Graham Smith, the former managing director of BUPA Care Services, has taken over from retiring Chairman Professor Anthony Robards OBE, who served as trustee of the charity for 10 years and took on the position of chairman in 2010.
Mr Smith has over 30 years’ experience in the health and social care sectors, having founded Goldsborough Healthcare plc in 1981. After the business was acquired by BUPA in 1997, he became Managing Director of BUPA Care Services, which at the time was the largest provider of care homes in the UK.
Since 2001, Mr Smith has been Chairman and a non- executive director of 10 businesses in the health and social care sectors in the UK, Spain, France and Sweden. He is currently Chairman of MHA Care, the UK’s largest charitable provider of care for the elderly, Solingen Private Equity Fund and an Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow of Durham University Business School.
Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:
Professor Robards led Yorkshire Cancer Research through a major transformation from a traditional grant-giving research charity into a powerful force for good in the county, specifically focusing on patient-centred research and community health initiatives that will use precious donor funds to bring about real improvements in cancer outcomes across Yorkshire.
The charity has a clear strategy to address regional cancer priorities to help everyone in Yorkshire to avoid, survive and cope with cancer. We are aiming for lower incidence rates and higher survival rates in every part of our region by funding research and facilitating best practice in prevention, treatment, care and support that is already being seen in certain parts Europe and North America.
Graham is an entrepreneur with a strong charity background and a track record of growing both businesses and charities. He is a proud Yorkshireman and committed to leading the charity through the next phase of our development so that we deliver on the promises that we have made in our new strategy.
Mr Smith, who lives in Ilkley and also serves as Chairman of Ilkley Community Enterprises and Ilkley Playhouse, said:
I am delighted to have been asked to take over as Chairman of Yorkshire Cancer Research at this important stage in its development and I look forward to building on the excellent foundations laid down by Professor Robards. I am very much looking forward to working with my fellow trustees in supporting management and their colleagues to help reduce the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
As someone who has experienced the impact the diagnosis of cancer can have on a family I know how important it is to be able to have access to professional support. It will therefore be a privilege to work with an organisation whose mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
Professor Robards served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Relations at the University of York from 1996 to 2004, during which time he helped set up the university’s 21-acre Science Park and co-founded Science City York. In 2002 he was awarded an OBE for ‘Services to Higher Education’.
Professor Robards said:
In partnership and under the guidance of the new Chairman, there is every reason to believe that Yorkshire Cancer Research will be an increasingly important player in helping to improve outcomes for cancer patients across the county.