Childhood obesity is a chronic disease that is treated most effectively by longitudinal care delivered by a multi-disciplinary clinical team. Training of healthcare professionals that care for children living with obesity is crucial in tackling obesity at local and national levels.
We aim to empower health care professionals in Ireland to provide care in the community setting, by providing education and training, and by building inter-disciplinary support networks.
Dr. Grace O'Malley
B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D
Paediatric Obesity Lead
Dr. Grace O’Malley is a paediatric physiotherapist and clinical researcher specialised in childhood obesity and exercise science. She is based at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences where she leads a research team exploring the co-morbidities related to obesity and investigating the development and implementation of complex interventions including eHealth interventions. She leads the W82GO Child and Adolescent Obesity Management Service delivering assessment and treatment for childhood obesity at Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street and is committed to ensuring children and adolescents with obesity have equal access to evidence-based care. Dr. O’Malley was the Inaugural Chair of the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland and participates in developing national programmes and strategies related to childhood obesity in Ireland. She is Secretary of The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and a member of the EASO Childhood Obesity Task Force.
Paediatric Dietetic Representative
Niamh Arthurs is a registered dietitian and researcher with a deep-rooted passion for helping others, particularly children and young people. Niamh began her career working in public health in the UK and Ireland and set up her own business which involved creating and delivering health and nutrition education programmes to preschools, primary schools and secondary schools. She also worked with various stakeholders in the delivery of health promotion and nutrition education at events and festivals and to community groups and in workplaces. Niamh completed her Masters thesis in the area of paediatric obesity in Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street. Niamh currently works with the W82GO Child and Adolescent Obesity Management Service in Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street and on the Obesity Research and Care Group at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Niamh has also been elected as a Board Director of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) Early Career Network
Being a committee member of the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI), fuels Niamh’s motivation and commitment to make positive contributions to those affected by obesity. Niamh is keen to contribute to current research in this area, in order to enable improvements in healthcare and service development for young people and their families.
Lois McCrea is a member of the RCSI Obesity Research and Care Group and is based at Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street. Lois works on the W82GO Child and Adolescent Obesity Service, and is also on the research team for the closely related LANDSCAPE Childhood Obesity project which is also led by Dr O’Malley: https://rcsi-landscape.eu/
Health Literacy & Digital Design Representative
Grainne is a qualified nurse with 30 yrs experience working within many areas of the Irish healthcare system including general practice and social inclusion. Grainne completed post graduate education in the areas of Cyberpsychology, Education (Elearning) and Primary Healthcare and works in CHI at Temple Street as Coordinator of the Child Health Information Centre.
Dr. Ellen Stuart
B.Sc, M.Sc, in Health Sciences (Clinical Education) MB BCh BAO MICGP
Ellen is a GP and physiotherapist. She completed the Trinity College Dublin/Eastern Regional GP Scheme in 2009. She worked in GP and palliative care up until 2013 before combining work as a GP with a clinical lecturer position in the Department of General Practice in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She completed an MSc in Health Sciences (Clinical Education) in 2016. She has special interests in reflection, palliative care, musculo-skeletal medicine and assessment in education.
Dr. Norah Jordan
B.Sc, M.Sc, DClin PgDip
Paediatric Clinical Psychology Representative
Dr Norah Jordan is a senior clinical psychologist, working with the W82GO Multidisciplinary Child and Adolescent Weight Management Service, delivering psychological assessment and intervention for childhood obesity at Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street. Norah has worked with Children’s Health Ireland since 2017, and has experience working with children and families who need support to explore blocks to healthy living, and to find solutions, including children with types 1 and 2 diabetes and children with Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as working with children and families in her role in the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, CHI at Temple Street.
Norah is trained in cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive analytic therapy, and compassion focused therapy, and has additional experience in assessing and working with children with neurodevelopmental conditions and their families. She is the psychology representative on the Working Group for the National Clinical Programme for Obesity Management, and is committed to providing equal and timely access to services for people who are above a healthy weight.
Paediatric Physiotherapy Representative
After achieving a BSc in Sports Conditioning and Coaching at the University of the West of England, Bristol, Lucinda graduated as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2010 with an MSc from the University of Essex, Colchester. She began her career in 2011 working at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as a Physiotherapist in an acute adult hospital. In 2013 she took up a position as a Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist with Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, working in both acute and community settings. Lucinda joined Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street in 2017 where she currently holds the position of Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist in Weight Management and Endocrinology. She is part of a multidisciplinary team in the W82GO Child and Adolescent Weight Management Service. In 2019 Lucinda also began working as a Clinical Research Assistant in childhood obesity and is currently involved in the BigO Study, a European study which aims to collect big data on behaviour and living environments related to childhood obesity.
Public Health Nursing Representative
Catriona O’Daly (nee Barry) commenced in UCD in 2019 as a Lecturer/Assistant Professor Public Health Nursing at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. She graduated with a BSc. in General Nursing (University College Cork, 2004), Higher Diploma in Midwifery (University of Limerick, 2006), MSc in Healthcare Management (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, 2009), Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Health Sciences Education (Trinity College Dublin, 2013), Graduate Diploma Public Health Nursing (University College Dublin, 2015) as well as completing a number of other short courses. Catriona is registered practitioner in four divisions with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (RGN, RM, RNT, RPHN).
Catriona has over nineteen years experience working in the healthcare sector both nationally and internationally. She has also worked as a project manager (2013-2014) on a funded service improvement initiative and has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Sarah Browne
Dr. Sarah Browne is a registered dietitian and lecturer/assistant professor on the MSc in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science at UCD. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin/ Dublin Institute of Technology in 2006. Sarah began her career working as a community dietitian with the HSE covering a wide range of primary care services across County Westmeath. She went on to run a private practice, where she developed and delivered programmes for disadvantaged community groups, youths groups and schools, and conducted 1:1 clinics, providing nutrition counselling for a range of chronic diseases.
Sarah completed her PhD thesis in 2017 at Dublin City University, using participatory methods with teenagers to understand diet and physical activity behaviours in the secondary school setting in Ireland. She recently worked on a study with children and adolescents attending the W82GO weight management service at Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street and RCSI. The study integrated a clinical dietary and physical activity intervention with citizen science methodology for capturing elements of environmental influence on behaviour. Her research interests include childhood obesity, dietary behaviours, food environments, behaviour change techniques, and health promotion.
Dr. Cathy Breen
ECOICO Dietitian Training Course Representative
Cathy qualified from TCD/DIT with a BSc (Human Nutrition and Dietetics) in 2002. She has worked as a Senior Dietitian specialising in diabetes and weight management in the Endocrine Service, St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin since 2003. She has represented the INDI on the Irish National Obesity Taskforce Treatment Algorithm- and Nutrition-sub groups, and RCPI Policy Groups on Obesity and a National Type 1 Diabetes Guideline. She has been involved with DAFNE both as an educator and as a researcher since 2004 and led the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians Diabetes Specialist Network from 2011-2013.
Her research interests include the translation of evidence to clinical practice in weight and diabetes management, and she completed her PhD in the area in 2016 – exploring Type 2 diabetes patients’ understanding and use of carbohydrate in the management of their diabetes. Following on from this she was invited to sit on Diabetes UK’s Nutrition Guideline Committee which is currently undertaking a systematic review for a 2018 update on the nutritional management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Jean O’Connell
ECOICO Physician Training Course Representative
Jean is an Endocrinologist with a sub-specialty interest in obesity management and bariatric medicine. She has been a member of St Columcille’s Hospital Weight Management Service multi-disciplinary team since 2001. She is a member of the National Obesity Programme Clinical Advisory Group and Chair of the Association for the Study of Obesity in Ireland.
In 2009 she completed a PhD thesis focused on metabolic profile and adipose tissue morphology and function in patients with obesity undergoing bariatric surgery. Jean has a particular interest in education of health professionals on the genetic, biological and environmental drivers of obesity, with a view to reducing weight bias and stigma, and improving the lives of people living with obesity.
Dr. Michael Crotty
Dr. Michael Crotty is a General Practitioner who specialises in Bariatric Medicine. He is a member of the Clinical Advisory Group of the Irish National Clinical Programme for Obesity and co-chair of the Adult Weight Management Subgroup. He is a SCOPE certified clinician and a faculty member of the MSc in Obesity in NUI Galway. He is the co-founder and clinical lead of the “My Best Weight” medical weight management clinic.
Public Patient Involvement Representative
Bernadette is a committee member of the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO).
Growing up in a household with the stark contrast of living with excess weight from age 3, with a brother who was underweight it was clear this was a complex issue. Having tried numerous treatments over the years, it was through patient support groups that Bernadette began advocating for more understanding of this chronic disease. Bernadette has a daughter who now sees similar issues, and as part of being a prominent ICPO advocate Bernadette is passionate to improve childhood obesity.
Public Patient Involvement Representative
Deirdre is a co- treasurer and committee member for the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO).
With changing hormones during her teenage years, Deirdre found PCOS a factor for her increasing weight despite being very active. Age 16 was the start of her dieting journey where she would lose weight and put it back on again, plus more. Since treatment, Deirdre is off her sleep apnoea machine and most importantly despite fertility issues, had another baby which would not have happened without losing the weight. Through advocating with ICPO she wants help other people find the right help and support in managing their obesity.
Public Patient Involvement Representative
Maura is the Secretary of the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO).
Despite a very sporty and active childhood, Maura developed from having the experiences of living with overweight to then obesity. Maura is familiar with different treatments needed for obesity, understanding weight regain and the stigma that comes with it. She is the founder of a Dublin patient support group in 2011 which led her to become a patient advocate with the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI) from 2018. With the high prevalence of obesity, Maura was keen to learn and raise awareness of obesity knowing her own family and friends are directly affected.
Public Patient Involvement Representative
Susie is the Executive Director for the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO).
Living with a food disorder called ARFID, Susie understands that there is not only one cause for obesity and not one treatment which will always work. Type 2 Diabetes and other co-morbidities have been health barriers for her since her 30’s. Since 2016, Susie has been a patient representative with the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI) and an Irish representative with the European Coalition for People living with Obesity (ECPO). This led to the start of creating a national patient led organisation called ‘ICPO’ from 2018. Susie shares her experiences to help improve the lives of those who live with obesity.