Patient Champions Programme

Are you a heart or stroke patient who would like the opportunity to advocate for yourself and other patients in your community?

Our Patient Champion Programme provides the training, support, resources and know-how to make a difference and help shape a better future for heart and stroke patients in Ireland.


What is the Patient Champions Programme?

Launched in March 2023, the Irish Heart Foundation Patient Champions programme was developed by the Irish Heart Foundation to help train and support heart and stroke patients across Ireland on the most effective ways to make real and positive change happen. The programme is free of charge and delivered online and is accessible to patients with a heart or stroke diagnosis throughout Ireland.

Patients who take part in the programme will receive comprehensive training in a number of relevant areas including:


Why was the Patient Champion Programme developed?

The programme was developed by Pauline O’Shea, heart failure patient, long-time patient advocate and Advocacy Campaign Manager at the Irish Heart Foundation.

Irish Heart Foundation's Patient Champion Programme

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Irish Heart Foundation's Patient Champion Programme

“The Irish Heart Foundation’s Patient Champion’s programme is a demonstration of the Irish Heart Foundation Investing in their heart and stroke patients, and supporting them, in the area of self – advocacy."

Pauline O'Shea,, Irish Heart Foundation

“As a cardiac patient myself, I know that the patient journey is often a tough one, but the loneliness and energy required to fight for patient issues alone makes that journey tougher.

That’s why the Irish Heart Foundation developed this free, online, professional advocacy programme for heart and stroke patients nationwide, delivered in a way that allowed patient advocates from all over the country a chance to connect and support each other along the way, so as to make the patient advocacy journey a better one.

Now with the graduation of the first group of Irish Heart Foundation Patient Champions, we see not only great advocates for the heart and stroke community emerge, but a heart and stroke patient advocacy group who have a connection with each other and the organisation that is supportive and strong.

As one Patient Champion graduate recently described it, patient’s no longer want their involvement in advocacy to be represented by occasions of being ‘wheeled out’ to speak and then being expected to leave the room while everyone else makes the decisions. They want to feel empowered, appreciated, supported and treated as equals in the room, and in partnership with patient organisations and healthcare decision makers, and that is what the Irish Heart Foundation’s Patient Champion programme is aiming to deliver!”

What our Patient Champions have said about the programme:

“I’m here for those stroke patients now, to support them. It’s so beneficial to me to get official training on how to use my experience to make a difference. I was often ‘wheeled out’ to tell my story, but now I feel I have the training to give impact.”

Meaghan O’Brien , Patient Champion

How to apply for the programme:

If you are interested in learning more about the Irish Heart Foundation’s Patient Champion’s programme, please call Pauline on 087 3810726 or email

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