our board members...

Inspire is fortunate to have a board made up of highly experienced individuals who help shape and guide our activities.

Prof. Hugh McKenna

Prof. Hugh McKennaChair of the Inspire Board

Prof Hugh McKenna, is Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.  He qualified as a mental health nurse in 1975 and worked as a volunteer counsellor in Inspire (at that time known as Inspire ) in the early 1980s. He has held positions at clinical and managerial level. He has over 200 publications including 10 books and over £4million in grants, mainly in the field of mental health care. He has supervised 16 PhD students to successful completion; again many of the projects relate to mental health. He is an editor of ‘international journal of nursing studies’ and has many prestigious awards for his work including Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing (FRCN), Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing (FEAN) and Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, (FRCSI). In 2008 the Queen made him a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his work on health and community. He also holds a number of non-executive positions the public, voluntary and private sectors.  In 2009 he was awarded the University’s Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship and was made a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) – only the third nurse in Europe to be given this honour. More recently, he is a non-executive member of the Patient and Client Council which acts as a voice for patients in health care, where he chaired the Bamford Monitoring Group for mental health and learning disability. His interests lie in mental health recovery, self-harm and suicide prevention.

Finola O’Kane

Finola O’Kane

Finola is an experienced Contact Centre Director, with 25 years’ experience in the customer service industry and 15 of those in the contact centre arena. She has worked with both blue chip and start-up operations where providing the highest standards of customer service are key to customer satisfaction and commercial success. Finola is currently Capita's Service Director responsible for the BBC Audience Services contract. This involves working with the BBC to deliver their audience engagement strategy. Services include managing complaints and enquiries, providing audiences for shows, booking tours and updating web content. It also provides intelligence to enable and inform decision making. She and her team are committed to delivering a high quality service to the BBC and their audiences, 24 x 7, 365 days a year.

Prof. Owen Barr

Prof. Owen BarrHead of School of Nursing, Ulster University

Professor Owen Barr is the Head of School, School of Nursing at Ulster University.

Declan Canavan

Declan Canavan

Declan graduated in 1993 with a BSc in Accounting and a Diploma in Advanced Accounting, from Queens University, Belfast. Declan is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland. He joined KPMG, Belfast and in 1997 was promoted to Audit Manager with responsibility for the audit of several large NI companies. Declan joined The Lagan Group in March 1998 and was initially as a Company Accountant for the Civil Engineering Companies before being promoted to to Group Company Secretary and main board Director. Declan is responsible for various projects and has a wide range of duties within the group including Tax Planning, Group Insurance, Group Treasury Function and Project Finance.

Dr. George O’Neill

Dr. George O’Neill

Dr George O'Neill from the Springfield Road Surgery Belfast has been at the forefront of significant medical initiatives in NI for more than 40 years. He qualified in 1971 and is in partnership with five colleagues in a teaching practice working with an extended multidisciplinary team delivering patient centred care on a split site. His medical interests include improving mental health services addressing life inequalities and developing a wellness service. He was Chair of the Belfast Local Commissioning Group for 6 years, is Chair of Addiction NI a community charity dealing with clients with alcohol and drug problems and is a director of the West Belfast GP Federation. He is a member of the Irish College of General Practitioners a Fellow of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine and has Masters in Medical Ethics and Law and Medical Education.

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