Olive O’Connor – International Healthcare Advocate

I have both experience and qualifications in youth work, community leadership, social innovation and healthcare advocacy. I currently hold two separate International Fellowships related to Patient Safety and Quality Improvement. I am a trained facilitator for chronic disease self-management with Stanford University and have won numerous awards, including Dragons’ Den investment for my work as a social entrepreneur. My role in working with patients and staff in the health service has been accoladed by the former Director General of the HSE, the International Institute for Healthcare and JCI. I develop policies and procedures for a living. I was co-author of the Department of Health’s Public Patient Involvement Framework and my own research has been published in the International Journal of Integrated Care.

Contact Details

Address: Castlebar Rd, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo F31 CD89

Phone: +353 (0) 87 7982232

Email: olivejoconnor@gmail.com

Social Media Links: LinkedIn Twitter

Distinct Positioning

  • International Fellow: England Centre Practice Development, Canterbury University [ECPD], UK
  • International Fellow: ISQua Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • Won investment on Dragons’ Den Ireland, 2017
  • British Medical Journal Peer Reviewer. Writer for RSVP Magazine. Blogger and Vlogger.

Healthcare Advocate, Advisor, Facilitator and Mentor

As a healthcare advocate and innovator, I share insights & domain knowledge through working in partnership with businesses, communities and charities:

  • Public Patient Involvement Literature Review, Co-Author (Dr. Veronica Lambert, DCU and DoH)
  • Public Patient Involvement Framework, Co- Author (DCU, Department of Health)
  • NHS & Global Village Health Translation – Project 1: International #fabnhsday guide for Colostrum
  • NDRC – Business Mentor for Health Tech Start-Ups (affiliated with eHealth Ireland)
  • SOUND – External facilitator for this charity; designing Terms of Reference & guidelines for their teams
  • ICAN – Designing an interactive PPI solution; facilitated multiple work shops with all stakeholders for JIA
  • National PPPG Framework HSE – Policy, Procedures and guidelines Programme (Ms Brid Boyce)
  • National QI Programme Prevention VTE Working Group (Dr Philip Crowley, Ms Ciara Kirke – HSE)
  • Paediatric Early Warning Score System (PEWS) Working Group (RCPI, NCEC Dr John Fitzsimons)
  • National Maternity Strategy Focus Group (National Women’s Council, DoH)
  • National Clinical Programme Paediatrics & Neonatology (NCEC, Dr Alf Nicholson)
  • Irish College General Practitioners (ICGP Public Representative Group, Dr. Margaret O’Riordan)
  • Zero Harm Medication Initiative Launch (Tallaght Hospital, Mr Tim Delaney)
  • National Sexual Health Strategy 2016 Working Group (HSE & DoH)
  • National Patient Forum, 2015 (HSE Quality Improvement Division)
  • National Medical Card Form Review Panel, 2016 (HSE)
  • National Health Service Vision 2026 Working Group 2016 (HSE)


I have often been recognised and appraised for my work by global leaders in the field of healthcare:

  • Maureen Bisognano, Chairperson of International Healthcare Improvement 2015 (IHI) showcases Olive’s work in Qatar at International Quality Improvement Forum 2015
  • Clinton Global Initiative showcase Olive’s “Patient Story” at their International Forum 2014 in New York – Olive was handpicked with just nine others out of 10,000 women [Published by the UN]
  • Mr Enda Kenny; An Taoiseach endorses Olive’s work on international television [www.medistori.com]
  • Director General of the HSE recognises Olive’s work as a Patient Lead and Advocate [Written Reference]


I have presented at a range of conferences/events showcasing the importance of engagement, story-telling and health care rights. I have been lucky enough to have been a decision maker in many competitions.


  • Judge: Health Service Excellence Awards [Rosarii Mannion, Director of HR, HSE]
  • Judge: eHealth Ireland Health Innovation, Aviva Stadium [Mr Richard Corbridge]
  • Judge: Irish Pharmacy Awards, 2017
  • Judge: Network Galway Awards 2017 and Keynote Speaker


  • Guest Lecturer UCD, School of Nursing [Health Innovation]
  • National Primary Care Conference; Aviva Stadium 2017 (Key Note – NAGP)
  • eHealth Ecosystem – Keynote Speaker 2016 [Mr Richard Corbridge, CIO HSE], Ballsbridge
  • National Medicines Forum 2015 – HSE, Dr Helen Flint] RCPI, Kildare Street
  • National Patients Forum 2015 – HSE Quality Improvement Directorate], Aisling Hotel
  • Luke’s Symposium 2015 RCPI – Keynote Speaker; Innovation in Healthcare from Patients Perspective
  • Vasco de Gama (VdGM) – WHO Conference for Young GPs 2015, Chartered Accountants House
  • ICGP Summer School 2015, – Mount Wolseley, Tullow, Carlow.
  • UCD Forensic Medicine- Guest Lecturer Grade 8 Health Professionals], 2014 UCD
  • Maynooth University 2016 – Key Note Speaker, Plenary & Workshop Facilitator – Connected Health
  • SOUND Charity 2016 – AGM with SOUND members (Strategy & Leadership)
  • IADT (Institute for Technology) Conference 2016 – Benefits of For-Profit Social Entrepreneurs
  • Rotunda Hospital 2016 – Keynote Speaker International Thrombosis Day [Dr Fionnuala Ni Ainle]
  • World Health Innovation Summit 2015 – International Keynote Speaker [Mr Gareth Presch, CEO]
  • MedTech Start-Up Academy – 2014 Radisson Hotel, Galway
  • Irish Children’s Arthritis Network (ICAN) – Keynote Speaker; Self-Management Resources, Galway
  • Heart Children Ireland – Keynote Speaker; Overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dublin
  • Women’s Inspire Network 2018 – Messaging and Marketing
  • 6XS Digital Marketing, Central Bank of Ireland 2018
  • The Good Summit / World Health Innovation Summit Launch 2018
  • Upcoming: Irish Health Research Board – GDPR; DMI 2018; National Sustainability Summit 2019

Awards & Accolades

I have worked hard and been successful in achieving many national and international awards and accolades:

  • 2018 Winner: Most Innovative Product, Mayo Business Awards
  • 2017 Winner: RTE Dragons Den Investment [€80,000]
  • 2017 Winner: Mayo Style Award Health & Wellness
  • 2017 Winner: Zenith Global Health Award Innovation
  • 2016 Shortlist: Virgin VOOM Awards [First in Ireland; Top 10 Grow Category; UK]
  • 2015 Winner: Junior Chamber International (JCI) Outstanding Young Person Medical Innovation
  • 2015 Finalist: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Awards [Top 20]
  • 2015 Winner: Mumtrepreneur of the Year (Mums & Tots / Tesco)
  • 2014 Winner: Sccul Awards – Judges Choice Special Merit Enterprise Award
  • 2013 Winner: Enterprise Ireland, New Frontiers Phase 2 Award (€15,000 Prize)


I have been author and co-author of many publications (national/international):

  • “Patient & Public Involvement in National Clinical Effectiveness Processes: A Systematic Review”. Submitted to HEPS 2016 and Poster Display at Cochrane Systematic Review & Patient Safety Conf.
  • “Study to show how collaboration at beginning of design, development & delivery can save money, time & resources” DoH Patient Safety Conference 2015 Authors: Dr. Pádraig Mac Neela; Ms. Olive O’Connor.
  • “Managing Patients: Not Diseases” Submitted Patient Safety Conference 2014 Author: Olive O’Connor
  • “A Personal Health Record and Standardised Self-Management Toolkit. An Incorporated Account, Review and Evaluation 2012 – 2015” Co-Authors: Olive O’Connor and Dr Pádraig Mac Neela
  • International Journal of Integrated Care: “The MediStori. A personal health record and standardised self-management toolkit which can improve integrated care systems” Author: O O’Connor
  • Personal Interview Published: The Pitch Coach, Catherine Moonan, Liberties Press 2016

Public Relations

Olive has shared her story and insights to health care rights with many in the media:

Media (News Paper Articles) · Irish Times· Silicon Republic· Sunday Business Post· Connaught Telegraph· Mayo News· Castlebar Chamber· Western People· Irish Mirror  · Galway Advertiser· Galway Independent    

Interviews (Live/Pre-Recorded)· Today FM· Ireland AM· RTE (6 O’Clock) News· UTV (6 O’Clock) News· Sunday Business Show· iRadio· RTE Radio 1· Ryan Tubridy Show· Midwest Radio· CRC Radio     

Magazines/Online Media· Silicon Republic· Her.ie· Mums & Tots· My Kids Time· Mr. Donncha Hughes· RSVP Magazine· E-Health Ireland· Conefreys Pharmacy· NAGP Newsletter· IPU


I feel my main strength is my ability to communicate to wide ranging audiences, in a meaningful way:

  • Successfully designed and implemented multiple content/marketing/public campaigns
  • Successfully recruited local/national media outlets and partners (without payment)
  • Built and utilised all social media platforms from scratch; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
  • Created and located relevant content, in context with the health calendar year
  • Met all communication strategy KPI’s, every month, as proposed at planning stages
  • Outputs: Amalgamated 20,000 followers across social media platforms; >8,000 blog followers and 21 million impressions in one week on Twitter (without payment)

Technology & IT

I have a keen ability to self-learn, and rarely employed the services of specialists. Olive to date has:

  • Created videos/vlogs in-house (white board animations (Sparkol)/Animoto/iMovies)
  • Created all logos, designs, reports and products using Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe
  • Designed all in-house databases (financial reports, invoicing, accounts, research etc.) Office 365
  • Operated CRM (HubSpot) and Project Management Tools (Smartsheets) [Integrated: Zapier]
  • Designed and developed multiple websites: See: oliveoconnor.com/www.medistori.com
  • Designed and developed multiple online survey tools (consumer feedback)
  • Communicates using many technology platforms: Zoom/Skype/Google/Dropbox etc.

Voluntary Work

2015 – 2018 World Health Innovation Summit Referee: CEO, Mr Gareth Presch 

My Role:  Director, COO, Ethical Governance Team Lead & Secretary. 

Olive supported the development of a culture that put a focus on the value of local communities to people who work in or use health care services.  Olive’s role was to work in partnership with all who work in or use the health system to share experiences, innovations and aspirations – she developed the WHIS PODS structure; Mission, Vision and Values Statements; the organisations Terms of Reference and completed Frameworks for global WHIS teams to run Summits. Olive aided in the development of their global team through PPI and provided international secretariat services for the operations team.

2016 – 2018 SOUND [Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder] Referee: Chairperson, Ms Michelle Byrne

My Role: External Advisor to the Chairperson and Committee

Olive provides advise to the Chairperson and committee for this charity in all areas related to governance, terms of reference, risk assessment and management, team building, PR and policy development.

 2016 – 2018 ICAN [Irish Children’s Arthritis Network] Referee: Chairperson, Ms Wendy Costello

My Role: External Advisor to the Chairperson and Public Patient Involvement Facilitator

Olive designed and facilitated public patient involvement workshops related to transition of care. Olive analysed, reviewed and evaluated these workshops with an aim for ICAN to inform policy decision makers. Olive is currently an advisor to the committee in all areas related to governance, terms of reference, risk assessment, management, team building, PR and policy development.

 2012 – 2018 EasySpeak  [Private closed group, Facebook] Referee: Founder, Mr Mark Dolan

My Role: Lead Administrator & Advocate Suicide Awareness Charity [EasySpeak]

This non-funded peer led private forum currently has over 10,000 members and it aims to reduce the stigma attached to depression and anxiety, while also offering a platform for people to know where to access resources to help with same. Olive’s role ensured that 1) the team were safe guarded to deal with issues arising on the forum 2) that members were referred to relevant professionals & services, as required 3) that the team advocated on behalf of the issue to decision makers in mental health arenas and 4) the team could effectively manage and grow the forum.

 2010 – 2013  St Joseph’s Primary School Referee: Principal, Mrs Dymphna Culhane

My Role: Secretary, Parents Committee

Olive’s role was to support the Chairperson, other officers and the committee. It was her responsibility to organise and communicate tasks in relation to correspondence, meetings, filing, computer related tasks, taking minutes and to liaise with members in relation to meetings and events via email, phone, text or letter. For this role Olive needed to be organised, computer literate, neat and tidy, reliable, honest, confidential and willing to work outside of meetings. Olive had to liaise with Chairperson and/or Principal in relation to all aspects of committee.

 2008 – 2010   Tacú Family Resource Centre Referee: Chairperson, Ms Mary Jackson

My Role: Chairperson of Lake District Youth Committees

This role encompassed chairing a 30+ committee of both adults and young people to aid in the development of a youth centre in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. A target of €100,000 was needed to build the centre, and this was achieved within the time frames. As a Scout Leader, Olive found her natural strengths came through in this role when working with young people and having them actively involved in decision-making processes. A successful committee was formed compiling of young people from all ethical, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Olive’s duties included leading out on and supporting fundraisers; advocating with, and for, young people; working collaboratively with stakeholders; creating awareness through communications and providing administrations, in line with BOM.

I am presently a Youth Leader for the No Name Club. I am fully compliant re: child protection training, youth work facilitation and have full garda vetting clearance.


2018 – Present  Local Enterprise Office [LEO] Co. Mayo Title: Mentor

Key Roles: To support and advise early start-up businesses in health sector

Key Duties: To facilitate discussions re: marketing, PR, planning, investment

  • Help entrepreneurs produce a credible business plan and marketing plan
  • Show entrepreneurs how to create and conduct engaging presentations
  • Educate entrepreneurs understand the importance of balancing cash flow and maintain accounts
  • Assist entrepreneurs with networking opportunities and connections to key stakeholders
  • Provide information on materials/events which may be of use to the entrepreneur

2012 – 2018  MediStori Title: CEO / Creative Founder

Key Roles: Health Innovator, Advocate, Facilitator and Educator

Key Duties: To provide, manage, oversee and govern all areas of the business including:

  • Financial Planning/Management: Tax/ VAT Returns, Banking, Invoicing; Cash Flow Analysis, P&L Analysis and Projections, Pricing, Purchasing, PRSI/PAYE; Secure loans/investments, Business Plans
  • Human Resources: Manage, train, hire staff/interns and subcontracts in accordance with policy/law
  • Business Legal: Develop, overview, negotiate, secure – business contracts, patents/IP, CRO duties, employment contracts, mediation, investment contracts/negotiations, NDA’s
  • Marketing/Branding: Develop and deliver high level B2B and B2C marketing and branding campaigns via online & traditional means in-line with PR strategy & mission statement
  • Quality Control: Product development, production, delivery, customer service, IT, data protection, certification, logistics, stock control, risk assessments, office management, comply with GDPR.
  • Public Relations: Manage and lead on all public campaigns. Speak at conferences/events, radio (national/local), enter competitions (awards), speak on national TV, create social media campaigns in-line with PR opportunities, research data prior to presenting
  • R&D: Performed internally/externally using multiple evidence-based tools. Perform high level research documents / peer reviews, with proven track record. Advise numerous charities, universities and SME’s in development of committees, BoM and related to patient advocacy.
  • Governance: Overall governance of business, ensuring work ethics, policies and procedures are adhered to at all times, in-line with Company Board of Director management agreements.
  • Strategic Development: Design and develop strategic plans for business projections, implementation of product/services, integration of values, communications (internal/external); financial planning
  • Project/Time Management: Overall management of multiple business projects simultaneously at high level with exceptional proven outcomes, nationally and internationally.
  • Communications: Customer relations, B2B and B2C relations, media relations. literacy, specifically health literacy. Team/Internal communications. Communicate via blogs, social media, research papers, presentations and local/national media outlets (TV/radio/newspapers/conferences)
  • Analytics: Continually monitor – sales activity, customer relations, national/ international policy, social media activity, website activity, staff engagement/growth, investigate opportunities, data policies and all other relevant aspects of the company.
  • IT Management: Design, deliver and maintain high level ecommerce website and online portals through social media domains. Ensure all IT systems secure to protect data and sensitive information. Create/manage appropriate content in-line with sales, marketing and PR strategy
  • Consultancy/ Lecturing: Provide training, advice and consultation services to numerous health care related established and start-ups businesses, public bodies and charities. Provide essential toolkits and strategies to ensure patient safety is priority for those engaged in healthcare.
  • Design and Development: Solely designed and brought to market innovative new product [MediStori] using in-house design tools and creative methods for brand and marketing.

Previous Employment/Contracts

2016- 2017 Caragon Ltd Title: Strategic B2B Marketing Manager

Key Role: Work with the CEO, CTO and team to develop strategic marketing plans

Key Duties: Branding; Messaging; Public Relations; Set Up & Manage CRM system; Data Analytics; Generate Leads 

2000 – 2012 Wellcare (Family Business) Title: Personnel Manager

Key Role: HR and Quality Control

Key Duties: Quality Control; Staff Management & Training; Bank Reconciliation; Marketing & Sales; VAT Returns


  • 2019    Patient and Customer Experience Specialist (PX/CX) – CX University (Presnt)
  • 2018    Advocacy Index (The Art of Advocacy) – LCSI
  • 2018    Mediation Training Certification – TWZ Enterprises
  • 2017     Fetac 7 Community Leadership, Education and Development – Carlow IT
  • 2017     International Fellow Quality Improvement in Healthcare – ISQua
  • 2015     Adult Literacy Training – NALA  
  • 2014    Self-Management Facilitator Chronic Disease – Stanford University
  • 2012    Lean Start-Up Methodologies Programme –  GMIT              
  • 2012    Graduate Certificate General Studies [Business & Legal] – GMIT
  • 2011     Fetac 5 Certificate: Business Studies & First Aid – VTOS
  • 2009    Certificate: Child Protection – Scouting Ireland
  • 2009    Fetac 5 Certificate: Youth Leadership & Society –  VEC
  • 2009    Certificate Intercultural Studies – VEC
  • 2008    Fetac 5 Certificate: Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint – Fás LTI
  • 2005    Business Management – I. F. I
  • 1999    Post Primary: Leaving Certificate [Ireland] – St. Patricks Academy


Contact Details Available on Request

  • Mr John Connaghan; Director General, HSE [Written Reference Available]
  • Mr Richard Corbridge; CSIO Leeds University Hospital (Previous CIO, HSE)
  • Mr William (Bill) Ebbitt; General Manager Primary Care Division, HSE
  • Mr Gareth Presch; CEO World Health Innovation Summit CIC
  • Prof Veronica Lambert; Professor School of Nursing, DCU
  • Mr Tony Rudden; CEO Caragon Ltd
  • Ms Wendy Costello; Chairperson ICAN [Charity]
  • Mr Stephen Mc Mahon; Co-Founder Irish Patients’ Association