‘Meeting the Challenges of Managing Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland’- CFAI National Conference

'Meeting the Challenges of Managing Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland'- CFAI National Conference

Friday 23rd April 2010 saw the Official Opening of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland’s National Conference in Kilkenny by Mary White T.D., Minister of State for Equality, Integration & Human Rights, and Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr. Malcolm Noonan.  The Conference which is being held at the Hotel Kilkenny from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th April, is the culmination of a very eventful year for the Association and is being attended by over 250 delegates from all over Ireland.

The theme this year was ‘Meeting the Challenges of Managing Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland’, with a focus on the home, CF Centres, and at a policy level.  The conference also marked the beginning of ‘65 Roses/ CF Week’, the new national awareness week which was launched on the evening of Friday 23rd April.

At the Opening Ceremony Minister White T.D. said: “The occasion of an annual conference for any organisation is an opportunity to take stock of the work that has been done over the previous twelve months, for colleagues and friends to meet and share experiences, and for an association to acknowledge to itself the progress that has been made and the work that has been done”.  She added “Reading about some of the ongoing work of the association over the past few days it’s been clear to me that the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland has a lot to be proud of as it marks its 47th year, and that the contribution the organisation has made towards enhancing the lives of people with CF cannot be understated.”

The official opening also saw the announcement of Paul McGrath as a Patron for CFAI.  Speaking about this announcement, Philip Watt, CEO CFAI, said “We are delighted that Paul McGrath has joined forces with CFAI to become an ambassador. We welcome Paul to our team and look forward to working with him and increasing the profile for CF in Ireland even further.”

The national conference saw the culmination of ‘Marathon Man’ Gerard Fay’s marathon challenge for CFAI. Over the past number of years, Gerard has completed countless marathons, half marathons, and charity walks to raise vital funds for CFAI. The conference saw Gerard’s final challenge of walking from Drogheda to Kilkenny, and reaching his goal of raising €100,000 for CF.

Key times/ events for National Conference:

  • Friday 23rd: Delegates welcome evening with Minister Mary White TD & Mayor of Kilkenny Cllr. Malcolm Noonan
  • Saturday 24th, 9am – 3pm: Conference with key guest speakers and seminars
  • Saturday 24th, 7.30pm: Delegates Gala Dinner
  • Sunday 25th, 11.30am: AGM

The Conference commenced Saturday 24th at 9.15am with a wide range of interesting guest speakers who talked about the latest news and developments in the area of CF including: ‘An overview of progress in managing CF over the past decade’ with Rosie Barnes, CEO CF Trust UK; and Philip Watt, CEO CFAI who spoke about ‘The challenges in Ireland to improve CF Services’.  CF Advocate, Caroline Heffernan discussed the ‘Challenges for independent living’; while Prof. Gerry McElvaney, Respiratory Consultant (Beaumont), Head of Medical Department (RCSI) talked about ‘Recent advances in research into Cystic Fibrosis that will benefit CF patients in Ireland’.

For further information on Cystic Fibrosis and CFAI visit www.cfireland.ie.

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