First Chief Executive Appointed for new Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)

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The Interim Health Information and Quality Authority the new agency being established by the Government to ensure world class quality standards in our health services today (Friday, June 9th) announced the appointment of Dr. Tracey Cooper as the first Chief Executive for the soon-to-be-established Authority. 

Dr. Cooper, a qualified medical doctor, is currently employed as Deputy Head and Director of Operations at the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team in the UK.

As a new, unique, independent and pioneering organisation, Ireland's Health Information and Quality Authority is being established as part of the Governments Health Service Reform Programme. Its mandate is to ensure world class information, quality and health technology assessment standards are applied in Ireland's health and personal social services - across the public, private and voluntary sectors. It will also incorporate the Office of the Chief Inspector for Social Services. Health Information and Quality Authority will be based in Cork City as part of the Government's decentralisation programme.

Making the announcement, following a very competitive selection process and with the unanimous support of the Board, the Chairperson of the Interim Health Information and Quality Authority (iHIQA), Mr. Pat McGrath, said that Dr Tracey Cooper is a highly motivated professional with outstanding leadership qualities combined with the vision, energy and commitment for this challenging post. She brings the technical knowledge of The Health Information and Quality Authoritys mandate as well as extensive management and public sector experience to the job.

Commenting on her appointment Dr Cooper said: I am delighted and honored to have this opportunity to contribute to the Health Sector in Ireland. Health Information and Quality Authority's role is key in driving improvements and innovation in the quality of health and social services for the people of Ireland and engaging and involving staff, patients, clients and the public will be fundamental to its success. I'm looking forward to taking up the post, moving forward with other key appointments and meeting with service users and staff across the whole range of services.

Dr Cooper graduated from Southampton University Medical School in 1990, and subsequently held a number of posts in General Surgery and Accident & Emergency in England and Scotland. She was Locum Consultant in A&E in Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Royal Hospital before leaving clinical practice, becoming more involved in national health reform and taking up a series of senior management posts in the NHS, including Director of Clinical Services for East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. She joined the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team in 2001 and became Deputy Head and Director of Operations in January 2004. During her career Dr Cooper has worked in and advised on a variety of different health systems, served on a number of national task forces, worked closely with health improvement bodies in the UK and with the health and social care system in Northern Ireland.

Dr Cooper will take up post in August, 2006.