10 May 2018
By Mary Bermimgham
LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, recently confirmed the appointment of Orla O’Brien as CEO. LauraLynn is the only children’s hospice providing support and palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families across Ireland, with care delivered in their hospice, at a hospital, in the community, or at the family home.
Orla has over 28 years’ acute hospital experience, 18 years of which were at a management level, most recently as Chief Operations Officer with the Children’s Hospital Group. Originally from Mitchelstown in Co. Cork, she now lives in Booterstown with her husband Conor and their three daughters.
Niall McHugh, Chairman of LauraLynn, welcomed the appointment by commenting, “We’re delighted to have Orla join the team here at LauraLynn. Her extensive experience will be enormously beneficial to the hospice as we continue to develop and expand the services we offer to both children and their families across the country. An overarching objective of ours is that no child should live further than two hours away from a palliative care service, and we’re confident that Orla can help LauraLynn play a critical role in reaching this target.”
Orla O’Brien, new LauraLynn CEO, added, “I’m really excited to join LauraLynn, an organisation that has done so much to improve the lives of children with life-limiting conditions and their families across Ireland. Of the 3,840 children with a life-limiting condition living in Ireland today, over 700 are estimated to need the specialised care provided by LauraLynn, and I look forward to extending awareness and assistance to those families who currently do not avail of palliative care services.”
Since opening September 2011, LauraLynn Children’s Hospice has cared for more than 335 children and their families. The hospice currently provides support to 150 children with life-limiting conditions, with an additional 65 families receiving bereavement support. It costs €5m per year to run LauraLynn’s Children’s Hospice, €4.2m of must be generated through fundraised income from events and activities.
Orla qualified as a Registered Children’s and General Nurse in 1989 and subsequently qualified as a paediatric intensive care nurse before taking on management and leadership roles. Orla was also previously Deputy Director of Nursing in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and Project Manager in the Department of Health.
Orla holds both a BSc in Nursing Management (Hons) and a Higher Diploma in Healthcare Risk Management (Hons) from UCD; a Diploma in Human Resource Management from the NCI; a Diploma in Physics and Chemistry from the RCSI; and most recently an MSc in Leadership and Management (Hons) from the RCSI Institute of Leadership. Orla maintains a link with academia by supervising dissertation students in the second year of their Masters Programme with the RCSI Institute of Leadership.
Orla is a keen runner and golfer. Originally from Mitchelstown in Co. Cork, she lives in Booterstown with her husband Conor and their three daughters.