Fostering a community of learning

Ni Neart go cur le chéile, HMI President, Tony Canavan said when he welcomed members, guests, distinguished speakers and delegates to the Health Management Institute’s 10th annual conference, last Wednesday.

Tony Canavan
Tony Canavan, HMI President

He said this old Irish saying had been translated in different ways, but the one he  liked  best at the moment was that ‘Together we are stronger.’

“One of the main reasons for having a conference is to foster a community of learning. I am a firm believer that when you bring good people together, really good things can happen. This morning we have delegates from across all sectors of the health services, public and private.

“I would like to encourage you to participate in the process and engage fully in the debates and discussions that happen here today so that the ideas that are put forward can be challenged and expanded.  At this conference, we as professional managers can embrace new shared understandings of what is possible but to do this we must engage with our speakers and their thoughts on these issues.

“The theme of the Conference is ‘Resilience and Renewal: Supporting our front line to deliver better health services.’ At our last conference, we celebrated the passion and commitment of people who work in health services. Little did we know the extent to which that passion and commitment would be tested. We celebrated the many achievements of the health services and those working in the health services. However, we also reflected on the failures that have occurred within our services; systems failures, performance failures and poor patient experiences and outcomes. It is important that we learn from both success and failure in order to continuously improve our health services.

This is my first conference as President of HMI and I and my fellow Council members hope that you will enjoy the conference and find great value in the contributions you hear today.

Mr. Canavan said the HMI was the professional body for healthcare managers across all sectors of the health services in Ireland.  Its aim was the continuous development of standards of management competence and practice.  It achieves this aim through informing, educating and involving its members and stakeholders in professional development and networking event.  “For reasons well known, for the past year we have not engaged as extensively as previous years with our regional events, but as we will emerge from the immediacy of the COVID crisis, this will change. In ways, our regional events and other activities are like having a year-round conference where new ideas are discussed and debated. I encourage you and your colleagues who are not members to join up and help us to expand the work of the Institute in your organisation and workplace.

“Being a member Institute, we are conscious of the need to meet with our members and to disseminate relevant information about the key issues in healthcare delivery. The principal way we do this is through our conference and our regional events. These could not happen without the support we receive from our sponsors. I would like to thank GSK, who are not only our main sponsor today, but who also support our regional events. Their continued support for our events and conference assists greatly the work of the Institute.   I would also like to especially thank each of our other patrons who have supported us with today’s highly topical and relevant conference for healthcare managers. These are companies that will be well known to many of you as they frequently work in successful partnerships with managers and clinicians to enhance the services we offer.

Tony Canavan

CEO Saolta University Healthcare Group, University Hospital Galway.

Tony has worked in the health services since 1993 across a range of services including Mental Health Services, Public Health, Primary Care and Corporate Services.

Tony’s first senior management appointment was in 2002 as General Manager of Mayo General Hospital. In 2009 he was appointed General Manager of Primary Community and Continuing Care for County Galway. Tony was appointed Chief Operating Officer to what became known as the Saolta Hospital Group in 2012. During 2012 – 2013 Tony was also General Manager of Galway University Hospital. Following this, he was appointed Chief Officer for Galway, Mayo and Roscommon Community Healthcare Organisation in 2015. Tony moved to his current role as CEO Saolta University Healthcare Group in September 2019.

Tony has recently been elected as President of the Health Management Institute and is a member of the scientific subcommittee of the European Association of Hospital Mangers (EAHM).