Prof Robert Campbell Owen, PhD

Starting his career in 1989, just as the apartheid regime began to collapse in South Africa, Prof Owen worked as a critical care paramedic on ground and helicopter response units in some of the most violence-torn areas of KwaZulu-Natal Province. It was here that he gained experience of delivering care to critically unwell patients, the management of mass-casualty incidents, and system-wide performance improvement. Prof Owen returned to South Africa in 1998 as the Head of the Department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue at the Durban University of Technology. Despite a complex political landscape, the team positioned a previously failing department as the strongest in the Faculty of Health Sciences, with a high post-qualification employment rate, burgeoning research output and widespread industry and community involvement. 

Prof Owen returned to the United Kingdom in early 2004 to join Surrey Ambulance Service NHS Trust Board as the first non-medical Executive Clinical Director in England, where he was responsible for clinical effectiveness, clinical governance, and risk management. Prof Owen led the development of a comprehensive clinical information and risk management system for the Trust and the implementation of prehospital thrombolysis for acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction. 
In late 2006, Prof Owen took up a research fellowship at the University of Manchester in the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre. He conducted research to define quality of care from a prehospital care perspective and develop and test a series of policy-relevant indicators of prehospital care quality. 
In late 2009, Prof Owen relocated to Qatar. With immense support from all sectors, the Ambulance Service has expanded considerably, implemented a critical care paramedic service, revised its clinical practice model, renewed its fleet, and put in place a series of quality improvement initiatives to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible care. The Ambulance Service is Joint Commission International accredited and since December 2012, has met the all of the performance standards set by the Supreme Council of Health. Prof Owen is currently the Chief of Major Incident Preparedness and Resilience and the CEO of the Ambulance Service.

Prof Owen has a Bachelor of Technology Degree (Durban University of Technology), a Master of Science Degree (London Guildhall University) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (University of Manchester). He holds an honorary professorship at the University of East Anglia, and has supervised postgraduate students, presented at international conferences, and published approximately 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

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