Belfast Trust Success at Women of the Year Awards

17/03/2014

Belfast Trust staff excelled at this year’s 2014 Women of the Year Awards. Dr Madeleine Rooney a Paediatric Rheumatologist in Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children was awarded the Woman of the Year in the Health Sector. Also huge congratulations to two staff on reaching finalists in their categories Valerie Wallace and Alison Wilson. The 2014 Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year awards brought together exceptional women from across Northern Ireland.

Dr Madeleine Rooney is truly unique in her field as the only Paediatric Rheumatologist to be appointed in Northern Ireland. The judges were told that Dr Rooney's compassion, skills and dedication towards the vulnerable children and young people are cherished by those she cares for as they struggle to gain awareness for a disease that is usually only perceived to be applicable to the elderly. Dr Rooney has dedicated herself not only to the complete care of her young patients, but also support for their families, and research relating to her speciality for which she is recognised professionally.

Finalist Valerie Wallace dedicates her days caring and looking after children with cancer as an oncology research nurse. The judges heard how Valerie brings much needed joy, love and laughter to the kids in her care - not to mention their siblings and parents. And this cheer Valerie spreads comes despite often witnessing terrible tragedy during the cancer journey she takes with so many young families. Valerie has been described to our judges as "truly loved" and "one of the most valued people in our lives." She is inspirational, and many would be lost without her".

Alison Wilson was nominated in the voluntary sector category by a local mother in recognition of the role she had in the care and support of her terminally ill child. Alison is based in the genetics department and is a part time genetic counsellor and advocacy officer for the MPS society. The MPS society supports families with MPS and related disorders. These disorders are complex and multisystem and Alison helps co-ordinate their care. They are also sadly sometimes life limiting and Alison provides support for them in these difficult times. Alison is described as relentlessly cheerful and always goes the extra mile for her patients.

Colm Donaghy Chief Executive said: “Well done to the staff on their well deserved success at these awards, I am delighted that their hard work and dedication to patients and their families has been recognised in this way”