2013 Speakers

Alex White T.D. Minister of State for Primary Care

Alex White, Senior Counsel, is a Labour TD for Dublin South and Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care. He also has Ministerial charge of the National Drugs Strategy.

White is a graduate in Economic and Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin (1981), where he was President of the Students Union. He qualified from the Kings Inns in 1987 and was called to the Irish Bar in July of that year.

Between 1984 and 1994 Alex White was a current affairs producer with RTE, working on a wide range of radio programmes, including coverage of major events such as general elections. He was editor of the Gay Byrne Show for four years before leaving RTE to take up practice as a barrister.

Scott Smith, MD, Medical Director of Operations for the Colorado Kaiser Permanente Medical Group

Scott Smith, MD, has lead the state’s largest medical group practice to be nationally recognized for superior quality and service. While directly accountable for all primary care and medical specialty clinical services for more than a half a million members and 500 physicians, Dr. Smith has overseen significant expansion of clinical services. Between 2010 and 2012, he was instrumental in opening seven new medical offices. In his role, Dr. Smith has solidified Colorado Permanente Medical Group as a leader in patient-centered medical home practices, collaborative care, and health-IT innovation.

Dr. Smith joined the Colorado Permanente Medical Group as an Internal Medicine physician in 2000 and was named to the executive team as the head of primary care in 2005, earning him honors as the youngest physician to hold the position of associate medical director. For these efforts, he was nominated as one of Denver’s Top 40 Under 40, an award given by the Denver Business Journal to rising entrepreneurs.
Prior to becoming associate medical director, Dr. Smith was the physician director for Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, Kaiser Permanente’s electronic medical record system. Under his leadership, KP HealthConnect was fully implemented in only four weeks to more than 5,000 users.

He was commissioned into the USAF Reserve as a second lieutenant in 1989 and was promoted to major in 1999. During this time, Dr. Smith served as the director of cardiopulmonary services and then the chief of the Internal Medicine Clinic for the 377th Medical Group at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Dr. Mary Browne, QPS Division Lead for QA+I Resources, HSE

Mary graduated from Trinity College Medical School in 1997. Following attainment of her Associate Fellowship in Surgery, she studied for her Masters in Public Health Medicine in University College Dublin in 2002. Mary moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England where she trained for 4 years as a Specialist Registrar in Public Health and completed this training in 2007. Her core areas of interest are in quality improvement and patient safety. She has worked in HIQA on the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare and associated guidance. Mary joined the Quality and Patient Safety Directorate in the HSE in January 2012 and has been the Directorate Lead in supporting implementation of the Safer Better Healthcare Standards. This has involved working across different healthcare settings including acute hospitals, the National Ambulance Service and Primary Care to support a quality improvement approach to assessing against Standards.

Sanjeev Arora, MD, FACP, FACG, Director of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)

He is a tenured Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). He has been involved in management of viral hepatitis for over 15 years, and led the development and implementation of the Hepatitis C Disease Management Program at UNMHSC. Dr. Arora developed the Project ECHO model as a platform for service delivery, education and evaluation. Using video-conferencing technology and case-based learning, primary care providers from rural and underserved areas and prisons are trained and mentored by ECHO’s medical specialists to deliver best-practice management of complex health conditions in their communities or correctional institutions.

Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan, Director of Safety and Quality Improvement, HIQA

Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan is Director of Safety and Quality Improvement in the Health Information and Quality Authority. Since joining the Authority in July 2012, she and her team have been responsible for actively supporting and enabling a culture of patient safety and quality improvement across and within the health and social care system by helping to build capability and capacity in the people providing services. This is done through the development of national standards and guidance in consultation with key stakeholders and the provision of training in quality improvement methodologies and tools in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. These initiatives help the system to build a culture of continuous quality improvement and patient safety. This Directorate also operates other schemes aimed at ensuring safety and quality in the provision of services.

Marie has worked in the area of Healthcare Quality Improvement for many years in the USA and Ireland. Before joining the Health Information and Quality Authority, she was as Regional General Manager for Quality and Patient Safety in the HSE where she led on a number of national projects. A native of Killarney, Co. Kerry, Marie began training as a nurse at Ardkeen Hospital in Waterford before moving to the USA where she completed her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Nursing. She has also obtained her Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) from the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) in the USA.

Dr. Ray Power, Group Medical Director, Centric Health

Ray is a practicing GP and a graduate of UCD.  After completing his MICGP and MRCGP he travelled to Australia, where he worked with the Royal Flying Hospital Service and the University of Western Australia.  His work included initiating medical recruitment services in rural Western Australia. On his return to Ireland in 2000, he set up the Medical Recruitment Company Locumotion.  In 2003, he founded Centric Health with Dr. Maurice Cox.

Ray is also a member of the Board of ORBIS Ireland (the international sight saving organisation).

Sorcha McKenna, Principle, McKinsey Dublin

Sorcha’s work focuses on delivering organisational transformation in health care, and she has a special interest in integrated care, leading McKinsey’s work in this area across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Sorcha’s recent projects have included leading the development of a new strategy for a leading hospital group in Ireland, advising a London district on an integrated care strategy to improve the quality of care and reduce costs and working with a major Irish medical institution to define its five-year strategy for medical education. She also advised the health minister in a region of Spain on the development of a new integrated care strategy, including the design and implementation of organisational and governance structures to support integrated working across the health system.

In another project, Sorcha helped a primary care trust in a major city to develop and implement an approach for driving a step-change in GP access. The work involved defining the data sources and analyses needed to understand the causes of poor access, communicating the findings to providers and developing action plans and a performance framework to address access issues. Following the completion of the project, patient experience scores rose by 10 percent.

Before joining McKinsey, Sorcha obtained a degree in microbiology and a PhD in molecular microbiology from Trinity College Dublin.

Kieran Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, ICGP

Kieran has over 18 years experience across many sectors of the health services. Prior to his appointment to the ICGP, Kieran was Associate Director and Surgical R&D Manager at RCSI where he was responsible for the management of surgical training and development of a multicentre, multi-speciality and multidisciplinary surgical research programme. As Director of Clinical Services at Hermitage Medical Clinic he has gained significant experience in setting up a modern, high-tech hospital. He previously worked as Implementation Executive with the Irish Health Services Accreditation Board, Good Clinical Practice Inspector with the Irish Medicines Board and as Clinical Trials Manager with GlaxoSmithKline Ireland. Kieran also headed the Healthcare Practice for Aon where he advised a myriad of healthcare providers and organization on clinical risk management and clinical governance. Kieran is also on the Board of the National Standards Authority of Ireland. He holds an MSc in Healthcare Ethics and Law and a Higher Diploma in Quality in Healthcare from RCSI as well as a B.Sc. in Applied Science from the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. He undertook post-graduate research work with Novartis Pharma AG and the Institute for Organic Chemistry, University of Basel in Switzerland.

Dr. Diarmuid Quinlan, MPS GP Glanmire

Dr. Quinlan won the 2013 National “Quality in Practice” award, with a project to make Glanmire a “Safe Prescribing Haven” for potentially toxic medicines.

He is a member of both Irish and Royal colleges of General Practice. He holds diplomas in child health, family planning and dermatology, with a certificate in diabetes care. While studying medicine, he was awarded a scholarship and obtained an honours physiology degree. He graduated from UCC in 1991.

He chaired the HSE South Diabetes Service Implementation Group, and was a member of the National Diabetes Programme, since 2009. He chairs the Diabetes in General Practice group, a Cork charity. He was appointed clinical lead for diabetes in HSE South in 2009.

He has an interest in medical research and education, participating in many research projects, both local and national.  He chaired and presented at a range of academic and educational meetings. He has co-authored a chapter in a book on “Integrated Care for Ireland”, published July 2013.  He is a tutor for medical students in UCC.

He undertakes clinical risk assessments on behalf of the Medical Protection Society, the only GP in Ireland to do this work. This entails advising GP practices how to enhance patient safety. He is on the Southdoc committee for Cork city.

Moyra Amess, Associate Director, Accreditation Unit at CHKS LTD

Moyra has developed a career in assessment of quality in healthcare. From practical experience at the coal face to academic studies in healthcare research and health services management, she has gathered experience in the development of measures of quality in healthcare, from standards and audit criteria to outcome indicators. As a senior consultant she has provided support and interpretation of patient level data of a wide range of performance and outcome indicators at organisational and speciality levels. More recently she has taken on management of the CHKS Accreditation Unit to develop new data-based products alongside the standards based accreditation programmes.

Fergus Clancy, CEO, Mater Private

Fergus began his career in the insurance industry where he specialised in hospital and medical malpractice insurance.  He became a Director of one of the largest global insurance broking firms and was responsible for the establishment and growth of its European healthcare practice.

Fergus subsequently established Circa Healthcare Consulting.  Circa quickly became the leading quality assurance and risk management consulting firm operating in the Irish health services.  Circa’s clients included the Department of Health & Children, many Health Boards, all of the Dublin Academic Teaching Hospitals and most of Ireland’s private hospitals.

Circa Healthcare Consulting was bought by the global insurance group Aon in 2004, thus creating Aon Healthcare, which as a result is the recognised market leader in healthcare insurance and risk management services.

Following the sale of Circa Fergus joined Mater Private Healthcare and took over as Group Chief Executive in early 2006.  In 2007 he led an MBO backed by CapVest, a London based private equity firm.

Fergus is currently Chairman of the Independent Hospital Association of Ireland (IHAI).  IHAI is the national representative body of private hospitals.  He is also a Ministerial Appointee to the Implementation Body of the Commission on Patient Safety & Quality Assurance.  He is a member of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Standards of the Health Information & Quality Authority.

In addition to his healthcare interests Fergus is a Non-Executive Director of RSA Insurance Ireland (formerly Royal & Sun Alliance) and is involved in a number of charitable initiatives.

Dr Tadhg Crowley, IMO GP committee member, Ayrfield Medical Practice, Kilkenny

Dr Crowley has worked in the practice since 1997.He trained in UCD and completed his general practice training on the mid-western scheme. His area of interest includes childhood asthma, general allergy as well as sports and exercise medicine. After completing his general practice training he completed post graduate diplomas in paediatrics, psychiatry and in occupational medicine in London. He has worked with the Kilkenny hurling team for 10 years and also served nationally on the GAA scientific and player welfare committee. He has overseen a number of national projects on behalf of the GAA including injury prevention and cardiac screening. He has a keen interest in primary care teams and their role within the community. He has served on a number of task forces nationally within the HSE in relation to primary care. He is currently chairman of the local branch of the ICGP.

Paul Cullen, Health Correspondent, The Irish Times

Paul is a reporter with many interests but few obsessions, he has previously covered politics, consumer affairs, the developing world and education. He also (mis)spent some years reporting from the planning tribunal and is the author of With a Little Help from my Friends, a history of political corruption. Other books dealt with refugees and asylum-seekers in Ireland and Dublin.


Dr. Ray Walley, GP, Chairman of the IMO GP Committee

Dr Raymond Walley qualified from UCD in 1987.  He is the current Chairman of the GP committee of the IMO.

Having received his GP training on the East Sussex Vocational Training Scheme in UK , he worked in the NHS as a fund holding General Practitioner in a multi partner purpose built Primary Care Centre in East Sussex. He was a founding member of Brightdoc, Brighton GP out of hours service.

He worked for 10 years as a Unit Doctor for the HSE in the old Eastern Regional Health Authority. He was the founding Chairperson of DDOC the North Dublin Out of Hours Service.

He is a Director of Medisec Ireland Limited and provides a medical advisory role on their General Practitioner panel. He is a full time General Practitioner based in North Dublin having been appointed to a GMS post in 1998.  He is a GP Trainer on the HSE DML (UCD) Training Scheme.

Dr Walley completed a Diploma in Medical Management (RCSI / IPA) with a focus on change management. He is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and Irish College of General Practitioners.

Dr. Paul Carroll, Medical Director General Practices, Centric Health

Dr Paul Carroll trained in his home town of Perth in Western Australia where he completed his GP training in both rural and urban settings.  After a time working in a government immigration detention centre in the Australian desert, he came to Ireland in 2001 for a three month sabbatical with Locumotion working as a GP Locum in various practices around Ireland, and he is still here!

After several years developing new GP practices on behalf of Centric Health, he returned to full-time GP practice in Churchtown in south Dublin in 2012 upon the illness and subsequent passing of his colleague and mentor Dr Michael Mehigan.

Dr Carroll has a passion for improving patient services in the community, and has a strong interest in practice development, skin cancer medicine, and the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.

Dr. Conor McGee, GP, National Council President, NAGP

Dr Conor McGee is a GP in a practice in Scariff, Co Clare.  He graduated from UCG in 1995 and subsequently graduated from the Midland Training Scheme in 2000.  He is in practice in Co Clare since.  He is a Trainer with the Mid Western Training Scheme since 2007.  He is former secretary of the ICGP Clare Branch a post he held for a number of years.  He is a founding member of the East Clare Primary Care Team.  He was elected President of the NAGP in July of 2013.

His areas of interest include sports medicine and minor surgery.  Scariff Medical Centre is affiliated to the Graduate Entry Medical School in University of Limerick and Dr McGee is involved in the teaching of medical students.  He has served as team doctor to a number of Clare club and county hurling teams and is trainer to three underage camogie teams.

John Hennessy, National Director Primary Care Services, HSE

John Hennessy is a Cork native who has almost 30 years of health service experience in senior management and frontline roles.  In his role of Regional Director of Operations John managed health services across the nine counties of the HSE West Area.  He played a lead role in the reorganisation of acute health services in the West including the Mid West hospital services and the Galway Roscommon hospital services.  His constant focus was on patient safety, reducing risk and improving outcomes for acutely ill patients.

John has been key to the ongoing quality improvement initiatives in the health service including the preparation of services for the accreditation and licensing of hospitals and the HIQA registration of HSE long term residential services. He has overseen the introduction of Primary Care Teams; improved access to GP out of hours services; established crisis intervention teams and strengthened relationships between primary care services and the hospitals.

He has delivered the Service Plans for the HSE West area in challenging times and has overseen the implementation of the Croke Park Agreement to ensure efficiencies and the maximum use of the allocated resources.  This has led to improved productivity and reduced costs.

He has recently been appointed as National Director for Primary Care and has responsibility for Primary Care, Social Inclusion, Civil Registration, Oral Health and Medicines Management.  This includes responsibility for a budget of approximately €3bn and over 11,000 staff.  Primary Care Services includes the services of the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) which provides a wide range of primary care services to the general public, through over 6,660 primary care contractors across 12 community health schemes.  In 2012 services were provided to over 3.4m people in the community by doctors, pharmacists, dentists and opticians with an associated expenditure of €2.517bn.

Dr. Sean Higgins, GP Galway, Irish Primary Care Research Network

Born in Galway, Sean graduated with an honours degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2005.

He completed his Medical & Surgical Internship in Beaumont Hospital before commencing his General Practice Training where he worked in Temple Street Childrens Hospital (Paediatrics), Blanchardstown Hospital (Accident & Emergency), Tallaght Hospital (Psychiatry), St Columcille Hospital (General and Medicine for the Elderly), The Carlton Clinic (General Practice) and Glasnevin Family Practice (General Practice).

Sean is a registered member of the Irish College of General Practitioners and is on the specialist register of the Irish Medical Council in General Practice and is a member of the ICGP Council. Sean is actively involved in research and is a national collaborator with the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research. Sean also has a role as the National Co-ordinator of the Irish Primary Care Research Network.

Professor Walter Cullen, Professor of General Practice, University of Limerick

Prof Walter Cullen: is a GP at Abbey River Medical Practice in Limerick City and Professor of General Practice at the University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School (UL-GEMS). In this role he leads a multi-disciplinary research group working on the role of general practice and primary care in addressing problem drug / alcohol use and mental health. This collaborative research programme involves formal collaborations with HSE, primary / secondary care, service user representatives, academic / research institutions and international experts, has realised in excess of 30 peer reviewed publications and in excess of €1.7m in external peer-reviewed grant income. In addition, he leads the General Practice teaching programme that forms a major part of the innovative curriculum at UL and the establishment of the General Practice Teaching Network to support this activity. At present, over 100 GPs are active members of this Network.

Research Interests: Mental health in general practice and primary care, especially problem drug / alcohol use and youth mental health. Education in general practice and primary care.  Supporting practice based innovations in education and research

Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO, RCSI

Professor Kelly took up the position of CEO/Registrar in December 2009. A graduate and Fellow of RCSI, Professor Kelly was previously Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences from 2006-2009.

Prior to his appointment, he was a Consultant General and Vascular surgeon with a special interest in endovascular surgery in Beaumont Hospital. He combined this role with chairmanship of the surgical division and an academic position in RCSI as vice Dean for curriculum change. In addition to completing his basic and higher surgical training in Dublin, Professor Kelly pursued a research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.

Cathal has also won the prestigious Patey Prize of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland for research he conducted at Beaumont Hospital and he has also obtained first place in the intercollegiate Specialty Board Exams.

Dr. Barry White, Consultant Haematologist and National Haemophilia DIrector, St James’s Hospital

Dr Barry White, Graduate UCD. Consultant Haematologist and National Haemophilia DIrector, St James’s Hospital. Previously National Director for Quality and Clinical Care and National Director for Clinical Programmes at the HSE from 2009-2012. Widely published with over 50 peer reviewed publications. Has an interest in innovative health care delivery.



Dr. Trevor Duffy, Clinical Director and Consultant Rheumatologist Connolly Hospital

Dr. Duffey Consultant Rheumatologist and Clinical Director at Connolly Hospital, also attending at the Hermitage Medical Clinic. Has a significant interest in the interface between community and hospital based care, having initially seen this work well during his time working in the University Hospital, Geneva. Dr Duffy believes new technologies will advance professional interaction and improve the transfer of knowledge across the primary, secondary and tertiary spectrum. He has a number of projects under way in this area. His other interests include medical professionalism and continuing professional development, he is also vice president of the IMO and Secretary to the UEMS working group on CPD. Dr. Duffey is also an honorary associate initial professor at RCSI

Ms. Sinead O’Connor, The Arklow Project – community based diagnostics

Sinead is the GM of Global Diagnostics Ireland & is also the Programme Director for Global Vision. She has extensive experience in managing complex medical services and solutions across multiple locations, designing and auditing best practice patient pathways and overseeing  clinically effective change management processes on a large scale. For Global Diagnostics, she is responsible for overseeing  all aspects of the clinical & operational service across 10 locations seeing approximately 120,000 patients per annum.

For Global Vision, she is responsible for overseeing  the introduction on roll out of diabetic retinopathy screening services across Leinster

Mr. Mark Cahill, Global Vision National Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme

Mark Cahill qualified in University College Dublin.  After completing higher surgical training in Dublin and Cork, Mark undertook a one year fellowship in diabetic retinopathy at the Beetham Eye Institute in the Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard University hospital in Boston.  While there Mark participated in research on novel treatments to prevent vision loss in patients with diabetic eye disease.  Subsequently Mark completed a two year vitreoretinal fellowship in Duke University at the Duke University Eye Centre.  After working as a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in Duke University Eye Center Mark returned to Ireland in 2004.  Mark is now a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with a special interest in retinal diseases in The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.  A large part of Mark’s practice involves treating patients with diabetic eye disease.  Mark was part of the working group which produced guidelines in 2008 for a proposed national screening programme for diabetic retinopathy.  Mark is currently the principal investigator for a diabetic retinopathy screening study in the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.

Dr. Michael Collins, GP – Kildare Town

Michael is a GP in a group training practice in Kildare town.He graduated from UCD in 1992.  His special interests are Men’s Health,Respiratory Medicine,Mood disorders,Diagnostic Imaging and Dermatology. He is also Medical Director of the Vista Clinic in Naas




Margaret Curran, Caredoc Director of Nursing

Margaret joined the Caredoc team in 1999 and pioneered remote assessment and telephone triage of patients in Ireland. Margaret is now the Director of Nursing and is responsible for the robust nursing governance structures within the Caredoc services. The Caredoc Community Intervention Team is the latest award winning innovation where Margaret has participated in the development of a specialised nursing team delivering acute nursing services 24/7 in the Carlow/Kilkenny area.



Dorcas Collier-Hannon, Caredoc Clinical and Operational Manager

Dorcas is the Clinical and Operational Manager in Caredoc and has worked with the company since its foundation in June 1999. With her Nursing / Midwifery background and extensive experience in primary care, her achievements are in project management of innovative healthcare services development. Dorcas has worked with a broad range of academia, healthcare organisations and health professionals from the acute hospitals, primary care and care of the elderly sectors to deliver award winning healthcare services.



Dr. Aifric Boylan, Council member NAGP
Dr Aifric Boylan is a general practitioner who works full time in  Johnstownbridge, Co Meath. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and also of the HSE Dublin Mid Leinster GP specialist training programme in general practice, which she completed in 2010. She is a member of the executive committee of the National Association of General Practitioners.