Pictured at the Irish Healthcare Awards 2016 held in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin on 10 November was Iwer Baecker, Managing Director, Bayer Ireland, presenting the Irish Healthcare Awards 2016 to Professor Dunne and the Saolta Healthcare Group for their 'Pre-pregnancy care for women with diabetes' service. (l-r) Iwer Baecker, Louise Carmody, Breda Kirwan, Professor Fidelma Dunne, Marie Todd and Pauline Ferry. Picture: Brendan Lyon/ImageBureau
Nov 16 2016 Posted: 11:43 GMT

NUI Galway’s Professor Fidelma Dunne wins Irish Healthcare Awards 2016

NUI Galway’s Professor Fidelma Dunne from NUI Galway has won the overall award at the Irish Healthcare Awards 2016.

The judges deemed that Professor Dunne’s research to improve pregnancy outcomes for women with diabetes, would have an outstanding impact on patient access and care while also making cost savings to service delivery.

As a result of Professor Dunne’s work, women with diabetes in pregnancy living in the West of Ireland now have access to a bespoke and sustainable pre-pregnancy care programme. The service provides free, gold standard care to optimise their health before embarking on pregnancy. In addition, there is no waiting list to attend the service.

This work which started as a research project, funded by the HRB has resulted in significant lowering of stillbirth’s neonatal deaths and congenital abnormalities for infants of mothers with diabetes which previously was significantly higher when compared to mothers without diabetes in the western region. Working with the Department of Health Economics at NUI Galway, the work has also been shown to be cost effective.

NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi, welcomed the award: “We congratulate Professor Dunne on winning the Irish Healthcare Award. Professor Dunne has long been an international leader in this area of research, with her leadership and expertise in the field leading to better healthcare interventions.”

The gala event was held in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel recently and was presented by Bobby Kerr, broadcaster, entrepreneur and former ‘Dragon’ on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den. Now in their 15th year, the Irish Healthcare Awards are recognised as the most sought after in Irish healthcare, and are colloquially known as the ‘Oscars of the health services’.

The annual Awards - which are hosted by Irish Medical Times and its publisher MPI Media - celebrate innovation, excellence and achievement in the Irish health system and recognise projects and individuals that have made a positive contribution to patient care.

Congratulating Professor Dunne and the other winners, Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, which supports her research, commented: “This, and the other award winners, are an endorsement of the power of health research to improve our health services and the care that we deliver.”

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