stigma relating to substance use.
Grzegorz Król, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, and lecturer at the University of Warsaw. Grzegorz is the author of monographs and chapters on data analysis, and several papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is also a developer of data-centric IT solutions for e-learning, event management, and online acquisition of quantitative data. Between 2003 and 2011 Grzegorz managed European projects and organised several international conferences in the area of drugs and harm reduction. Since 2012 his focus shifted towards tobacco harm reduction.
Kevin McGirr, Clinical Professor of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, has taught in schools of medicine, social work and public health, and was a Nehru-Fulbright Scholar in Pondicherry India, 2013-2014. He has over 40 years of experience in providing and managing behavioral health services. He holds a master’s degrees in public health, psychiatric nursing and an all but dissertation doctorate in public health. Kevin has an interest in the utilization of harm reduction specifically for tobacco interventions for persons with serious mental illness. He has been a recipient of Screening, Brief intervention and Treatment (SBIRT) and Tobacco Harm Reduction grant awards. Publications include advocacy and client empowerment, medication adherence and community tenure for chronically mentally ill clients.
Ex Royal Air Force, and now a self-employed IT specialist living in Scotland, Andy Morrison now works mainly in the whisky industry. Andy was a pack-a-day smoker for 40 years and of the mindset that nobody would ever get him to stop smoking. He accidentally switched to vaping in December 2011 and never looked back. On hearing about possible impending bans and listening to some of the junk science which seemed to be fueling the proposed regulations, Andy decided that it was time for him to try to do something about it. Andy assisted with various studies in central Scotland surrounding vaping. He is currently involved in four separate UK projects, all dedicated to e-cigarettes and harm reduction. He is also an associate of the New Nicotine Alliance UK.
Dr Sudhanshu Patwardhan is a British-Indian licensed medical doctor. He has proven global regulatory strategy and science engagement expertise, built on unique international experience across corporate affairs, biomedical research, consumer advocacy and business management in pharmaceutical and tobacco industries. To follow their commitment to global cancer prevention, Sud and his practising physician wife co-founded the Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE), an independent healthcare startup. CHRE is leading the development of products and services for effectively delivering smoking cessation to every smoker in the world.
Helen Redmond is an expert in substance use with over a decade of experience working with drug users and people with mental health problems in medical and mental health settings and in community supportive housing. Her current focus is on helping vulnerable and stigmatized populations transition to e-cigarettes. She is an independent journalist and writes about vaping, mental health and drug policy. Helen is a filmmaker and made a short documentary about people with serious mental health problems and smoking. She provides tobacco harm reduction training via her consulting firm, Nicotine Harm Reduction Consultants. She is adjunct faculty at New York University - Silver School of Social Work.
Louise Ross is a freelance clinical consultant for the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training in England. Until April 2018 she had managed the Leicester City stop smoking service for 14 years. During her leadership of the service, she introduced the concept of an e-cigarette-friendly approach to helping people switch from smoked tobacco to a much safer alternative. She emphasises that these are stop smoking services, not stop nicotine services, and is quick to pull up anyone who asserts that the ultimate goal has to be to stop all nicotine use altogether, as she believes clean nicotine use is no one else's business if the user enjoys it, and that it can be the key to prevent relapse to smoking. She continues to be an active advocate in this field, and is a trustee of the New Nicotine Alliance UK.