At the start of 2015, we were delighted to see a new face join the Black Pear team. Cheryl Cowley joins us from HSCIC with a wealth of experience; an impressive career to date, she was also the first woman to be awarded the John Perry prize in 2003 by BCS PHCSG for her personal contribution to the world of primary care informatics. As well as her input to the world of health IT, Black Pear is proud to support Cheryl’s work on the frontline as a clinician working two sessions a week in general practice.
Cheryl first met David Jehring over 20 years ago, where they both attended a PHCSG conference prestigiously held at Downing College in Cambridge. At the time, affordable mobile phones resembling bricks had just hit the market; Cheryl however was struggling to charge her latest technological advancement on account of a frayed cable and approached a group of gentlemen to see if anyone had some insulation tape. David kindly offered to help and after Cheryl confessed that her kids’ rabbit had in fact tried to eat the cable, they have been firm friends ever since.
Paths continued to cross at conferences and through Cheryl’s work at NPfIT where the QMAS QOF Assessor Toolkit was developed using technology offered by David via Apollo Medical.
In 2011, David invited Cheryl to view some of Black Pear’s early work. She entered his study and was confronted with an array of Apple gadgets and has since admitted to those initial feelings of office envy. Without a word, David proceeded to show her his latest project mirrored onto his monitor. “Is that…? Are you…? Is that a patient record? Are you running it from your iPhone?” she eventually managed to stammer. Cheryl reflects,
“It was the most jaw-dropping, intuitive software I had ever seen. I immediately felt overwhelmed with excitement and without a moment’s hesitation I agreed then and there to work for Black Pear when the time was right.”
Outside of work, Cheryl is passionate about her 62ft Northwich Trader Narrowboat with its traditional Gardner engine. Although after blacking her bottom (the boat’s not her own) in sub zero temperatures this weekend, she was disappointed with the lack of help offered by her new team mates!