Dr Colin O'Gara on In the News....

April 2024

Dr Colin O’Gara, head of addiction services at St John of God Hospital in Dublin, tells In the News about the dangers of new, more potent strains of cannabis, what is cannabis-induced psychosis and the link between use of the drug and
existing mental health issues.

Listen to the podcast here.

Damien O'Dowd announced as new Chief Executive

We are delighted to welcome back Mr Damien O’Dowd as the new Chief Executive to Saint John of God Hospital and its associated services Mental Health First Aid Ireland and St John of God Dementia Care at St Joseph’s Centre.  

Damien’s appointment sees his return to St John of God Hospital having commenced his career there in the 1990’s. Damien is a senior healthcare executive and director with over twenty years’ experience at leadership and senior level management level within healthcare organisations and services in both the private and voluntary healthcare sectors.  He has most recently held Senior Consultant and Director roles in Vision Consulting and Virtus Health respectively and was Chief Executive of the Bloomfield Health Service between the years 2011 and 2018.  

He is highly effective in change management and operational management of busy and complex healthcare organisations with particular experience of planning and delivering risk management, quality assurance & accreditation systems. He is equally recognised for his experience in developing systems of governance at both clinical and corporate levels in healthcare and related organisations and also has extensive experience in regulatory preparedness & compliance. Damien has a strong business growth and service development acumen with wide experience of financial management & healthcare funding.  Damien holds a Masters Graduate of the School of Law, Queens University Belfast and an MBA Graduate of the Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin. He also lectures in management and leadership at undergraduate and post graduate levels.  

I am delighted to rejoin St. John of God Hospital as CEO, where I first began my career in mental health over 30 years ago and which remains a leading service provider of mental health care in Ireland. I am privileged to be leading an excellent team of highly experienced healthcare professionals and we will continue to work together to elevate the patient experience across all our associated services. The healthcare landscape is ever-evolving and this is a time of positive change and renewal within our sector. Going forward, we will continue to prioritise service excellence and the well-being of all our patients and the communities we serve"


Relaunch of St John of God

November 2023 

St John of God Hospitaller Services Group has recently undertaken a review of its brand offering and that of its constituent entities and will soon transition to a new brand identity to be unveiled initially to its 4000 staff in the coming weeks and implemented across the Group in subsequent months.

This initiative will seek to better communicate the renewed mission and values of the organisation which has now fully transitioned to a lay entity, as it continues to be a leading provider of community and in-patient mental health services and dementia care, as well as day and residential intellectual disability services to over 10,000 people in counties Dublin, Kildare Wicklow, Kerry and in the North-East.

Three young men pictured at a table smiling
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