A young Donegal man has loaned his acting talents to the HSE to help them launch an innovative Health Passport for people with Intellectual Disabilities in Ireland.
Paul Gallen from Termon took on a thrilling role in the high-octane ‘Mission: Possible’ film, which premiered today.
In the film, the 22-year-old has a huge mission to complete – educate the world about the new HSE Health Passport.
No challenge is too big for Paul, who employs all his spy skills and daredevil talents to get the word out.
Watch the movie here:
The short film, created by the Donegal-based Re-Act Productions, will be shown nationwide to families, carers and healthcare staff to launch the HSE Health Passport.
The document aims to support children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities and/or communication difficulties, allowing them to write in their individual abilities, medical history and personal needs to ensure staff can provide better care and understanding.
Paul proudly launched his debut film to a packed screen at Century Cinemas Letterkenny today (Tuesday).
When asked about his experience in the movie, he said: “I enjoyed it, I loved it.”
Paul added that he was “not afraid” while filming the demanding and explosive scenes, which take place around Letterkenny University Hospital.
“I was brave,” Paul said.
Speakers at the launch back row L to R: Ciaran McCann, Re-Act Productions, Ms Maureen Jordan, Donegal Down Syndrome Association, Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan, National Disability Specialist, Shaun Doogan, Re-Act Productions, Jean Kelly, Group Director of Nursing, Saolta, Professor Owen Barr, Ulster University, Niamh Walsh, PhD Researcher, Ulster University. Front row L to R: Dr. Anne Gallen, Director, NMPDU North West, Dr Siobhan O’Halloran, Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health, Paul Gallen Jnr, John Hayes, Chief Officer, CHO 1
Paul’s work has already had a presidential seal of approval. On Sunday, the Donegal man was invited to Áras an Uachtaráin to present the HSE Health Passport to President Michael D. Higgins.
The HSE Health Passport has been praised as an innovative and creative approach to communicating the diverse needs of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.
Dr Gerry Lane, Consultant at the emergency department in LUH, was one of the many heathcare professionals who welcomed the project. He said: “This is one of the best things I’ve seen in 19 years in health services locally.”
Dr Lane added that the HSE Health Passport gives a voice to everyone and forces healthcare workers to retune their minds to hear what a person with Intellectual Disabilities wants to communicate.
The HSE Health Passport will be rolled out across all hospitals in Ireland, with the help of Paul Gallen communicating the message of its importance.