Western Trust Chief Executive praised for ‘immense leadership’ at final meeting

Western Trust Chief Executive praised for ‘immense leadership’ at final meeting

Western Trust Chief Executive Dr Anne Kilgallen has been honoured for the ‘hard work and good judgement’ she displayed during her four-year tenure.

Speaking at Thursday’s Trust Board meeting, Chairman Mr Sam Pollock OBE, paid tribute to the work of a ‘genuine and sincere’ leader.

The pandemic has posed a significant challenge and Dr Kilgallen has also been tasked with overseeing a financial recovery plan.

Mr Pollock said that although the Trust had to tackle ‘£40m worth of debt’ over recent years, Dr Kilgallen implemented a professional strategy which did not prioritise cost-saving over standards of care.

“I want to acknowledge that this is the last meeting of our Chief Executive, this month will finish her with the Trust,” he said.

“I consider it an immense privilege to have worked with Anne over the last few years and I don’t think anyone puts so much into a day’s work. 

“When I arrive she’s already done half a day’s work and when I leave she’s going on to do more.

“She does a huge amount of work and we will miss Anne very much, thank you for everything that you have done.

“Over the last 18 months there has been huge responsibility on the Executive team and on Anne, we just couldn’t really measure the level of responsibility that under Anne the team has carried, and they’ve done it with amazing ability and good judgement.”

He added that Dr Kilgallen is retiring after a ‘long and successful’ career.

Mr Pollock praised the outgoing Chief Executive’s ‘integrity, good judgement, genuine and sincere commitment’ to staff, people in her care and the local community.

Dr Kilgallen personally thanked board members for the ‘leadership’ they’ve shown, particularly throughout the pandemic, and said she strongly believes the organisation will strive to serve the population to the best of its ability.

Neil Guckian, who is the current Director of Finance and Contracting with the Western Trust, is due to take up the Chief Executive role on July 1, 2021.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Guckian also took the opportunity recognise Dr Kilgallen’s leadership.

He said: “We’ve been faced over the past couple of years with a tsunami of issues; industrial action and the pandemic.

“How lucky were we as an organisation to have an expert in public health to be the Chief Executive through the world’s greatest pandemic.”


Anne is a doctor who trained as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine.

Before taking up post as Chief Executive she worked as Deputy Chief Medical Officer with responsibility for population health policy in the Department of Health, Belfast.

In 2013/14 Anne was funded by the Health Foundation and supported by the Western Trust to undertake a Quality Improvement Fellowship based at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, USA.

She had the opportunity to study international healthcare systems that have successfully brought clinical leadership, improvement science and system thinking together to transform care. 

Prior to her fellowship, Dr Kilgallen served for six years as Medical Director at the Western Health and Social Care Trust. 

She has a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University.

And is a fellow of both the Faculty of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in Ireland, where she has served on the board.

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