Health Board: Upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

ME Awareness event, podcast for expectant mums and appeal for human breast milk

1) On World Ovarian Cancer Day (Wednesday, May 8th), campaigners, researchers and patient advocates are advising women not to ignore the warning signs. Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common female cancer in Ireland and the "BEAT" Ovarian Cancer Campaign highlights the key signs of the disease - by knowing your body, knowing the signs and getting help at an early stage if you have any of the following for three weeks or more:

- Bloating that is persistent and doesn't come and go
- Eating less and feeling full more quickly
Abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days
Toilet changes in urination or bowel habits

A new video from Breakthrough Cancer Research uses the personal experiences of ovarian cancer patients and survivors to highlight the signs and symptoms for women to look out for. Watch the video at

To mark World Ovarian Cancer Day, several Irish buildings will 'Light Up in Teal' – City Hall, Cork; Convention Centre, Dublin; Mansion House, Dublin; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dublin; Titanic, Belfast; and University College Cork. And several free public events will be held in Dublin, Cork and Galway on Wednesday, May 8th.
Dublin:  St James' Hospital, CRF Seminar Room, 9.30am-11.30am. For further information
Cork:  Western Gateway Building, UCC, 6.30pm-8pm. For further information
Galway: East Galway Cancer Support Centre (in conjunction with the Marie Keating Foundation), Ballinasloe, 6.30pm-9pm.  For further information

For more information see and

2) The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) in partnership with Creative Life at the Mercer Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), St James's Hospital, will be serving up tea, cake and conversations of death at the Bealtaine Festival in May. Comhrá Bás, Cáca agus Cupán (Death chat, cake and a cuppa) will be hosted at MISA, St James's Hospital, on Thursday, May 9th, from noon to 2pm as part of the Age & Opportunity Bealtaine Festival, which celebrates arts and creativity as we age. Open to the public, the IHF is encouraging people to come along; to drink tea, eat cake and take some time to think, talk and tell each other what really matters to us at the end of life. The event is free, but booking is required. See

3) WellFest will take place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, on Saturday, May 11th and Sunday, May 12th. Now in its fifth year, this year's event includes talks, workshops, cookery demos and workouts, as well as a schedule for children at the WellKids area. Tickets: day €49; weekend €79. See

4) On Tuesday, May 14th, ME Advocates Ireland (MEAI) will host a third Dublin ME Awareness event in front of Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, at 11.30am-2.30pm to highlight the lack of appropriate medical and support services. This year's event takes on the theme of invisibility and a new name – Call 4 Change 4 ME. May is ME Awareness Month and myalgic encephalomyelitis expert Dr Ros Vallings will give five talks as part of a national tour. The talks are entitled, "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Symptoms Diagnosis and Management".
Friday, May 17th: Clayton Hotel Silver Springs Hotel, Tivoli, Cork, 7.30pm;
Monday, May 20th: Great National South Court Hotel, Raheen, Limerick, 11.30am;
Tuesday, May 21st: The Connacht Hotel, Old Dublin Road, Galway, 7.30pm;
Thursday, May 23rd: Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo, 7.30pm;
Sunday, May 26th: Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport, 2.30pm.
Admission: €5 (on the door). More details from, 01-235 0965,

5) Cork charity Ag Éisteacht is running a second Able brief intervention training course in Cork this May for practitioners working in health, social care and community settings. Able (adopt a relational approach, build, listen and empower) training provides a framework and builds skills to help practitioners to engage with, "listen to understand" and empower patients/clients by embedding a relational approach into their practice. The training is approved for CPD purposes by Social Care Ireland, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, the Irish Association of Social Workers, the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Department of Education. The three-day course takes place on May 14th, 28th and 29th at Northridge House Education Centre, Castle Road, Mahon, Cork. Tickets €250-€300, via Eventbrite or 021-453 6556.

6) As part of Tallaght University Hospital's scheduled series of community health talks – run in partnership with the Patient Community Advisory Council – 'Men's Health: Looking Under the Bonnet' will be held in Firhouse Community and Leisure Centre at 6.15pm on Wednesday, May 15th. The speaker will be Mr Rob Flynn, consultant urologist.

7) The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick is hosting Music Therapy and Pain Medicine: Special Event with Dr Joanne Loewy at the Tower Theatre, University of Limerick, on Wednesday, May 15th. Dr Loewy researches pain, sedation, assessment, asthma and NICU music therapy. The event will run from 10am- 5pm and tickets are €50 (€10 student/unwaged/Chronic Pain Ireland member). Register at

8) Dyspraxia DCD Ireland is holding a one-day workshop led by Sharon Drew: "Learn to move, move to learn – Developing physical literacy for children with Dyspraxia/DCD". Drew is an international trainer and a well-known author of many practical resources for schools and therapists in the UK. The training will be held at Margaret Aylward Centre, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, on Thursday, May 23rd and Friday, May 24th (separate workshops) from 9am-3pm. Cost is €85. To book, see or call (01) 874 7085.

9) Multiple Sclerosis Ireland's 'Help Kiss Goodbye to MS' campaign takes place in May, with local and national events and activities. MS is the most common debilitating neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland. The campaign wants people to "Wear, Dare and Share" this month by . . . Wearing red or holding a 'red day' at work; Daring to get sponsored for an MS Ireland skydive or take part in the 9,000 steps for MS event; Sharing with friends and family to spread the word. You can also text KISS to 50300 to donate €4.

10) Dr Paul O'Dwyer, group clinical adviser at Dental Care Ireland, will discuss the topic of 'Diabetes and Oral Health' at a public meeting hosted by Diabetes Ireland on Wednesday, May 29th, at 8pm in the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. Prof Suzanne Norris from St James's Hospital will discuss the connection between diabetes and liver disease. To register, visit

11) The HRB (Health Research Board) Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network and Dublin's Rotunda Hospital have launched a new podcast series, 'Real Talk with Real Mums'. The 10-part series is designed for pregnant women and soon-to-be mums and is presented by radio 2fm presenter Louise McSharry. The first two episodes – covering 'Diet and Exercise' and 'Planning for Birth', are available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and at A new episode will be released on the last Thursday of every month.

12) About 10,000 people will descend on Cork city on the June bank holiday weekend to take part in the annual Irish Examiner Cork City Marathon. Race organisers are encouraging individuals of all fitness levels and running ability to step up this year. Apart from the full marathon (€65) on Saturday, June 2nd, there is also a half-marathon (€42), relay (€97) and youth challenge. Register at

13) The Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) has announced a new Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation, Level NFQ 9 – the first focused on the development of 'Healthcare Innovation Ambassadors' in Ireland. Places on the course are mixed, both industry and HSE, with one third offered at a reduced rate for HSE applicants. HIHI is a joint Government initiative of both the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health, funded through Enterprise Ireland and supported by the HSE. Closing date for applicants is June 30th. Course details at

14) The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) human milk bank located at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen is asking more new mothers to donate breast milk as stocks are low. "We are encouraging new mothers to help with the increase in demand for breast milk and to ensure we have an adequate supply for neonatal units across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland," says Jacinta Boyle, co-ordinator of the Western Trust milk bank. If you would like to find out more about the milk bank and becoming a donor, contact the milk bank on 028-686 28333 or email

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Damian Cullen

Damian Cullen

Damian Cullen is Health & Family Editor of The Irish Times