New President of the Irish Heart Foundation appointed

By June Shannon Policy News   |   9th Oct 2018

The Irish Heart Foundation has also appointed two new members to is board

Professor Emer Shelley, public health expert with a specialist interest in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, has been appointed President of the Irish Heart Foundation.

Dean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), Professor Shelley is a retired specialist in public health medicine and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

With a strong background in cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention, Professor Shelley has had a long association with the Irish Heart Foundation.

Prof Shelley is Chair of the Steering Group of the National Acute Stroke Register and served as public health lead for the HSE’s Clinical and Integrated Programmes for Older People.

"The appointment of Professor Emer Shelley as President has been warmly welcomed by our staff and volunteers,"

Mr Tim Collins, CEO, Irish Heart Foundation

The Irish Heart Foundation has also appointed two new members to is board; Professor Joe Harbison, Consultant in Medicine for the Elderly and Stroke Medicine at St James’s Hospital in Dublin and Mr Wally Young, Founder and Head of Young Communications in Dublin.

Former HSE Clinical Lead for Stroke, Prof Harbison is also Associate Professor of Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

His research and clinical interests are around stroke and cerebrovascular disease and he is also interested in the causes of cognitive impairment, fatigue, and psychological distress in people with stroke, as well as sleep disorders and atrial fibrillation.

Mr Wally Young is a public relations consultant and media trainer who provides a mix of public relations consultancy, advocacy and media interview training to a select range of clients. He specialises in crisis media planning and execution. He is the former head of Defence Forces Media Relations, retiring in 1996 to establish Young Communications.

Mr Young was engaged as communications adviser to ASH Ireland for 20 years up to 2017, after which he appointed to the board. He advised both ASH Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation in the lead up to and introduction of the Workplace Smoking Ban in 2004.

Mr Young was engaged as a Media Adviser (part time) to both President Michael D Higgins and President Mary McAleese, having advised the latter in the 1997 election campaign.

Commenting on the appointments, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation Mr Tim Collins said, “The appointment of Professor Emer Shelley as President has been warmly welcomed by our staff and volunteers. Her background in cardiovascular epidemiology will be a huge help in bringing our new five-year strategy to completion. We are also pleased to welcome to the Board Professor Joe Harbison who has been a strong advocate for the development of stroke services and Wally Young who has been to the forefront in fighting for tobacco control measures over the past twenty years”.


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cardiovascular disease Joe Harbison New President Prof Emer Shelley Wally Young

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