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Having first-hand experience in the issues that can arise from manoeuvring within the health system, from being both a patient and carer, Olive O’Connor has a passion to drive, promote and educate all stakeholders on the importance of engagement, partnership, self-management and self-care.
While also attending to the medical needs of her family, Olive has always supported and worked collaboratively with many organisations, having a particular interest in young person’s groups and mental health; even running peer led suicide awareness charity Easy Speak (10,000+ members) which allows people to get advice from their own central support service. In 2010, Olive chaired a 30+ committee which raised €100,000 in funds for her local youth centre as she trained in youth work, society, intercultural studies and business.
After graduating in 2012, Olive set out on a mission to see if her own project, the MediStori, could be a feasible standardised self-management solution to help other patients and carers. Leading out on a national externally evaluated study in 2015, Olive worked with every stakeholder to design, develop and deliver the MediStori project. Combining her love of community and healthcare, she also facilitated the self-care to wellness programme for people with chronic conditions as a Self-Management Facilitator of Chronic Disease through the HSE and Stanford University.
During this time, Olive decided to undertake a fellowship with ISQua and started training in health literacy with NALA with a focus to improve the health translation agenda.
Working now as a full time social entrepreneur, Olive works with an all-encompassing team to undertake extensive participatory research with patients, carers and health professionals regarding the development of projects which impact on policy and practice in healthcare.