Irish Pharmacy Union announces appointment of Sharon Foley as incoming Secretary General

Irish Pharmacy Union announces appointment of Sharon Foley as incoming Secretary General

The Irish Pharmacy Union has announced the appointment of Ms Sharon Foley as Secretary General Designate. Ms Foley will take up her appointment on 17 August, having served as Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Hospice Foundation for over 11 years to date.

Announcing Sharon’s appointment, IPU President Dermot Twomey said:

“In a highly accomplished career, Sharon has built a reputation as a results focused leader with significant experience in advocacy and resource negotiation, healthcare transformation, change management, stakeholder engagement, in addition to her extensive organisational management skills. She has over 15 years’ experience as a CEO of pivotal national organisations, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Hospice Foundation and previously as the founding CEO of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency.

“Sharon has extensive knowledge of health policy, health promotion, primary and public health care and is well positioned to further build the contribution of community pharmacy in Ireland and to bring the organisation forward for the benefit of members, communities, patients and the overall health sector in Ireland.”

Incoming Secretary General of the Irish Pharmacy Union, Sharon Foley said:

“I am honoured to take up the role of Secretary General of the Irish Pharmacy Union.  This is an exciting time for community pharmacists in Ireland as the healthcare sector continues to evolve rapidly. Pharmacists are a highly valuable and skilled healthcare resource, who are very much trusted by the public and communities. This has been further accentuated by their exceptional commitment to public health throughout the pandemic crisis. Their potential contribution to future primary healthcare is immense and I look forward to working with members and the IPU’s committees to maximise pharmacists’ unique contribution to accessible, equitable, patient-focused primary healthcare”

Over her career, Ms Foley has worked in a variety of sectors – State, public, private, community and charitable. In previous roles, she worked as an independent management consultant, served as Director of Health Promotion in two former health board areas and worked as a senior dietitian with the Department of Health. She has also served on a number of State and not-for-profit boards.

In recent years, she secured funding for a national programme on end-of-life and palliative care in nursing homes, State funding for the national nurses for nightcare service and was a significant driver in the development of children’s palliative care in Ireland.

Ms Foley holds a Master’s Degree in Research from Trinity College Dublin, a MA in Health Promotion from NUI, Galway and a BSc in Nutrition & Dietetics from TCD/TUD as well as other qualifications in leadership and change management.

IPU President Dermot Twomey concluded, “We are delighted to have someone of Sharon’s calibre join us as Secretary General. Her experience, acumen and results focused approach leave her well positioned to lead the organisation into our next phase of development.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Darragh O’Loughlin as outgoing Secretary General and thank him for his immense service and contribution to the IPU.”


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