Press Release

Minister appoints new Chairperson to Women’s Health Council

In accordance with a recommendation contained in A Plan for Women’s Health , the Women’s Health Council was established on a statutory basis in 1997 to evaluate the success of the Plan for Women’s Health in meeting its objectives and to advise the Minister for Health and Children on women’s health issues generally.

The Women’s Health Council involves a partnership between consumers, health care professionals, policy makers and other representative groups including the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Following the resignation of the outgoing Chairperson Professor Noreen Kearney, the Minister has appointed Professor Cecily Kelleher to the post.

Cecily Kelleher MD FRCPI MPH FFPHM MFPHMI is professor of health promotion at the National University of Ireland, Galway and director of the national Centre for Health Promotion Studies. This is a multi-disciplinary research centre; projects include the first ever National Health and Lifestyle surveys for the country’s Department of Health and Children and a variety of health promotion settings projects in school, workplace, community and primary care that explore the effectiveness of interventions, with particular reference to socio-demographic variations. An epidemiologist and public health physician by background, Cecily Kelleher has a longstanding research interest in cardiovascular disease particularly. She and her colleagues in the departments of economics, general practice and political science and sociology were recently awarded a major 5 year grant from the national Health Research Board to set up a 5 year research programme on health status and health gain with a particular focus on health inequalities. She has worked on a range of projects related to women’s health, including the International WISDOM trial on hormone replacement therapy, projects on travellers health and the EU New Opportunities for Women (NOW) project for social care workers. She is a member of NUI, Galway’s Women’s Studies Centre Board and was Chair of the BA degree in Economic and Social Studies, which included a women’s studies stream.

The Minister has also filled nine other vacancies which recently arose on the Council as follows:

Dr Pat Doorley, Director of Public Health, Midland Health Board
Dr Claire McNicholas, General Practitioner
Mr Chris Fitzgerald, Principal Officer, Department of Health and Children
Ms Catherine Murphy, Health Promotion Officer, Southern Health Board
Ms Christine Whyte, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, National Disability Authority
Ms Grainne Healy, Chairwomen, National Women’s Council of Ireland
Ms Rita Burtenshaw
Ms Catherine Harney
Ms Margaret Ryan