Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly approved Professor Breda Smyth’s appointment as interim chief medical officer at the Department of Health.
Prof Smyth will take over from Dr Tony Holohan, who will step down on July 1st after 14 years in the position.
Prof Smyth is a professor of public health medicine at NUI Galway and a public health consultant at HSE West. She will be assigned to the department for a limited time while the hunt for a permanent chief medical officer proceeds.
“While the open competition for the permanent filling of the critical role of chief medical officer has begun, I am conscious of the need to have the necessary leadership in place at all times to continue to monitor and combat covid-19 and other public health threats,” Mr Donnelly said.
Professor Smith has a unique skill set with the necessary mix of academic, policy, and frontline experience, having offered public health leadership, expert, and professional assistance nationally and in HSE West for many years.
“In her multiple positions during the pandemic’s management, she has made a substantial contribution to the national response to covid-19.
“Professor Smyth brings a wealth of experience, outstanding leadership qualities, and vast public health knowledge to the post, and I am excited to collaborate with her.” I appreciate Professor Smyth’s willingness to occupy the position on an interim basis until an open competition for a permanent CMO is completed.”
Prof. Smyth earned her medical degree from University College Galway.