Galway native and face of the battle against the pandemic leaves role in HSE

One of the best known personalities of the public health battle against the pandemic is to leave her role in the HSE and join VHI Health and Wellbeing as managing director.

Galway city native Anne O’Connor, who hails from Upper Newcastle was at the forefront of the battle against Covid 19 and was regularly seen giving updates on the situation on TV

Ms O’Connor, who is chief operations officer in the HSE, has overseen hospital and community activities during the pandemic .

VHI said this week she would take up the new post as managing director of the VHI Group subsidiary in August delivering health and wellbeing services for its 1.1m customers.

Ms O’Connor was one of the most senior executives tasked with planning the HSE’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a note to staff, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said Ms O’Connor was one of the “key people” during Covid and also during the fallout from the cyberattack which hit the HSE in May 2021.

In his note to staff, Mr Reid said Ms O’Connor was responsible for leading more than 100,000 staff.

She worked with the HSE since 1995, becoming national director for mental health in 2014 and national director for community operations in 2018 – later that same year she was appointed as chief operations officer and also spent five months as interim director general in 2018-2019, while the post was being filled.

Mr Reid told staff she had made an “extraordinary contribution to the health service” and had led its operations through a period of great challenge and pressure “while retaining an unwavering commitment to high quality and continuous improvement”.

Ms O’Connor is sister of well-known ‘Doc’ O’Connor, formerly of the Warwick Hotel, and more recently a popular music and chat presenter on Galway Bay fm.

 

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