Jason Leitch awarded 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Award
National Clinical Director 'has demonstrated application of scientific method to a major public health issue', says Saltire Society
Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director and a former consultant oral surgeon, has been announced as the fourth of six recipients of the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Awards, for his contribution to science.
The Saltire Society said Professor Leitch had “demonstrated application of scientific method to a major public health issue, and has done so in a considered, collected and highly communicative manner.
“His scientific skills have been of enormous public benefit, an in particular his skill in making their scientific knowledge accessible, his calmness and leadership in a time of crisis and his evident deep understanding of both scientific and public issues.”
His contribution to the application of science in a critically difficult time has been a model of excellence
It added: “His contribution to the application of science in a critically difficult time has been a model of excellence.”
Sarah Mason, Director of the Saltire Society, said: “Jason Leitch has been a steady voice in a time of uncertainty, his calm and clear approach to disseminating information while being understanding to the general public’s worries has been admirable.”
Professor Leitch said: “I can’t believe there is much good news inside a global pandemic but what a wonderful honour and privilege you’ve given me.
“It is a great honour to accept this award on behalf, frankly not just me but my broader family but also all of those who have cared for people who have been sick […] and everybody who has stepped up to do more than they conventionally would have had to during this really difficult time.”
Professor Leitch has worked for the Scottish Government since 2007. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee. From 2005 to 2006 he was a Quality Improvement Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in Boston, sponsored by the Health Foundation. Jason is also a trustee of the UK wing of the Indian Rural Evangelical Fellowship which runs orphanages in southeast India.
He qualified as a dentist in 1991 and was as a consultant oral surgeon in Glasgow. He has a doctorate from the University of Glasgow, a Masters in Public Health from Harvard and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
The first three winners of the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Awards were Lesley Riddoch, the journalist, broadcaster and activist, Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University, and Wilson McLeod, Professor of Gaelic at Edinburgh University. The final two awards will be announced next week.