Three New Members of HMI Council


Three new Members have been appointed to the HMI Council.

They are Dr. Phillipa Ryan Withero, Grace Rothwell and Theresa Heller.

Grace Rothwell
Grace Rothwell

A native of Kilkenny, Grace Rothwell has worked in the Health Service for more than 25 years and  now at Assistant National Director level. Her roles have been in management at varying levels in acute hospitals and most recently she has taken up the post of Chief Officer in the South East Community Healthcare, covering a Maternity Leave.

She began her career with roles in Household Services in the Coombe Hospital, Dublin  and Waterford Regional Hospital, followed by a Project Management Role at national level, which involved the development of ‘National Cleaning Standards’ and ‘National Infection Prevention & Control Standards.’  In this role she also enabled the first ever National Hygiene Audit.

She then had a number of Facilities Management roles in St. James’s Hospital , Dublin, before taking up the position of General Manager in South Tipperary General Hospital in 2013 – something she had always wanted to do.  “Running a hospital is something everyone should experience, the sense of purpose, the teamwork, the contact with patients and families and the ability to make things happen is invaluable.”

Grace left Tipperary to take up the post of Head of the SDU which enabled insight as to workings between the HSE, Department of Health and the Oireachtas, as well as operations in the various acute hospitals throughout the country.  She described this as “again huge learning.”

In 2019 she commenced work as General Manager of University Hospital Waterford & Kilcreene Regional Orthopaedic Hospital – a post which she loved,    “It was a big busy hospital, the Covid Era, the post Covid Era and then the Wexford Fire – I gained a considerable amount of  experience!

In April of this year she took up the role of Chief Officer in South East Community Healthcare. “This was a very different place to acute hospitals – huge learning and opportunity to encourage collaboration and integrated services.”

Dr Phillipa Ryan Withero
Dr Phillipa Ryan Withero

Dr Philippa Ryan Withero, RGN, BNS, Dip HEc, Msc, DProf, FFNMRCSI is Assistant National Director HR, HSE, with responsibility for Strategic Workforce Planning and Intelligence.

Since she was appointed to this role in September 2017, Philippa has brought together the Workforce Analytics Unit with the Integrated Workforce Planning Unit to create a strategic workforce planning and intelligence unit. Most recently this unit has expanded to now include a HR Integration team that brings together Organisation Management cross functionally between HR and Finance. Collectively this brings together workforce intelligence, through robust data collection and analysis, along with the developments in strategic workforce planning and forecasting in addition to the supported end to end HR function delivered via HR Integration. Under her leadership, this team provides all employment reporting, workforce analytics and projections and HR Integration across the health service.

Phillipa has led out on the development and implementation of multiple workforce planning projects including the first National Safe Nurse Staffing Framework, underpinned by a national programme of safe nurse staffing research, in her role as Deputy Chief Nursing Officer with the Department of Health. This work has received international recognition and cross country collaboration. More recently, she has led on the first collaborative project with the ESRI, to further develop the Hippocrates Model developed by the ESRI, to project workforce demand across Acute Hospitals. She continues to work with the ESRI to further develop this work to project workforce demand for community services nationally.

Philippa has almost 30 years of experience in the Health Services, having started her career in nursing, but has worked in a variety of roles that span across nursing and midwifery, human resources, operational, educational and policy, working nationally and internationally on key workforce projects. Her passion is to drive the workforce planning agenda and create the awareness and appreciation of the health workforce as a critical enabler to high quality safe patient care along with sustainable healthy work environments.

Theresa Heller
Theresa Heller

Theresa Heller is Assistant National Director, National Human Resources with the HSE.

Theresa has worked in the Health Services for 39 years.  During those years she held a number of senior management and senior Human Resources Roles in the acute, community services and corporate services.  She has extensive experience in operational and strategic Human Resource Management across all services. Theresa was appointed Assistant National Director in July 2021 as Corporate Business Partner, National Human Resource Division, HSE.

Theresa was awarded a B.A. in Health Care Management from Dublin City University and an M.Sc. in HealthCare Management from Trinity College, Dublin.