TUH Present Hero Awards to Hero Staff


Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) presented ten 2021 Hero Awards to individual staff and teams for “the incredible difference they made to patients, their families and their colleagues” in the last year.

2021 Hero Awards medal

Chief Executive of TUH Lucy Nugent said, “The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented us all both professionally and personally with enormous challenges. No one could ever have envisaged the changes we would have undergone in providing care to our patients or how our own lives would alter.  Every single person working across the Hospital has had to adapt and this has been done with incredible spirit, compassion and dedication, always putting the patient and their families first. I would like to congratulate all of the award recipients and thank them for the incredible energy and commitment they bring to the Hospital.”

Director of HR at TUH, Sharon Larkin said, “In addition to the COVID Pandemic this year our staff also faced the challenges brought by the cyber-attack.  In addition to the Hero Awards, we presented a specially commissioned medal on behalf of the Hospital Management team and Medical Board. This medal is a symbolic gesture to recognise the incredible TUH team effort that staff across every service and discipline have made to our patients and one another during the most challenging of times. It is a symbol for us all to have to remember what we have achieved and overcome in the last 18 months.”

The 2021 TUH Hero Award Categories and winners:

Patient Experience – Dr. Marianne Foley, Junior Doctor

This category was open to the TUH community to nominate an individual/team who for that patient demonstrated the finer ideals of caring through extraordinary service to a patient and/or their family, ‘an exceptional patient experience.’ Dr Foley was nominated by the daughter of one of our patients.  In her submission she said, ‘Marianne has been absolutely outstanding in her care and dedication to my Dad. Her communication and regular updates to both my Dad and us, his family has been amazing and we would be lost without her assistance. She shows such compassion towards Dad and makes him feel important not just another ‘random patient.”

People Caring for People – Susan Graydon & Audrey Francis, Patient Food Services, Catering Department

This category is for a staff member who exemplifies the core values of TUH. This year the award was presented jointly to Susan and Audrey who were nominated by other colleagues following the sudden illness and death of a colleague.  In the nomination, their colleagues said, “Our colleague suddenly became ill while at work.  Susan and Audrey could not have done a better job supporting, caring and watching over our colleague who became ill suddenly at work. They followed this care and compassion through to the family and friends of their colleague demonstrating how people care for one another at TUH.”

Unsung Hero – Ann Creaven, Outpatient Department Manager

This award is for a staff member who demonstrates exceptional service to the organisation. Ann was an extremely popular nominee for this award by a number of colleagues.

“Ann at all times embodies the spirit of the Hospital, while her core responsibility is to the Out Patients Department she will always help and assist anyone. She has extraordinary vision for planning the outpatient clinics. During the last year, like so many staff she stepped up and was involved in the co-ordination of the COVID Vaccination clinics and led on the restoration of the iPMS database which is so essential to the running of the Hospital following the cyber-attack on the healthcare system.”

Service Excellence – Damien O’Connor, Facility Officer, Trinity Education Centre

This award is for a staff member who provides an outstanding service to patients or staff within the hospital.

“Damian treats all of his colleagues with the same respect regardless of grade or job role. He is always there to help just when you need him and will always go above and beyond for everything and everyone who asks for assistance with the most brilliant smile on his face.”

Mentoring Award – Nicola Lowry, Senior Enhanced Nurse, Lane Ward   

This category is for a staff member who demonstrates outstanding teaching skills and serves as a role model and mentor to their colleagues. “Nicola is an incredible nurse demonstrating empathy, compassion, skill and knowledge in her work whilst also having the time and patience to guide and teach. Nicola works hard in her role as a nurse, educator and role model. She is approachable, kind, intelligent and so very modest!”

Teamwork Award – Maria McArdle CNM2 Discharge Planning.

This award is for a valued team player that will always ask how they can help. “Maria liaises closely with the Social Workers and is always keenly aware of the relevant issues with our complex and delayed patients.  She always has time to listen and work with the multi-disciplinary team to resolve complex issues.  She takes that extra step with Management and Doctors where Social Workers may not be in a position to liaise directly.  She is respectful and extremely diligent in her work and has excellent communication skills”

Team of the Year – COVID-19 Vaccination Team

This category is for a new or established team that demonstrate excellence in teamwork.   The COVID-19 vaccination team is a team involving over 70 staff from many different disciplines and departments across the Hospital, the team received a number of nominations from colleagues across the Hospital.  “The TUH Vaccination Team are the most wonderful group of professionals, who with very short notice implemented a wide ranging vaccination programme for both staff and patients. The team came together in a number of days and put in place a process to safely and efficiently vaccinate TUH and CHO7 staff. All the staff involved in the Clinic made themselves available with a great generosity of spirt working long hours and at weekends.”

CEO Awards

There were two further awards nominated by the Chief Executive on behalf of herself and the management team recognising individuals that go above and beyond, often behind the scenes that may not be evident to all staff.

The first recipient for this award was the ICT Department. “When people think of a hospital the first people apart from the patients are the medical/clinical staff that deliver care to the patient. In order to do this we need our technology to work and the ICT team in the last 18 months have demonstrated incredible innovation, commitment and energy. The arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent cyber-attack on the health  systems presented enormous challenges to the Hospital and how it could continue with patient care during some extremely challenging times.  During the constant and oftentimes it seems never ending challenges we have faced in the last 18 months. this team has responded to every challenge with energy and commitment in finding and implementing a solution embodying the Hospital’s CARE values of Collaborate, Achieve, Respect and Equity. They have done this whilst also ensuring that the new service areas such as the Vartry Renal Unit and the Reeves Day Surgery Centre were ready to open and deal with the day to day ICT requirements of a very busy hospital.

The second recipient was, Mr John O’Byrne, Acting Head of the Pharmacy Department. “John is a long standing valued member of the Pharmacy team but also in the wider hospital team.” 

TUH  HospitaL  Medical Board & Management Team have commissioned special medals for each of the hospital staff “in grateful appreciation for all their selfless commitment.”

The TUH Medal also comes with a special message to Staff from Michael D. Higgins Uachtarán na hÉireann.
“No one could ever have envisaged the changes we would have undergone in providing care to our patients or how our own lives would alter. Every single person working across the Hospital has had to adapt and this has been done with incredible spirit, compassion and dedication, always putting the patient and their families first, said CEO, Lucy Nugent.

Credit Medical Photography at TUH