New Master at Rotunda Hospital
Our congratulations and best wishes to Professor Fergal Malone who has taken up the role of Master and Chief Executive Officer at the Rotunda Hospital, the oldest maternity hospital in the world. Prof Malone, who is Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, is the 39th Master of the Rotunda since its inception in 1745. Prof Malone graduated from the UCD School of Medicine in 1991 and completed his MD in 1998. He has worked as a consultant obstetrician at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York where he directed one of the largest high risk obstetrics programmes in the United States and specialises in advanced obstetric ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis and multiple gestation management. Whilst in the US, Prof Malone undertook clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health including the FASTER Trial which identified the optimal series of prenatal tests for the detection of foetal abnormalities. He returned to Ireland in 2005 when he was appointed Professor and Chairman of RCSI’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Rotunda. Prof Malone takes over from previous master, Dr Sam Coulter Smith who was appointed in 2009.
With his appointment, we are proud to report that each of the three Dublin maternity hospitals is now led by a UCD Medicine alumnus. Dr Rhona Mahony (UCD Medicine MB BCh BAO 1994, MD 2005) became the first female ever Master of a maternity hospital in Ireland when she was appointed to the top job at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin in January 2012. Dr Mahony specialises in foetal and maternal medicine and has undertaken research into fetal macrosomia, maternal weight gain and pelvic floor injuries associated with childbirth. She is overseeing the planned relocation of the National Maternity Hospital, the largest Irish maternity hospital and one of Europe’s busiest maternity hospitals, to the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus. Dr Sharon Sheehan (UCD Medicine MB BCh BAO 1998) became the first ever female Master of the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital in 2013. Also a very busy maternity hospital, the Coombe Hospital sees over 9,000 births, 1,000 neonatal admissions and 5,500 gynaecology operations per annum.
Each of the three Masters face similar challenges managing an ever increasing number of deliveries across a city and country which has the highest birth rate in Europe (14.4 babies born per 1,000 residents compared with a European average of 10.1). Each of the three Dublin maternity hospitals have been earmarked to relocate in the coming years as part of a major reorganisation of maternity services in Dublin. The National Maternity Hospital is scheduled to move to the St Vincent’s hospital campus, the Rotunda relocating to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown and the Coombe Hospital transferring to the St James’s Hospital/National Paediatric Hospital campus.
Professor Fergal Malone (UCD Medicine MB BCh BAO 1991, MD 1998)
Dr Rhona Mahony (UCD Medicine MB BCh BAO 1994, MD 2005)
Dr Sharon Sheehan (UCD Medicine MB BCh BAO 1998)