CHAS is delighted to promote the launch of the UCD Health Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Group Annual Report 2021

Click here for PDF version of the report: CAO Annual Report 2021

The seven Chief Academic Officers (CAO) of the Hospital Groups linked to the six Medical School Universities act as the bridge between the Universities, the Hospital Groups and the acute hospitals and their affiliated Community Healthcare organisations (CHOs). As COVID-19 made itself known throughout Ireland in 2020 the CAOs began to harness their resources to focus on areas that needed urgent attention. The Chief Academic Officers of the 7 Hospital Groups began meeting weekly to discuss ongoing issues facing students and staff in their respective hospitals and universities. This Chief Academic Officer (CAO) Group is chaired by Professor Tim Lynch, Vice Principal for UCD Health Affairs and Chief Academic Officer for IEHG.

The CAOs foster partnership for the mutual benefit of both sectors through the pursuit of excellence in education, training, research and innovation. This two/three- way bridge is the key to develop an Academic Health Science System (AHSS)  in Ireland as well as enhancing the core tenets of Sláintecare. The CAOs work with colleagues in all arms of the health sector and medical schools to enhance an academic approach in the hospitals and the community to improve integrated patient care.

(7 Chief Academic Officers from 7 Hospital Groups in Ireland)

A key aim of the Hospital Group structure, established in 2013, is to deliver healthcare through the AHSS model. The appointment of CAOs to each Hospital Group was a formal recognition of this aim and of the need for a stronger relationship between Hospital Groups, acute hospitals and their university partners. As CAOs, our primary mission is to ensure that the people of Ireland get optimal healthcare.

The CAOs established a national CAO weekly forum early in the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic to assist the State. The national CAO forum developed a very productive working relationship to facilitate key initiatives in medical simulation education, to improve clinical placements for students and to stimulate research and innovation through work on the National Research Governance model and the National Irish COVID-19 Biobank (NICB).

 For further information on the Chief Academic Officer Group, visit https://www.ucd.ie/healthaffairs/chiefacademicofficergroup/.