Biographies of Speakers
Dr Siobhan O’Halloran was appointed as Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health on the 2nd October 2013. The position of Chief Nursing Officer was established at the level of Assistant Secretary in the Department, ensuring that the role of nursing and midwifery is represented at the highest level in terms of policy making for the health service.
Dr O’Halloran, PhD, MSc, FFNMRCSI, PG Dip Stats, BNS, RGN, RMHN, RNT, DHHSA has had a distinguished career in nursing spanning over thirty years. Since 1999 she has held several key positions in the Irish health service. Most recently she was tasked with establishing the Programme Management Office within the Department of Health to oversee implementation of the Government’s health reform programme, Future Health.
Charlotte McArdle, MSc BSc PGCert RGN – Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is responsible for professional leadership, performance and development of the professions in Northern Ireland, including Allied Health Professionals. In her role Charlotte ensures that standards of practice are developed in pursuit of high quality patient care and user experience that is supported by high quality professional training and development. Charlotte has undergone a Florence Nightingale Leadership Development Scholarship focusing on embedding a culture of Safety, Quality and Experience. This includes the development of KPI’s for all service teams. She has a strong commitment to person centred practice and evidencing improved outcomes for patients and clients, particularly regarding safety, quality and experience.
Ms Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities & Older People) and Mental Health.
Appointed Minister of State on 10th March 2011, Minister Lynch is accountable for developing and articulating Government policy on Primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities & Older People) and Mental Health. Minister Lynch is leading a fundamental Mental Health Reform Programme in Ireland (Vision for Change). Minister Lynch was first elected to the Irish Parliament (Dáil Eireann) for the Labour Party in 1994.
Minister Lynch was subsequently elected again in 2002 and has retained her seat since. She has been a member of a number of committees including; Joint Parliamentary Committee on Health 2007, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights 2002-2007 and Joint Parliamentary Committee on Enterprise and Small Business 2002 – 2006. Minister Lynch is married to Bernard Lynch with four children.
Mr Jim Wells, MLA took up the role of Minister of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in the Northern Ireland Executive on 24 September 2014. Jim has a degree in geography and a postgraduate diploma in town and country planning from Queen’s University Belfast. He was Assembly Member for the South Down constituency initially from 1982 to 1986.
He was employed as a manager by the National Trust from 1989 before returning to frontline politics in 1998, when he was elected as member for South Down to the Northern Ireland Assembly. He is currently in his fourth term having been successfully re-elected in 2011. He also served as a councillor on Down District Council from 2001 to 2011, having previously held a seat on Lisburn Borough Council and Banbridge Borough Council.
Mr Wells has sat on several Assembly committees since 1999, most notably on the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee, as Chair from July 2009 to March 2011 and Deputy Chair from May 2011 to September 2014. During these five years on the Health Committee, he has closely monitored both the challenges facing Health and Social Care (HSC) and its many successes.
Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Muna al-Hussein, the mother of His Majesty King Abdullah the Second of Jordan, has taken a special interest in developing nursing and midwifery as a significant force in the quality and the distribution of health care in Jordan. Helping to found Princess Muna College of Nursing in 1962, her early commitment to the cause of the provision of quality nursing services and the advancement of nursing service, practice, and education has continued ever since. HRH was appointed as president of the Jordanian Nursing Council in 2002, which has reformed nursing in the country and established strong ties with prominent nursing and health institutions.
Her Royal Highness advocates for programmes that support the Millennium Development Goals, with emphasis on eradicating poverty and promoting the health of mothers and infants. She serves as the WHO patron of nursing and midwifery in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and is an honorary adviser for the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nursing Development. Her Royal Highness is the recipient of the Sigma Theta Tau International Archon Award for her exceptional leadership in advancing health and welfare throughout the world.
Professor Geraldine McCarthy is Emeritus Professor at the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery University College Cork and Chair of the South\South West Hospital Group.
She has held a number of health care posts in Ireland, the United Kingdom, USA and Canada and has been a member of a number of national and international bodies including the Health Information and Quality Authority, Fulbright Commission, Commission on Nursing, Nurse Education Forum, Task Force on Undergraduate Medical Education, Marymount Hospital Board, the Southern Health Board and the Non Executive Advisory Board for the Reconfiguration of the Health Services in the Southern Region. She continues to work in collaboration with staff from Case Western Reserve University and with North Shore LIJ Health Care System, New York, USA. View her presentation here.
Ms Kathy Fodey. Kathy joined RQIA in February 2013 as Director of Regulation and Nursing. Before joining RQIA, Kathy was Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, with responsibility for workforce, regulation and education policy development for nursing and midwifery in Northern Ireland. Kathy is a qualified general nurse and midwife, and through her career has held a range of clinical and managerial posts in Northern Ireland. View Ms Fodey presentation here.
Ms. Jeanie Johnston. Jeanie is Head of Communications with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. A former journalist, she has worked in newspapers, radio and broadcasting, most recently with UTV where she was Features Editor and Health Correspondent. She believes in the power of digital and social media for spreading health messages.
Ms Paddie Blaney Director and Head of Policy and Practice, AIIHPC. Paddie Blaney was appointed in May 2011. As Director and Head of Policy and Practice at the
Institute, Paddie is responsible and accountable to the Management Committee of AIIHPC. She plays a lead role in the strategic development and coordination of the Institute’s work activities, shaping the Policy and Practice work area and providing leadership and management to the team. Paddie has a strong background in nursing and healthcare management. She brings a wealth of strategic leadership experience to the role, having worked as an international nurse consultant with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Prior to joining the ICN, Paddie was the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC), where she was responsible for its establishment and strategic development. Paddie has also held posts as Nursing Officer in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in Northern Ireland where her remit included professional regulation, education commissioning, research and workforce development.
Ms. Bridget Clarke. Having trained as a Registered General Nurse in London in the 1980s, Bridget worked in a number of roles including Cardiac ITU and Cystic Fibrosis care. In 1992, Bridget commenced work in the newly opened Cavan General Hospital. In 1997, Bridget commenced post as a Practice Nurse in a busy rural General Practice.
More recently she has undertaken the role of Project Manager for the transformation of Cavan & Monaghan Hospital Group resulting in acute medical services being centralised in Cavan General Hospital in July 2009. Bridget is currently the General Manager for Cavan & Monaghan Hospital. Bridget has 4 children and has also obtained a Bachelor of Nursing Studies in Dublin City University.
For the last 3 years Bridget has undertaken the role of Chair of the Acute Project Board for CAWT. This entails review and oversight of all acute hospital cross border supported patient and service projects with a budget allocation of £12 million. This role has resulted in a cross border supported ENT service and a Genito-urinary medicine service which has provided local access to over 8000 patients.
Mr. Keith Wood. Keith Wood is a former international rugby union footballer who played hooker for Ireland, the Lions, the Barbarians, Garryowen, Harlequins and Munster. Keith made his international debut in 1994 against Australia. He was capped 58 times for Ireland and five times for the Lions. He played on the 1997 and 2001 Lions tours, and was the inaugural winner of the IRB World Player of the Year award in 2001, the only Irishman to win this award.
He played a major part in the Lions’ 2-1 series victory over the Springboks in 1997. Keith captained Ireland a then record of 36 times and retired from playing after the 2003 Rugby World Cup. In 2005 he was inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Limerick.
Keith Wood is chair of the Healthy Ireland Council. He is also founder and owner of W2, a corporate events company, and works for Newstalk as a rugby pundit and commentator, and writes for The Daily Telegraph as a freelance journalist.