Recent Appointments by Minister Simon Harris TD

Dr Teresa Bruen

Appointed as Ordinary Member to the Dietitians Registration Board for the period ending 13th February 2020. Dr Bruen is a lecturer in Applied Social Studies in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, with a particular focus on care in the community and community development. She was also involved in the writing of the social care undergraduate programme within GMIT. Prior to taking up her current position she served for 5 years as a visiting lecturer in H.Dip Public Health Nursing in National University of Ireland Galway. Her areas of expertise include, inter alia, social care, care in the community, health promotion and child development. She has undertaken research in such areas as immunisation awareness and the experience of mature students in relation to Higher Education. She also has considerable experience in nursing and worked as a public health nurse in the community for 10 years and is a registered general nurse and midwife. She obtained her doctorate in Education from the University of Sheffield.

Mr Patrick Benson

Appointed as Ordinary Member to the Occupational Therapists Registration Board for the period ending 13th February 2017.  Mr Benson is a former Area Director of Nursing for Sligo/Leitrim/South Donegal Mental Health Service from which he retired at the end of 2013 after 28 years in the post.  He has spent all of his career in the mental health services and was National President of Mental Health Nurse Managers Ireland. As area Director of Nursing his responsibilities included, inter alia, management of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, management of the Intellectual Disability Mental Health Team, management of the Nursing and Support Services in the Mental Health Service for the area, and financial management of the Service Budget with specific responsibility for the Nursing Budget. He has played a key role in the development of an integrated mental health service with General Practitioners and has been an advocate for the mental health needs of children and young adults. He has served as a registered psychiatric nurse, general nurse and clinical tutor and is currently working as a volunteer with Mental Health Ireland.

Ms Aisling Culhane

Appointed as Ordinary Member to the Dietitians Registration Board for the period ending 13th February 2020.  Ms Culhane has served as a Research & Development Advisor with the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association since 2006. Amongst her responsibilities in that position were developing networks with national and international bodies such as Horatio, the European Network of Psychiatric Nurses; representing the PNA on national and international committees; initiating and contributing to strategic policy development across areas critical to service users; and contributing to and critiquing legislation. She is a registered psychiatric nurse and has wide experience in the mental health services. She has also served in other areas of the health service including, inter alia, as a community nurse, a child care leader and a two-year period as Resource/Project Officer in the ERHA Nurse/Midwifery Planning & Development Unit. She originally qualified as a Montessori teacher. Her professional qualifications include an MSc. in Ethics & Law from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Ms Alice Dorris

Appointed as Ordinary Member to the Radiographers Registration Board for the period ending 23rd January 2020. Ms Dorris is a practising barrister with 15 year experience in family, employment, personal injury, commercial and chancery law. She represents both professional and non-professional clients and individuals and organisations in Court. A significant part of her practice has involved financial institutions, including regulation and appropriate governance practice in the banking sector. She has worked in a voluntary capacity with the Northside Community Law Centre since 2011. In that role she established, amongst other legal services provided, a monthly clinic specifically for clients with mortgage debt. Her academic qualifications include a Degree of Barrister at Law awarded by Kings Inns.