I’m lucky to live on the prom in Galway so I’m up at 6am for a brisk walk with the dog before heading to the office for 8am.
My first stop is the Croi Heart and Stroke Centre in Galway city — also home to the new National Institute of Preventive Cardiology (NIPC). I check my diary, plan my day and go through topics relative to preventive care which are making the news. I wear several hats — teaching, driving research and delivery of patient care.
Tomorrow we are holding Croi’s inaugural national conference on cardiovascular disease prevention to mark the launch of the Institute, so I’m finalising preparations with the team. We’ve linked up with NUI Galway to create the new Institute so it’s a very exciting time. Its aim is to drive research, education and innovation in the prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Heart disease and stroke and the related conditions of diabetes and obesity remain the number one causes of death and disability; up to 90% of which are preventable.
I hold an exercise class for patients, an active hour for stroke survivors or people with mobility issues who require personalised exercise programmes. I’m a physiotherapist with a strong interest in the practical application of physical activity and exercise to improving patient outcomes. Importantly, this part of my job preserves contact with the patient, essential when developing models of care. I oversee 17 health programmes at Croi.
Some days I head to the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUIG to wear my teaching hat in the discipline of health promotion overseeing a postgraduate certificate in cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention.
I’m also programme leader for the masters in preventive cardiology.
Some of that teaching takes place at the Croi centre where students can immerse themselves in preventive care in action.
I work on building partnerships with policy makers and health practitioners in preventive care. I also engage with the HSE and work on identifying gaps in research.
Home to my 11-year-old daughter. I love cooking. I go for a second walk in the evening unless we’re running a public health event.
* Jenni Jones is director of prevention at Croi, west of Ireland heart and stroke charity and executive director at the new National Institute of Preventive Cardiology.
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