CORK doctor Philip J. O’Halloran has been announced as the recipient of the Rooney Concussion Fellowship established in honour of the late US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney.
Mr O’Halloran, who grew up in Inniscarra, graduated from University College Cork in 2003 and completed his higher surgical training in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. In 2019, he completed his PhD in neuro-oncology at the same institution.
He worked in neurosurgery before moving to Canada to take up a post as a clinical fellow in neuro-oncology/skull base surgery in Toronto Western Hospital. His most recent role was as a clinical fellow of neurotrauma surgery in the Royal London Hospital.
The fellowship will last for two years. For the first six months, Mr O’Halloran will work at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to develop baseline clinical knowledge of concussions and their evaluation, and study clinical research methods.
Upon returning to Ireland, the fellow will work with Dr Helen French and Louise Keating in the RCSI School of Physiotherapy and across the UPMC Concussion Network in Ireland.
Awarding the fellowship, Mr. Chris Wurst, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Ireland, said: “I would like to congratulate Mr O’Halloran and wish him well as he embarks on this fellowship with UPMC and RCSI. It is wonderful to see the collaboration on both sides of the Atlantic to bring this to fruition."
Professor Suzanne McDonough, Head of RCSI School of Physiotherapy, said: “We are delighted to award the Rooney Concussion Fellowship to Mr O’Halloran. The fellowship, established in partnership with UPMC, signifies RCSI’s commitment to addressing the management of concussion in Ireland.
"UPMC is changing how healthcare is delivered in Ireland, and we are excited to use our extensive concussion treatment and testing experience in the U.S. to assist and benefit communities across Ireland through the fellowship,” said David Beirne, managing director of UPMC in Ireland and senior vice president of UPMC International.
Ambassador Rooney, who died in 2017, was famous in his native United States as the owner of the American football team the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, in Ireland, he was known as a great philanthropist, supporter of Irish cultural, educational, and charitable causes, and, late in life, as U.S. ambassador from 2009-2012 under President Obama.