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Winning National Award Medical Innovation 2015

2015-05-19 22.46.43Quick Update Since Original Blog as Below: On the 16th May 2015, Olive was awarded the National JCI Young Person in Medical Innovation 2015 and is now shortlisted for the International JCI TOYP Awards! #onwardsandupwards

You hear conversations all the time where people discuss that someone is outstanding for the work that they are doing. It is not every day however that someone is recognised for this and presented an award for being outstanding. Here at MediStori we are delighted that Olive has been recognised for all her hard work and commitment as she has been recognised as JCI Mayo’s Top Outstanding Young Person for Medical Innovation.

Let me inform you a little bit about this award.

Every year JCI (Junior Chamber International) hold what’s known as TOYP awards (Top Outstanding Young Person). This is where people can nominate someone that they feel are doing outstanding work, whether it be voluntary or otherwise. There a number of different categories:

  1. Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  2. Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs
  3. Academic leadership and/or accomplishment
  4. Cultural achievement
  5. Moral and/or environmental leadership
  6. Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights
  7. Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership
  8. Scientific and/or technological development
  9. Personal improvement and/or accomplishment
  10. Medical innovation

The first stage is local level for the individual JCI branch. Then the winners can go to National level, followed by European and lastly the overall winner is presented with their award at JCI World Conference, which this year takes place in Japan.

When I first heard about these awards, there was no doubt in my mind who I HAD to nominate. Olive to me is outstanding they way she manages her complex family health issues, her family in general, her pets, her work team, outside self-management course, her role in EasySpeak and the everyday work she does. How one person can juggle so much and yet always think of others is beyond me. So I felt she thoroughly deserved this award.

The award ceremony was held in the AIB, Castlebar. It was a very rewarding night where we heard the inspiring stories of other winners. A special recognition award went to Aoibheann Mangan and Padraic Godwin, who at just 8 & 9 years of age developed which was launched to national media just 2 weeks ago. This project directs information about farm safety to children. What started out as a small school project has now turned into a worldwide website highlighting a very important issue locally, nationally and internationally. Katie Hughes was the worthy winner of the Humanitarian and Volunteering Leadership Award for all her hard work volunteering with local radio stations and fundraising for Western Care, Mayo Rape Crisis Centre, Cystic Fibrosis and AADI. Aoife Beston was the very deserving receiver of the Personal Improvement/Accomplishment Award. Aoife has moderate intellectual disabilities, severe speech disability and dyspraxia but none of this ever stopped her. She has taken part in 4 National games and 2 world games bringing home in total 6 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in a range of sports. She is the inspiration behind the setting up of a local Special Olympics Club which enables many athletes with intellectual disabilities to successfully develop their athletic talent.

Andrew Forde was honoured with the TOYP award in the category of Contribution to Children, World Peace, and/or Human Rights. Andrew’s career originally started off in Computer Science but took a major turn into human rights after he spent time in an orphanage in the Dominican Republic in 2004. Andrew was horrified to find that the children there were not getting the basic needs met. Since this, he served as a volunteer teacher in India for 12 months, before joining a small team of human rights advisors for the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Andrew’s hard work, along with his colleagues, has strengthened the important areas of human rights, the rule of law and democratisation with a specific focus on vulnerable and minority communities. Marian Beisty was awarded as a TOYP in the area of Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership. She is the Director of the MSPCA and she devotes her whole life to the welfare of animals. Not only does she feed, walk and clean the animals along with raising awareness and looking for volunteers in the community, she is also very proactive in taking time to visit schools to educate children on the importance of looking after their pets.

Surrounded by all these positive and inspiring people was a proud moment for me. We have so many hard-working, selfless people in our little County of Mayo and it was a great experience to be a part of, to witness them get recognised for their outstanding efforts. As a MediStori team member, I was extra proud to see Olive get recognised along with the rest of these amazing people.

To add to the already special moment, it was also an honour that I got to introduce Olive on the night and tell everyone there a little bit about the work she has been doing. I was delighted to have gotten this opportunity as her friends and family looked on with tears in their eyes and her little girlies giggling with excitement.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate not only all the winners from the night, but also to JCI Mayo, the Mayo Advertiser and the AIB Castlebar for hosting the awards. It takes a lot of time and commitment to organise a big, successful, positive event like last Friday. Without JCI this wouldn’t have been possible. With “Mayo Day” coming up we were shown a prime example of why we should be truly proud to be from Mayo with the work out local people are doing that so many don’t even know about. Hopefully these awards will have made these people feel like all their proactive hard work has not gone unnoticed.

I’m going to finish up this post by leaving you with the speech JCI Mayo members wrote about Olive that I read out when introducing her for her award.

“Our next winner is a mum to three children, who each have chronic illnesses. Keeping an eye on three children at the best of times isn’t east, but Olive found herself really struggling to track all the medication, appointments and paperwork that went along with chronic illness. This led her to her fourth baby ‘MediStori’.

MediStori is a personal health organiser that allows a family to keep all personal health records safely in one spot. It is a proactive approach and encourages patient engagement and self-management. Her innovative product has been greatly accepted by the health system, private organisations and across charities with An Taoiseach himself endorsing it at an international level as a tool that “can save our health service millions”.

Olive is a unique entrepreneur that at all times keeps the patient as priority and looks upon her staff as her equals and her team. Outside of her children and her business, she still manages to find the time to give back to the community by managing online charity pages, fundraising and giving talks on mental health.

Olive has won many awards and accolades but most recently she was a well-deserved winner of Judges Choice Special Merit Sccul Enterprise Award 2015. MediStori is currently piloting in three national acute hospitals funded by the HSE and will be moving into a National Lead Role in the HSE in Patient Self-Care.

You will agree Olive O’Connor is a worthy winner of being awarded as outstanding in the field of Medical Innovation”   

Thanks for reading. Áine & the MediStori Team