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Who We Are

This is the team of people who work for the National Advocacy Service

Joanne is the Acting National Manager of the National Advocacy Service (NAS) and also oversees the ongoing development and delivery of the Patient Advocacy Service. Joanne has worked with NAS since 2014, working as a Regional Manager until November 2022. She has 22 years’ experience in a variety of roles across the health, social care and advocacy sector and has over 19 years of senior management experience. Joanne holds a Degree in Social Science and a Masters in Youth & Community work, a Diploma in Leadership (DIT/IBEC), an Award in Managing People (DIT/college of Business), a QQI level 6 Special Purpose Award in Training & Development and a QQI Level 7 qualification in Patient Safety Complaints Advocacy.

Joanne has a particular interest in advocacy practice and policy development and has played a central role in the development of NAS’s suite of Advocacy policies. She also has a keen interest in supported decision making and has written and presented on this topic extensively, particularly in the lead up to the commencement of the ADM (Capacity) Act. Joanne is a member of the HSE National Disability Consultative Forum, a member of the National Care Experience Programme Steering group, a member of the HSE’s Under 65 Stakeholder Reference Group and a member of the HSE’s ADM Implementation Steering Group among others.

Elmar Jansen joined the National Advocacy Service in November 2020 as Corporate Services Manager. He has extensive experience in the Finance sector.

Elmar gained a Business Degree in Germany in 1995. He started work with Schnittger & Associates, a chartered account company in Dublin. In 2000, he took up the role as Finance Manager of Lufthansa Global TeleSales in the Eastpoint Business Park. In 2006, he became the Finance Director of the National Institute for Bioprocessing and Training (NIBRT). During his 13 years in NIBRT, a 6500 square meter research and training facility was built and 75 new staff were hired.

Suzy Byrne is the Regional Manager in the Greater Dublin Region which includes Dublin and Wicklow.  Suzy joined NAS in 2011 and has a background in community development and rights work. She has a particular interest in access to justice issues and the right to a family life for people with disabilities. Suzy was appointed to the board of Iarnród Eireann in 2018 by the Minister for Transport and Sport as a person with a disability.

Mark has worked in the disability advocacy sector for the last 13 years. He has a particular interest in including the voice of disabled persons in decisions that directly impact on their lives, and people’s right to make their own decisions in life. Mark has previously campaigned on fundamental rights issues such as the use of seclusion in schools and assisted decision-making. Mark is passionate about human rights, having studied in this area and is a past member of a large residential setting Human Rights Committee and a past board member of the Children’s Rights Alliance.

Anne is the NAS Western Region Manager covering counties Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Clare and Limerick. Anne has previously worked in Business Development, HR and Consultancy roles in companies across Europe the US and Australasia. She has established, managed and advanced businesses in sectors including HR, Services, Technology and Manufacturing before moving into the Public Sector.

Prior to joining NAS, Anne was employed in the area of Supported Employment, advocating for people with disabilities to source and secure paid mainstream employment across the North West of Ireland. She has a Masters in Leadership & Management in the Public and Community Sector and a Degree in European Studies and a Diploma in Digital Marketing. Anne has a particular interest in client centered empowerment to enhance organisational service delivery.

Each regional team consists of a regional manager, two senior advocates, a team of advocates and an administrator.

NAS also provides the Patient Advocacy Service which provides empowerment advocacy to people who want to make a complaint about their care in a public acute hospital or a HSE-operated nursing home. You can view the management team who work for the Patient Advocacy Service HERE.

NAS operates with four Regions and a National Office in Dublin

NAS operates across the following regions

Greater Dublin Region

Dublin, Fingal and Wicklow

Midlands Northeast Region

Cavan, Laois, Longford, Louth, Kildare, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly and Westmeath

Western Region

Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo

Southern Region

Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford

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