A city businesswoman, a rural GP and the former president of the Volvo Ocean Race finale are among the non-executive directors of the Board of the Galway and Roscommon University Hospitals Group.
Phyllis McNamara, the owner of Cobwebs, which sells antique and modern jewellery and gifts at Quay Lane in the city and who is also an ambassador for the suicide prevention and bereavement charity, Console, is one of the five person group appointed to the board.
The others are Dr James Browne, the president of NUI Galway, Claregalway GP Dr Brendan Day, Dr John Killeen, the retired managing director of Cold Chon and Volvo Ocean Race luminary, and Zubair Javeed, the chief financial officer of Creganna Tactx Medical in Galway.
Dr Browne is the 12th president of NUI Galway, which has more than 17,000 students. A native of Athlone and an engineering graduate of NUI Galway, he is a former dean of engineering (1996-2001 ) and has served as registrar and deputy-president of the university from 2001-2008.
He has a record of achievement in academic leadership, strategic planning and change management within NUI Galway. Dr Browne has published more than 200 academic papers and 15 books, including translations into French and Chinese. He was awarded the degree of DSc by the University of Manchester for published work in 1990. He has considerable experience of working with overseas universities, public and private bodies and has recently been appointed chairperson of the New Children’s Hospital Group.
Dr Brendan Day is the senior partner in a general practice which serves a large mixed rural/urban population from purpose built premises in Lackagh and Claregalway. He has been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching since 1979 and research projects at NUI Galway for many years. He was an examiner for the Royal College of General Practitioners from 1984 to 1994; an examiner for the MICGP from 1986 to 2002; an external examiner for undergraduate final medical examinations at NUI Galway from 1994 to 1998; and an external examiner for postgraduate medical examinations for the State of Bahrain from 1998 to 2002. Previously Dr Day was the team doctor for Galway Senior Football and Hurling and three local club teams.
Zubair Javeed was appointed chief financial oficer of Creganna-Tactx Medical in February 2012 becoming a member of both the senior management team and the Board as an executive director. He oversees the finance, IT and procurement functions at the company and is based in Galway. He previously worked with CR Bard Inc for 10 years where he most recently held the role of vice president finance.
He has also extensive experience of working in a public health system and started his career as a management accountant with the National Health Service in the UK where he worked at Central Manchester Healthcare Trust which is the largest teaching acute hospital trust in the North West of England. He has also provided management consulting advice to a number of health organisations in the UK.
Dr John Killeen is an engineer and a native of Co Roscommon who became an Honorary Freeman of Galway City in 2012. His career spans working with Local Government with a multi-national construction company (which built the Grand Canal tunnel in Dublin in 1973 ) and seven years with Shell International. He is a retired CEO of Colas Group in Ireland and a retired managing director of Cold Chon Galway Ltd. He spent 30 years with the Colas Group in Ireland and as MD of Cold Chon he developed a worldwide chemical business over 15 years. Cold Chon is now one of the world leaders in the field with all research and development and manufacturing based in Galway in a plant which has won many accolades for its innovation and environmental standards.
Dr Killeen played an influential role in the development of major infrastructural projects in Ireland and was involved in setting up the National Roads Authority. In 2009 he was chairman of the Volvo Ocean Race event in Galway and in 2012 was president of the Volvo Ocean Race finale and festival. It broke all attendance records for a sporting event in Ireland and was worth about €80m in tourism and business income to the city.
Phyllis MacNamara is the owner of Cobwebs, a renowned antique and modern jewellery shop which was established in Galway in 1972. She holds a degree in fine art from Trinity College and has studied with Sotheby’s London and Cartier London.
Following the death of her husband Michael in 2008, Phyllis has become an advocate for raising awareness of mental health issues and promoting increased public openness on suicide. She is an ambassador for Console and a committed and active fundraiser for the organisation which was established in 2002 as a dedicated suicide prevention and intervention service in Ireland. In September 2011 she was guest speaker at Console’s fifth annual conference.
In April 2012, the Mayor of Galway presented Phyllis with the Galway City Credit Union’s Volunteer of the Year award in recognition of her efforts to raise awareness in relation to suicide and also her fundraising activities with Console in the last number of years.
The names of these directors were submitted by the hospital group to the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly for approval earlier this year.
They were selected after “consulting widely, locally and nationally,” says Noel Daly, the chairperson of the Galway and Roscommon University Hospitals Group.
“In selecting the nominees for the Minister we were cognisant of the need to align skills and competencies that will help us deliver improved performance and accountability for the efficient and safe delivery of acute hospital services so that we can ensure the best outcomes for our patients.”
He says the group is honoured that these five “highly talented” people have agreed to work with it in providing leadership to all of the staff across the group in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Roscommon Hospital and Galway University Hospitals (University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital ).
The remit of the board is to develop effective corporate and clinical governance structure for the group along with the quality and safety of systems of care in place for patients of the Group.
“This first board, including my own role as chair, should be viewed essentially as a development board for
the longer-term establishment of the Hospital Group and Trust,” states Mr Daly.
“The board of the group will meet nine times this year and we will also be holding a meeting in Portiuncula Hospital later in the year. In addition, we will be having two public meetings of the board which will provide real local accountability to the public we serve. The first of these meetings will take place on 18 June in Galway.”
He says the meeting of the board in Roscommon earlier this week, its second since the non-executive directors were appointed, showed members the essential role a smaller hospital, such as Roscommon, plays as part of a group of hospitals.
“Each hospital in the group plays a significant role in the provision of acute services and the group maximises the potential contribution of each hospital. In terms of the Acute Medicine Programme, GUH is a model four hospital, PHB [Portiuncula] is a model 3 hospital and Roscommon Hospital is a model 2 hospital.”
In addition to the chairperson of the Galway and Roscommon University Hospitals Group, Noel Daly who was appointed by the Health Minister in May 2012, the remainder of the Board members are Bill Maher, the chief executive of the group, Dr Pat Nash, its clinical director, Colette Cowan, its director of nursing and midwifery, Maurice Power, its chief financial officer and Fiona McHugh, its senior executive officer.