Skip to content

Q logo

Meet the team


  • Bernadette O'Malley
  • Donncha O Treasaigh
  • Fiona Steed
  • Jennifer.McMahon ‎
  • Maura‎ Fitzgerald
  • Misrah.Mohamed
  • Nicola.Kelly
  • Roisin Cahalan
  • Siobhan‎ Egan
  • Verity Hayes

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

The JHSA, a subsection of the Health Sciences Academy, has succeeded in bringing together a network of clinicians, academics, researchers and educators from across the region who are passionate about supporting good health practices in young people and stimulating an interest in a healthcare career. This group has identified initiatives to build on these relationships including:

  1. Early Careers days: virtual interactive sessions for school students with health professionals, university students, academics and patients providing information on health  as a career,
  2. Health Promotion and Leadership: through virtual cafés and advisory groups, young people can identify health promotion priorities and delivery strategies, implementing impactful projects in their schools,
  3. Healthy Conversations:  students pair with cocooning older persons, or those with a chronic illness, in mutually beneficial educational projects.

Feedback from teachers and students has endorsed this innovative vision, strengthening relations between the parties and increasing opportunities for collaboration in the short- to long-term.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The Junior HSA aims to develop and deliver a programme based on the themes of

1.       health as a career,

2.       health promotion, and

3.       leadership,

with students and teachers in primary and secondary schools in the Mid-West of Ireland by October 2023. The principles of equality and diversity underpin the programme, supporting access and opportunity for all.

The short-term objectives are to:

  • provide insight into daily working life of healthcare professionals in acute and community services,
  • provide information on University courses and alternative routes,
  • share students’ University experience,
  • develop appreciation and communication skills through engagement with older & people with chronic illness,
  • implement a health promotion project in their schools,
  • support leadership skills development health promotion projects.

In the longer term, students will:

  • be positioned to make more informed choices regarding career opportunities,
  • have greater options for health choices,
  • have a greater appreciation of the impact of illness,
  • have enhanced communication and leadership skills.

How will the project be delivered?

Year One:

Focusing on secondary school students in transition year, a steering committee with key stakeholders and an advisory group comprising students and teachers have been established.

With logic modelling, immediate, medium- and long-term outcome measures were identified including student numbers, evaluations, teacher ratings, CAO applications (by gender).

Strategically aligned, the project involves three work streams:

1.       Early careers:

  • Career in health
  • Live virtual two-day programme from clinical settings and Q&A
  • Available after on
  • Research ethics application has been submitted to evaluate the impact of this programme.

2.       Health Promotion & Leadership:

  • Students lead a health promotion project
  • Students creatively share learning
  • Evaluation, including peer, to measure student knowledge and skill development.

3.       Healthy Conversations:

  • Conversations with reflection between students and older persons or people with chronic illness.

Year Two: In-depth health career information about health careers; develop Business in Health strand.

Year Three: Develop programme for primary school students addressing the themes.

How is your project going to share learning?

The project is an excellent example of successful collaboration, networking and applying the principles of public and patient involvement. We identified an immediate problem – student career events attending clinical and university sites are not possible due to Covid-19; and an opportunity to address this. Other  possibilities have followed on from this.

We utilise key components of successful quality improvement projects:

  • Stakeholder mapping and engagement
  • Aim statements
  • Outcome measurement
  • Communication planning
  • Plan-do-study-act cycles of change during the project’s development
  • Building relationships to implement change
  • Shared learning between partners
  • Sustainability and spread

We will share our learning internally and externally as follows:

  • Partner organisation communication channels, internal and external, including social media, newsletters, Grand Rounds, quality improvement fora, teacher and student events
  • Local and national media
  • Publications in-house and in relevant journals, both health and education
  • RTE Brainstorm- national coverage to a broad population
  • Submissions to relevant conferences including Q Conferences

How you can contribute

  • Expert: advice from others who have developed and delivered such programmes previously
  • Expert: advice on how best to engage with teenagers
  • Networker: link up other similar ideas
  • Networker: link with others who could add value to project
  • Critical friend: highlight what works and what could be improved
  • Critical friend: offer alternative perspectives to strengthen programme
  • Fixer: resources that may be useful
  • Fixer: expertise in technology and promotion
  • Promotor: Share learning with others
  • Promotor: Social media with teen focus

Plan timeline

23 Oct 2020 Hold brainstorming events with teachers & students about ‘Early Careers’ content
9 Nov 2020 Form working group to develop 'Health Promotion' & 'Healthy Conversations' project
9 Nov 2020 Schedule recordings with staff & University students for 'Early Careers' project
23 Nov 2020 Host brainstorming event for 'Health Promotion' topics
27 Nov 2020 Agree 'Health Promotion' project to support student stress and anxiety
7 Dec 2020 Agree format and pilot site of 'Healthy Conversations' project
7 Dec 2020 Notify schools of upcoming 'Early Careers' programme
4 Jan 2021 Apply for research ethics for 'Health Promotion' & 'Healthy Conversations' projects
4 Jan 2021 Apply for research ethics for 'Healthy Conversations' project
4 Jan 2021 Engage patients in 'Early Careers' project
11 Jan 2021 Confirm Master of Ceremonies for 'Early Careers' event
11 Jan 2021 Identify patients from COPD Support group & students for 'Healthy Conversations'
18 Jan 2021 Communication plan for secondary schools around 'Health Promotion'
8 Feb 2021 Develop resource packs for 'Health Promotion' project
22 Feb 2021 Host 'Early Careers' event, both pre-recorded and live elements
22 Feb 2021 Undertake evaluation of 'Early Careers' event
1 Mar 2021 Release 'Early Careers' content on Health Sciences Acedemy website
5 Apr 2021 Upgrade pre-recorded content for 'Early Careers' to 3D simulation model
19 Apr 2021 Order promotional material and 'swag bags' for 'Health Promotion' project
19 Apr 2021 Students in TY undertake pilot 'Healthy Conversations' project
3 May 2021 Undertake evaluation of 'Healthy Conversations'
10 May 2021 Students to host 'Health Promotion' event with social media promotion
17 May 2021 Students & patients share reflections & learning from 'Healthy Conversations'
17 May 2021 Undertake evaluation of 'Health Promotion' project
31 May 2021 Students present on 'Health Promotion' event via creative media
5 Sep 2021 Further develop and roll-out 'Healthy Conversations' project in Year 2 & 3
6 Sep 2021 Establish advisory group comprising for Phase 2 'Early Careers'
6 Sep 2021 Review and further develop for Year 2 of 'Health Promotion' project
27 Sep 2021 Virtual cafes with 5th & 6th year students for Phase 2 content
4 Oct 2021 Scope and develop 'Business in Health' early careers information
1 Nov 2021 Create content for Phase 2- in-depth career information and insight
29 Nov 2021 Promote Phase 2 'Early Careers' content
14 Feb 2022 Deliver Phase 1 & Phase 2 'Early Careers' content
7 Mar 2022 Develop working group for Phase 3 'Early Careers' with primary schools
16 May 2022 Hold brainstorming events with primary school teachers and students
6 Jun 2022 Create interactive video-game content for 'Early Careers' for primary schools
1 Aug 2022 Apply for research ethics to evaluate Phase 3 'Early Careers'
7 Nov 2022 Deliver Phase 3 'Early Careers' to primary schools


  1. Miriam,

    This is a great idea and I do hope that you take it forward. If you need any process visualizations done then please let me know as I'd love to help. Good luck with your idea.


  2. Hi, I really like the concept you have submitted here. You are suggesting something a little bit different and supporting the confidence, capability and capacity of the workforce of all our futures and you have ensured patients are  central to the project.  Do you see this having opportunities to support apprenticeships and young people with less academic foundations?  This links so strongly to the work already supported and in progress from The Health Foundation around Anchor institutions and the role health and care organisations play in our communities.  I have no direct links to your "ask" but am happy to help from a QI perspective if you need anything.

    1. Thanks Andrea, I really value your feedback - I would love to take you up on your offer!

      Interestingly, this week while we were engaging with teachers and students, they expressed their interest in access to courses that have very high point requirements, and alternative routes to these. We are going to now incorporate aspects of this into our 'Early Careers' programme. I am curious about The Health Foundation and Anchor institutions- can you point me in the direction of where I can learn more about this? Thanks again, Miriam

Comments are now closed for this post.