Helen Conlan

October 26, 2018

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Trustee's Organisation Name

The Children's Medical and Research Foundation, Crumlin
Outline the vision and the mission of the chosen nominee's organisation

Why we exist

CMRF Crumlin was originally set up to provide vital funding to paediatric research, which was and remains utterly underfunded. This is an area which is considered a beacon of hope to hundreds of thousands of families who face weeks, months and often years of disruption and challenge due to childhood illness, disease or disability right across the world. Research is a global effort to find better treatments and cures, management and preventative strategies.
We also provide critical supports and funding to sick children from all over Ireland who attend Our Lady's Children’s Hospital Crumlin for diagnosis, treatment, and care on their patient journey. Each year at least 120,000 children attend Crumlin for critical care and support.
We have three core goals, our CMRF Crumlin Pillars.
Funding initiatives, research and projects that will:
Save young lives
Improve the quality of life for children living with childhood disease or illness
Enhance patient experience and brighten sick children’s days
Our aims
"The charitable objects for which the Society is established are to encourage and promote medical and scientific research relating to or connected with Paediatrics and subjects relative thereto and to promote and provide fellowship, scholarships, grants and other benefactions and to supply and provide equipment and other facilities for study, research and education related to or connected with Paediatrics" and "to grant money under the headings descriptions below at paragraphs where warranted or deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Crumlin, Dublin 12 or other Health Care Establishments or Institutions, where children are treated, such as:
Capital equipment and projects
Quality assurance and reputational enhancement
Patient and family education
Patient comfort and well-being
Medical and surgical treatment or procedures which are a response to an emergency or critical condition, time period or set of circumstances"
Describe the nominee's involvement with the organisation

Helen was appointed as a trustee in 2010, and became the Chair or President in 2017 at a time of great change and challenge.
Helen was chair of the finance committee for several years before being appointed chair.
She sits on the strategy committee and governance committee and contributes a huge amount of time and energy to the role. Through times of sectoral challenge where funding dropped, Helen helped ensure the organisation was sustainable and managed effectively. During a change in leadership for the organisation in 2016, Helen actively led the finance committee and helped recruit some of the new leadership team, all the while stepping in to drive forward key process projects, reviews, risk, and audit projects.

The organisation has made a considerable impact over the time of Helen's involvement as set out below.
In the 5 year period up to 2017, we made almost €50 million in grants, of which 59% was research innovation and education, 30% was capital, equipment and projects, and 11% was patient/ family education and comfort and well-being.
Number of children in past 5 years at hospital - Circa 600,000
Past 5 years total income - €62,609,000
Past 5 years total grants - €48,890,000
Past 5 years % capital - 20%
Past 5 years % research, innovation and education - 59%
Past 5 years % patient experience, psycho-social, services & family supports - 11%
Past 5 years % equipment, tools and technologies - 10%

Helen has helped ensure these projects were effectively selected, managed and completed, that all donor interests are honoured and that children benefit in line with our constitutional and organisational goals.
What special qualities and skills does the nominee bring to their role as trustee?

Helen offers wise council, and positive challenge. She is thorough and considerate, reading and contributing to all board meetings in a way that drives the organisation forward in a positive way.
The level of commitment and dedication goes beyond the expectations of a trustee, attending and supporting functions, sector development events, symposiums on research and innovation to keep abreast of everything the organisation is involved in.
She contributes in many ways, supporting fund development, and directly contributing as a key supporter and leader. Helen keeps an incredibly calm head in all eventualities, is incredibly available and accessible to the leadership team and board directors if and as required. When I took up the role of CEO in 2016, this was very helpful to me, and she has been a wonderful asset to me and the team since she took up the role as President in 2017.
In addition, her clear interest and long-term commitment supports and inspires the recruitment of new board trustees, and donors to the organisation.
How has the nominee's involvement had a positive impact on the organisation and the people it serves? Give a specific example of their impact on the organisation

Helen brings a really professional approach to everything. As a result of her support key processes have been overhauled ensuring the organisation is fit for purpose and meets the needs of the changing environment. She is a great stakeholder manager, and has credibility and authenticity in each of her engagements with our partners at the research centre and hospital.
Helen's accountancy background contributes significantly to the effective oversight of our P&L and impact for the causes we serve. Her commercial and construction background have proven invaluable in terms of understanding and navigating the project management of the considerable investments in capital projects in the hospital as we funded the redevelopment of a 10million build project of the heart and cancer wards, and GI unit in the hospital at Crumlin for example.
How is the nominee's organisation transparent and accountable?

CMRF are committed to maintaining the highest standards of governance to ensure full transparency in how we operate. We are fully compliant with all relevant Irish Charity legislation and regulatory framework, and are SORP compliant.
Our governance journey to date, we are:
Fully compliant with the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Governance Code
Signed up to the Irish Charities Tax Reform Guiding Principles of Fundraising
and we fully embrace the work of the Charities Regulatory Authority
Other important documents are available here https://cmrf.org/about/annual-reports

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