BIAS: The Panel
Our live panel was hosted by TodayFM's Alison Curtis, who was joined by :
Dr Geraldine Connolly, Rotunda Hospital and Temple St Hospital
Dr Nóirín Russell, CervicalCheck
Loretta Dignam, Menopause Hub
Rhona Gaynor, Women's Health Taskforce
Alana Ryan, National Women’s Council of Ireland
MEET THE HOST
Alison Curtis moved from Canada to Ireland in 1999. She began working at Today FM that same year. Throughout the her time there she has Produced the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show and presented her own programs The Last Splash, Night Time with Alison Curtis and Early Breakfast. She is currently presenting Weekend Breakfast Saturdays 8-11am and Sundays 9-12.
Alison Curtis also has a weekly parenting column in the Irish Examiner and contributes to the Irish Independent.
She has been a regular panelist on the Today Show on RTE and on Elaine on Virgin Media.
She has hosted several podcasts as well.
Alison lives in Dublin with her husband Anton Hegarty and 9 year old daughter Joan, who was born at the Rotunda in May 2011.
Twitter & Instagram - @alisontodayfm
Meet The Panel
Dr Geraldine Connolly
Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Rotunda Hospital
Dr Connolly is mainly based in the Rotunda Hospital where she provides an adolescent gynaecological service. Geraldine also provides a paediatric gynaecology service in the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street. Follow up of these girls after 15 years of age is continued in the adolescent gynae clinic in the Rotunda Hospital where appropriate.
She established a teenage pregnancy clinic in the Rotunda which caters for teenagers up to 17 years of age. This provides a dedicated obstetrician, midwife and social worker at the clinic. Specific antenatal classes for this age-group concentrate on general health measures including nutrition and sexual health education. Postnatal follow up is also provided with an emphasis on providing contraception.
Dr Nóirín Russell
Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology,
Clinical Director, Cervical Check
Dr Nóirín Russell is a medical graduate of University College Cork, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists. Since 2013 she has worked as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital. In 2020, she was appointed Clinical Director of CervicalCheck.
Dr. Russell’s clinical and research interests include cervical cancer screening, patient safety and staff engagement. She is passionate about communicating healthcare information in an accessible way.
Founder, Menopause Hub
Loretta Dignam is the founder of the Menopause Hub. She established this centre to give Irish women the opportunity to manage their menopause their way… a resource to understand the changes you are going through…and an option to keep living the life you love!
She has a lengthy and highly successful career working in Marketing and Communications with many multinational, global businesses, Mars Inc, Diageo plc, Kerry Group plc and Jacob Fruitfield. She was awarded Marketer of the Year in 2011. She is a graduate of UCD and DCU and has lectured in the UCD Smurfit Business School on their executive MBA and MSc Programme. She is also a member of the board of the Abbey Theatre.
Women's Health Coordinator, National Women's Council of Ireland
Women's Health Lead, Women's Health Taskforce
Rhona Gaynor is a senior manager in the Irish Civil Service. She joined the Department of Health in February 2016 as Head of the newly established Policy, Strategy and Integration Unit, and was appointed as the 'Women's Health Lead' with responsibility for the Women's Health Taskforce upon its establishment in 2019. Since then, the Taskforce has been working to improve women’s health outcomes and experiences of healthcare though taking a collaborative approach to policy-making and engaging stakeholders through multiple channels.
Prior to joining the Department, she was Head of the Civil Service Renewal Programme Management Office in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, managing the development and implementation of the Civil Service Renewal Plan (October 2014) across 21 different civil service organisations and 38,000 staff. Before returning to Ireland, she worked as a Senior Policy Adviser in the Cabinet Office, advising on a range of domestic policy issues, including advising the Head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, on the development and implementation of the Civil Service Reform Plan (June 2012). Immediately prior to this work, she was seconded for a period to the Institute for Government UK as a core team member of the Transforming Civil Service Programme. She began her Civil Service career as a policy adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit UK after a period of intense study, during which she secured a BA in History and Politics and an MA in Political Theory from University College Dublin and an MPA in Public Policy and Management from the London School of Economics
Women's Health Coordinator,
National Women's Council
Alana leads NWCI's health policy and advocacy work, which includes sitting on the Department of Health's Women's Health Taskforce and convening the civil society Abortion Working Group. She has a strong interest in the social determinants of health inequalities and the impact that early adversity can have on health across the life course. Alana’s background is in child protection and mental health policy, and she has worked in a range of organisations in Ireland and the UK, including University College London, the NSPCC and the Children’s Rights Alliance. Alana holds a MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford.