As Director, Karen provides strategic leadership for All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) Institute including brokering relationships between the Institute’s 28 partners (universities, hospices, health and social care organisations and charities), funders and key stakeholders. Karen leads the Institute Team and oversees the delivery of the Institute’s Business Plan across education, research, policy and practice, service user and carer engagement and raising awareness. Karen also represents the Institute on key regional and national fora and contributes to palliative care policy and strategic discussions.
Karen has significant leadership and management experience in a range of sectors including housing, economic development and offender management. She was previously a Programme Manager within the Institute where she led on the development of the Palliative Hub.
Mary joined AIIHPC as a Programme Manager in April 2017 where she leads on the Institute’s research programme and supports the continued strategic development of the Institute’s Palliative Care Research Network (PCRN). As well as working collaboratively as part of the AIIHPC team on the strategic and operational implementation of the Institute’s programmes.
Mary is an experienced and creative researcher and educator who has managed, developed and delivered research, education and consultancy programmes in the academic, health care and business sectors. As a clinician she has also worked psychotherapeutically with people with life limiting illnesses with special focus on people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Her research master’s focussed on identifying psychological and psychotherapeutic approaches for people with MND and her doctoral thesis is in Chemistry. She has a particular interest in identifying people’s needs in relation to palliative care and empowering people to feel competent in providing best practice care.
Paula Pinto, Programme Manager for Policy and Engagement
Paula is a Chilean lawyer with a Diploma in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship. She has worked in the private sector particularly in insurance and shipping; She has worked in the charity sector where she gained extensive experience in NGO grants management, developed policies, and ensured compliance to funders and charity regulations.
Tona manages the day to day running of the office and provides operational support to the Director and Programme Managers, along with supporting AIIHPC’s Governance Committees including the Council of Members. Tona plays a key role in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the Director’s office, as well as providing support for the Institute’s finance and funding and granting activities. Tona is also a key point of contact for AIIHPC member organisations and key stakeholders.
Tona is an Accounting Technician and has many years’ experience working in the charity sector.
Sarah helps our Office Manager with the daily running of the office as well as supporting with the Caru, continuous learning programme for nursing programme. She has seven years of administrative experience working within the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as within education. She holds a 2.1 level 8 bachelor’s degree in Drama Studies from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Sarah previously worked as the Accreditation Coordinator for the International Society for Quality in Healthcare and values working for organisations with an ethos to promote and improve healthcare quality and patient safety.
As Communications Project Manager, Yvonne works across a range of AIIHPC communications activities, including the annual public awareness campaign, Palliative Care Week. Yvonne has extensive experience in healthcare communications, advocacy and stakeholder engagement. During her time at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, she worked on major public health policy campaigns, such as obesity, tobacco, immunisation and the Public Health Alcohol Act. Yvonne has also worked within the HSE, supporting the Press and Media team in responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Miriam Ahern, Project Manager for Nursing Home Education
Miriam joined AIIHPC in March 2022 as Project Manager for Nursing Home Education. She is leading the Institute’s components of a new national programme for palliative, end of life and bereavement care in the nursing home sector.
The National Nursing Home Programme (Supporting Palliative, End of Life & Bereavement Care) is an initiative of the Irish Hospice Foundation in partnership with All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) and the HSE. Miriam manages the delivery of Project ECHO* AIIHPC networks, webinars and a dedicated zone on the Palliative Hub Learning Platform to support nursing home staff working in the Republic of Ireland.
From 2012-2021, Miriam worked as Director of Strategy and Development with the Irish Gerontological Society. She is a Certified Management Consultant and a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Management Consultants and Advisers.
Emer joined AIIHPC in 2022 as project manager for research impact. She is focussed on how palliative care research can contribute to positive change in policy and practice, and thereby deliver improved experiences for people with life-limiting conditions and their families. Emer is here to support the members of AIIHPC’s Palliative Care Research Network and Early Career Researcher Forum, throughout the research cycle, with how to maximise the impact of their work. As a social science researcher with experience across a range of healthcare systems and services, Emer has a particular interest in applied and collaborative approaches to research. Her background includes five years as a Clinical Scientist (Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering) in the UK’s National Health Service, followed by project managing the delivery of medical humanitarian support in DR Congo and Ethiopia. Emer joined her first research team in 2005 and spent 16 years working on a range of UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded research programmes, before relocating back to Ireland in 2021.
Jane joined the AIIPHC in October 2023 as the Project Manager for the Palliative Care Research Network and the Early Career Research Forum. Jane comes to the AIIHPC with a background in social research, both in managing research and conducting it herself. She is an experienced researcher and has many years’ experience working in the disability and healthcare sectors using rights based and person-centred approaches. Jane has a Degree and Masters in Sociology and Social Policy and has lectured at third level on the sociology of health, mental health policy and social research methods. Janes research interests include designing and implementing meaningful collaborative research strategies and the impact of social rights movements on social policy.