The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, awarded Professor Patrick Plunkett with the 6th annual William Stokes Award at a ceremony in St James’s Hospital on 20th October. Professor Plunkett, who was nominated for the award by his colleagues for his enormous contribution to the field of Emergency Medicine, recently retired from his role as the Medical Director of St James’s Hospital after a 28 year-long career with the hospital.
The William Stokes Postgraduate award was established in 2011 in order to promote continued innovative and clinical developments and research amongst hospital consultants at Ireland’s largest University teaching hospital.
Speaking about the William Stokes Award at the event on Thursday, Minister Harris said: “This award recognises innovative clinical contributions and important research discoveries, with a particular emphasis on the benefits to patient care and well-being. I am delighted that this year’s winner is Professor Patrick Plunkett, who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of Emergency Medicine in Ireland, not only at St James’s Hospital, but also in his other work with the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine, the Eastern Regional Ambulance Service, the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and Trinity College, and the important research projects he has led that have had positive results for patients attending the Emergency Department in St James’s.”
“This award is about acknowledging the unsung heroes, like Professor Plunkett, who devote so much of their own lives to improving the lives of patients and the lot of those around them. I know that our young medical graduates will be inspired by the example of Professor Plunkett and the previous award winners to set no limits on what they can achieve in the interest of medicine, in the interest of research and, most of all, in the interest of patients.”
The Director of Post-Graduate Education at St James’s Hospital, Professor Gaye Cunnane, noted: “This celebratory event has marked the beginning of the academic year for the past six years and is designed to highlight the collegiality amongst consultant staff members and identify the hard work that often goes unrecognised. The William Stokes Award was conceived in order to inspire young doctors to learn what can be achieved, even in the absence of significant resources, through a passionate pursuit of knowledge and love of science and medicine.”
St James’s Hospital CEO Lorcan Birthistle said: “As Ireland’s largest teaching hospital we are always extremely supportive of our hospital consultants whose clinical and research endeavours go above and beyond to better the development of the Hospital and I am therefore delighted that the William Stokes Award has been presented to Professor Plunkett. As former Medical Director of St James’s Hospital, Professor Plunkett was extremely dedicated in developing research projects that enhanced the Emergency Department at St James’s Hospital.”
A graduate of UCD, Professor Plunkett was appointed Consultant in Emergency Medicine in St James’s Hospital in 1988. He is the Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine in Ireland and was on the Education and Examination Committee of this faculty for over 20 years. Trinity College Dublin awarded Professor Plunkett the position of Clinical Professor in 2010. A former interim CEO of St James’s Hospital, Professor Plunkett was appointed Medical Director of the Hospital in 2015 until his recent retirement.
Previous recipients of the William Stokes Award include;
– Professor Joe Keane (2011) whose work on tuberculosis has won international acclaim
– Professor James O’Donnell (2012) who has received worldwide recognition for this research on Von Willebrand disease
– Professor Brian Lawlor (2013) for his work on the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease
– Professor Thomas Lynch (2014) who described new techniques in nephrectomy and prostatectomy procedures.
– Professor Joe Harbison (2015) who was honoured for his work on Stroke Medicine