Public health expert acknowledged with Australian Alumni Award

Thursday, 12 July 2018


Renowned public health expert and UON alumnus, Dr Thira Woratanarat, was awarded the Alumni Community Engagement Award at the 2018 Australian Alumni Awards in Bangkok, last night.

Dr Thira Woratanarat
Operations Director at the Minor Food Group (representing The Coffee Club) Mr Arnas Vilawan presents the Alumni Community Engagement Award to UON alumnus Dr Thira Woratanarat at the 2018 Australian Alumni Awards in Bangkok.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, at Chulalongkorn University, Dr Woratanarat plays leading role in preventive medicine and health promotion to improve population health. He holds specialist research interests in the fields of HIV/AIDS, health systems and policy, clinical trials and health equity.

Dr Woratanarat’s research excellence has been recognised in many respected research journals and articles and his research has had a considerable positive influence on Thailand’s health systems.

He was a pioneer in the development of the key pilot program, Access to Care in 1999 throughout numerous hospitals in Thailand. The project led to the current successful national program National Access to Antiretroviral Program for People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPHA).

A recent four-year research program led by Dr Woratanarat revealed inadequate access to healthy foods is among the most important factors contributing to obesity and chronic illnesses. Presenting the results in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, many large public hospitals have since expressed their interest to adopt his model to mitigate healthy food inequity in Thailand.

In 2017, Dr Woratanarat led a case study ‘Overview of the Primary Health Care (PHC) System in Thailand’, and in partnership with the World Health Organization is aiming to advance the science of primary health care in low and middle income countries, to support efforts to improve the implementation, effectiveness and efficiency of primary health care interventions worldwide.

With a great dedication and enthusiasm for championing initiatives to improve the health of the population, Dr Woratanarat is often sought by the media to provide expert commentary on current health reforms and Government initiatives.

Dr Woratanarat completed a Graduate Certificate in Population Health at the University of Newcastle in 1997. Continuing his study and attaining a Graduate Diploma in Financial Management and Policy Health Care in 2000, Dr Woratanarat graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Master of Medical Sciences, Clinical Epidemiology in 2001.