2015 HMI Leaders Award

Last year saw the commencement of the HMI Leaders Award and I am delighted to confirm that this year sees the continuation of this very important innovation leadership award with over 100 applications coming from all regions of the country, writes Eamonn Fitzgerald, Chair Judging Panel.

Leo Kearns, Ian Maguire, Dr. Eva Lindgren, Eileen Dunne, Alison Dougall, Lucy Nugent, Suzanne Dempsey, Eamonn Fitzgerald
Mr Leo Kearns, Mr Ian Maguire, Dr. Eva Lindgren, Ms Eileen Dunne, Dr. Alison Dougall, Ms Lucy Nugent, Ms Suzanne Dempsey, Mr Eamonn Fitzgerald

Having gone through the regional process, the seven finalists presented their respective presentations to the national judging panel on July 7, 2015 in the Pillar Room at the Rotunda Hospital.

The areas covered by the seven finalists were exceptionally interesting and most relevant to innovation and leadership in the Irish health services sector. The following comprises a summary of each of the seven finalists’ areas of endeavour:

  • Brian Cleary and Sharon Cooley, Rotunda Hospital – “Thrombocalc – towards Novel Strategies in the Prevention of Thrombosis.”
  • Alison Dougall, Dublin Dental Hospital – “Promoting improved access to dental care for people living with haemophilia in Ireland and encouraging a culture of oral health promotion within the teams that treat them.”
  • Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh & Mary Forry, Beaumont Hospital – “Better Health, Better Living – developing the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme at Beaumont Hospital and through Patient Organisation Partnerships.”
  • Niamh Smyth, Tallaght Hospital – “Introduction of an Electronic Ordering System for Enteral Tube Feeding Products in a Teaching Hospital.”
  • Paul Balfe, St. Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny – “Establishment of the first 24 hour direct Acute Surgical Assessment Unit in Ireland with separation of emergency and elective General Surgical Practice.”
  • Maura Loftus & Elaine Prendergast, Roscommon Hospital, SAOLTA University Health Care Group – “Regeneration Post Reconfiguration.”
  • Patricia O’Gorman, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork – “Setting up an Acupuncture Service to Treat Radiation-Induced Xerostomia (Dry Mouth) in patients with Head and Neck Cancer.”

Following a significant amount of deliberation and debate, the National Adjudication Panel awarded this year’s Health Leadership Award to Dr. Alison Dougall from Dublin Dental Hospital for her work on “Promoting improved access to dental care for people living with haemophilia in Ireland and encouraging a culture of oral health promotion within the teams that treat them.”

If the truth be told while this was an outstanding project, each of the projects were and continue to be outstanding in their own right. Given the broad spectrum of patients and relatives and the community at large that they have the capacity to improve the care outcomes for, it is arguable that each are winners on behalf of the patients they serve.

The amount of effort and commitment that it takes for people who are already very busy in their professional roles in the health services sector to take on additional commitment of leadership cannot be overstated. By investing their time, effort and expertise in the development and promotion of best practice they are exemplars in their chosen fields of endeavour.

The future of Irish healthcare is all the brighter for the beacon of hope and light that our colleagues provide to us, leading the way in what can be done and what will be done and arguably what must be done in order to provide improved opportunities and enhanced outcomes for patients current and future and by extension citizens of the State.

The finalists’ projects will be displayed and highlighted at the HMI Annual Conference on September 30, 2015 in the RDS. This will provide a very valuable opportunity for those colleagues who were not in a position to attend the Awards Ceremony on July 7, 2015 to avail of the learning opportunity from these excellent initiatives.