2017 Judges

Prof. Colette Cowan
CEO, University of Limerick Hospitals Group


Colette Cowan was appointed Chief Executive Officer of UL Hospitals Group in November 2014. She leads an organisation providing services to some 400,000 people in the Mid-West and with a workforce of approximately 3,500 staff spread across six sites in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.

Colette brings to the role 29 years of experience in the health services. She was appointed Director of Nursing in Nenagh, the youngest person ever in the country to have filled such a role. In March 2012, she was appointed Director of Nursing at Galway University Hospital before becoming the first Group Director of Nursing and Midwifery and the West North West Hospitals Group (now Saolta University Healthcare Group) eight months later.

Since her appointment as Group CEO, Colette has been leading the reform agenda at UL Hospitals Group as it strives to become one of the top three hospital groups in the country by 2018.

Dr. Mary E. Collins
Senior Executive Development Specialist, RCSI Institute of Leadership

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Mary is a Coaching Psychologist who has been working in the Leadership Development/Talent Management field for over 15 years.  Her current role as Senior Executive Development Specialist with RCSI Institute of Leadership involves working with senior leaders in the healthcare sector to develop their management and leadership capabilities through a range of executive development approaches e.g. executive coaching, 360 feedback, master classes etc.  Mary is also involved in academic work with RCSI including lecturing on a range of MSc. programmes here and in the Middle East.  Mary also supervises research at masters and doctoral levels.  For the last 3 years, Mary has been running a Women in Leadership Programme in Dubai.

David Beirne
Country Manager, UPMC

David Beirne is Vice President of UPMC International and Country Manager for UPMC in Ireland. UPMC has operated advanced radiation therapy centres in Ireland for the past decade. David is responsible for overseeing the development of the joint venture cancer centre in Cork that UPMC recently announced in partnership with Bon Secours Health System. Expected to open in 2019, the centre will offer advanced radiation cancer treatments on the Bon Secours campus.

David previously served as Chief Executive Officer at the Whitfield Clinic, the private hospital in Waterford that also is home to the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre. Before joining the Clinic, David worked in a variety of finance leadership roles at such companies as McInerney Plc in Dublin, Glanbia Plc and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mary Donovan
Bon Secours Health System Board Member                            

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Mary Donovan is an independent Business Transformation consultant with more than 25 years’ experience of working in and with organisations, designing and implementing Operating Models to make organisations both effective and efficient.

Mary has a passion for taking a holistic view of organisational change, believing that there is no one solution but that the combination of having the right strategy, organisation structure and capabilities, operating with the right processes, systems, performance management, culture & governance delivers sustainable change.

Mary graduated from UCC with a B Comm degree, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and of the Irish Computer Society.

Mary is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bon Secours Health System and of the Board of Guardians & Directors of the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and a Board member of the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Joint Commission International

Dr Paul Chang

Vice President

Accreditation, Standards, and Measurement at Joint Commission International.

Dr. Paul Chang is Vice President of Accreditation, Standards, and Measurement at Joint Commission International. In this capacity, he leads a global team of talented and dedicated accreditation professionals to serve health care organizations throughout the world.With nearly 20 years of healthcare experience, Dr Chang has served in a variety of roles in clinical practice as well as in the government and Not-for profit sectors. At the Singapore Ministry of Health, he had roles in clinical quality monitoring, setting of professional practice standards for physicians and management of new health services. Later, Dr. Chang had oversight of clinical quality, risk management, quality improvement, and JCI accreditation at Changi General Hospital, an 800-bed Singaporean public hospital. He was part of the management team that led the hospital to achieve JCI accreditation in 2005 and JCI disease-specific certification in two cardiology programs (Acute Myocardial Infarction and Heart Failure) in 2007.