TUH Announce Appointment of Head of Innovation

Innovation Appointment Picture(August 3rd 2021) Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) today announced the appointment of Dr. Natalie Cole as Head of Innovation. Dr. Cole will lead on the establishment of the new Innovation Centre at TUH. Dr, Cole is also joined by Dr. Hannah O’Keeffe, Innovation NCHD who will support the establishment of the Centre and lead on the delivery of the clinical innovation portfolio for TUH.

With COVID-19 as the impetus this year has been a flagship year for healthcare innovation worldwide. While technologies like telehealth played a key role in changing the way healthcare is delivered, the year also brought a shift in overarching strategies and approaches to innovation. At TUH we are assessing how innovation can not only address the COVID-19 crisis but also build a more effective, efficient, and equitable healthcare system in the future. Leadership in research & innovation are central to delivering better care and is one of the key pillars of the Hospital’s current corporate strategy.

The Innovation Centre will provide an opportunity for partners to test healthcare innovation projects across clinical and non-clinical departments (e.g. human resources, finance, facilities etc). The newly established Innovation Hub is a one of a kind dedicated physical space in the main atrium of the Hospital. This space will support the provision of ‘idea clinics’ for the development of ideas from a problem solving stage through to development and implementation.

The establishment of the new Centre and Innovation Hub will build on the already high-calibre innovative projects underway throughout the Hospital with links established with academia, HSE Digital Transformation and HIHI. The appointments of Dr. Cole and Dr. O’Keeffe are the first steps in enhancing the Hospital’s reputation and track record in this area with a view to becoming a recognised leader in Innovation. The appointment of Dr. Cole is supported by the Meath Foundation.

Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of the Hospital said “We appreciate and recognise the value of innovation and whilst TUH has a long and very proud history of innovation we need to ensure that we are building a sustainable approach to innovation building on our capabilities. Successful innovation enables the Hospital to be more effective, efficient and competitive. These appointments and the creation of the Innovation Hub, a physical space in our hospital, will help to nurture and develop a culture of innovation creating a system for innovation that continually scans for new ideas and takes them through to widespread use.

We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Cole’s experience in this area join TUH to develop our leaders, build improvement skills across the organisation. She will provide experienced support for new thinking and creating opportunities of time and space for all staff and the people who come into contact with our services to generate and develop new ideas and to spread what works.”

Commenting on her appointment, Dr. Cole said “I along with my colleague Dr. Hannah O’Keeffe are incredibly energised by this opportunity. To deliver real advances in healthcare you need commitment and enthusiasm from staff, strong relationships with academia and industry. TUH has all of these elements.  We are looking forward to nurturing and developing innovation capability with the clear aim of delivering benefits for patients.” 

Dr. Natalie Cole
Dr. Cole brings over 20 years national & international experience in Health Research & Innovation having worked in the HSE, Trinity College Dublin and Northwestern University, Chicago. She has extensive experience in leading high performance teams and delivering results on complex projects. She has also secured and managed funding from various funding authorities, supported the development of spin-out company and has an excellent knowledge of research and innovation management.

Dr. Hannah O'Keeffe - Innovation NCHD & Specialist Registrar
Dr. O’Keeffe is a final year Nephrology Specialist Registrar (SpR) and has already worked in TUH for two years clinically and so is familiar with the Hospital and many of its clinical staff. Hannah is a graduate of The University of Limerick with a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery and National University of Galway with a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, Hannah is focused on patient-centred care and has carried out a number of clinical research and quality improvement projects during her training to date.

About Tallaght University Hospital
TUH is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The Hospital has 495 adult beds with over 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country, a regional orthopaedic trauma centre and a designated trauma unit. The Hospital also has 67 paediatric beds under the governance of Children’s Health Ireland and 52 mental health beds under HSE governance. 

TUH is one of the two main academic teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as medicine nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.