Get to Know Melissa Klitzka, Communications Manager at East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub

The ‘Get to Know’ series showcases staff from around the NHS Workforce Alliance (NHS WA) to give you a glimpse of the variety of roles in our organisation and the people who perform them.

This month, we’re pleased to introduce Melissa Klitzka, Communications Manager at East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub.

What is your background?

I moved to London from America in 2012 with the intention of starting a career in publishing. After a few different roles in Marketing and PR in the publishing industry, my husband and I made the decision to relocate to Cambridge. Publishing roles in Cambridge are pretty rare and I couldn’t face commuting to London every day, so I was faced with moving to a different industry. I happened to land at the East of England NHS Procurement Hub (EoECPH) as the Communications Manager – going from working on children’s books to procurement in the NHS was a pretty steep learning curve! Luckily a lot of communications skills are transferrable, and I’ve now been at EoECPH for five and a half years.

What is your role within the NHS Workforce Alliance and what does it involve?

I am a part of the NHS Workforce Alliance Communications group. It’s a really collaborative group of communications professionals from all five partner organisations and we all have different areas of expertise, so we’re able to learn a lot from each other. We work on wide range of projects, events, email campaigns, thought leadership, branding, digital – all with the aim of highlighting how we can work with and support our NHS colleagues in trusts.

Why are you passionate about this?

Having grown up in America, where access to affordable healthcare isn’t a given, the NHS is a complete wonder to me. Not having to weigh up the financial impact every time I (and now my child as well) need to visit the GP or access medical care is something that I will forever be grateful for.

The work that the Alliance does ensures that trusts are able to continue to provide excellent patient care to the public, and I’m proud to play a part in supporting the NHS is my own small way.

What is the greatest challenge you face at work?

Resource! Of course it’s an issue across the entire NHS, it’s really hard to find the balance between what we want to do and what we’re able to do.

What was your first job and how has it impacted your career?

My dad used to own a convenience store and deli in rural Minnesota – I think I started working there when I was about 15. I’m not sure that making sandwiches for farmers has directly impacted my career, although I suppose it’s contributed to me having a strong work ethic. And taught me how to deal with all different types of people with a smile on my face (even if I’m not smiling on the inside!).

How would you spend a perfect day off?

Well, as the parent of a 2.5-year-old, I would definitely like to have a lie in and then some time to myself to read a book. Then maybe a long walk with my family and dog with a stop at a nice pub somewhere along the way. And finish the day with cooking a big meal at home over a few glasses of wine. And since it doesn’t have to be realistic, I’d like my mom and dad to be there as well – they live in America and I miss them terribly.


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