FOLLOW US FacebookTwitterFile:Instagram icon.png - Wikimedia CommonsLinkedin - Free social media icons



Joanne Vance

Joanne joined CDHN in March 21 as Director of the organisation. She has a wide range of experience in various management and leadership roles in the voluntary and community sector in both Northern Ireland and Ireland. She holds a MSc in Economic Policy Studies and has a particular interest in Health service reorientation towards primary and integrated care. She brings over 20 years of experience of translating research and policy frameworks into practice, using participatory approaches to promote equality, diversity and social inclusion to CDHN. Joanne's previous role was Community Programmes Manager with the Irish Cancer Society. In this position, she led multi-disciplinary collaborations to co-design, plan and deliver evidence-informed health promotion and prevention interventions with a range of vulnerable and socially excluded communities and groups. Joanne demonstrated the collective impact of building healthy communities using community development approaches and social determinants of health frameworks to address health inequalities, improve access and promote health.

Kathy Martin

Strategic Impact Manager
Kathy has worked for CDHN since 2003 in a variety of roles and is currently Strategic Impact Manager. She manages the Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership (BCPP) Programme at an operation level and ensures that the impact of the programme is shared strategically. Kathy held the post of Training Manager with CDHN for six years and enjoyed developing community development and health inequalities training programmes which she delivered to members across Northern Ireland. Kathy began her career in CDHN as Network Development Officer and still loves to engage with members, hear their stories and support them in their work. A busy mum of four, Kathy practices Taekwondo to keep in shape and was delighted to be promoted to Black Belt in October 2018. The fact that their mum holds a Black Belt seems to keep her children in order!

Eleanor McKenna

Training & Development Officer (Elevate Programme)
Eleanor McKenna joined the team in September 2023 as Training and Development Officer working on the Elevate programme across Northern Ireland. She has a great deal of experience in planning and delivering training having previously worked for PIPS Hope and Support delivering mental health awareness and suicide prevention programmes. Before that, she worked in the Private Sector delivering online safety and wellbeing programmes to a variety of audiences. Having worked in the Voluntary and Community Sector for the past few years and building up a strong network across the Southern Trust area, she is a firm believer that local people working at community level can achieve great things. Eleanor spends a lot of time on the sidelines of various fields supporting three very sporty daughters, and has recently joined her local Social Camogie team.

Mary O'Hagan

Monitoring Officer
Mary O’Hagan has worked for CDHN for 20 years in various enjoyable roles. Mary’s current and long lived role is support worker to the Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership Programme (BCPP). She has gained great experience in her time with CDHN and enjoys her role in supporting community organisations. Mary enjoys hill walking in the Mournes near her home and the company of her grandchildren in her free time.

Helen McNamee

Research & Policy Manager
Helen joined CDHN in September 2016 and currently manages the Community Medication Safety Research. Helen also leads on CDHN health literacy work and Inspiring Impact. In previous CDHN roles, she managed the Self-Care Pharmacy project and provided Evaluation and Support to BCPP. Helen has worked in the community and voluntary sector for over 15 years in a variety of research, policy, evaluation and support roles. She worked for National Children’s Bureau (NCB) for over five years leading on a number of research projects and developing her evidence and impact skills, in particular the implementation of Outcomes Based Accountability (OBA) methodologies. Helen also honed her skills in children and young people's participation during her time in NCB and in her previous role in Northern Ireland Youth Forum. Helen has three children and a dog, all of whom keep her very busy outside work.

Mary McDonald

Finance and Administration Officer/Evaluation Assistant
Mary joined CDHN in 2018 and having previously worked in the legal sector as Legal Secretary with responsibility for the overall administrative function of the practice. Mary has five children and 11 grandchildren and, along with her job, the family keep her very busy! In her free time, Mary enjoys walking and travelling to far flung destinations - she is a bit of a dare devil and did a sky dive for her 60th birthday, raising vital funds for PIPs.

Laura Harper

Evaluation & Support Lead
Laura has worked as Evaluation Support (BCPP) for CDHN since 2009. She enjoys meeting with all the groups she comes into contact with and supporting them through their project. Her role also involves the development of measurement tools and analysing data against strategic outcomes. She has a BA Liberal Arts Degree and a Masters in Communication, Advertising and Public Relations. Laura has four children, enjoys reading and is currently in competition with her nine year old daughter to see who can finish Harry Potter first!

Stephanie Houston

Senior Training & Development Officer (Elevate Programme)
Stephanie joined CDHN in 2019 and works with communities across the Northern and Western HSC Trust areas as part of the Elevate programme. She has worked in a variety of community development roles for a number of years, building relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. Stephanie is passionate about making a difference at local level and is particularly interested in community health and wellbeing. In her spare time, Stephanie loves to travel and she is a keen reader, particularly crime fiction. Stephanie also enjoys walking for her own health and wellbeing.

Patricia Harte

Senior Training & Development Officer (Elevate Programme)
Patricia joined CDHN in March 2019 as Training Officer and is currently involved in supporting a number of projects including CDHN's health literacy work and the Elevate Programme. In 2013, Patricia completed an MSc in Health Promotion and Population Health. Prior to taking up her role in CDHN, Patricia worked for six years as Project Worker with Action Mental Health and was responsible for the design and delivery of a suite of health promotion workshops and training programmes. Patricia has extensive experience facilitating training which aims to increase awareness in relation to health and wellbeing, promote self-care, help-seeking behaviours and early intervention. Patricia enjoys walking and spending time with her ten nieces and nephews.

Marion O'Hare

Administrative / Human Resources Officer
Marion joined CDHN in January 2021 and this is her first experience of working in the community sector. She has a BA Hons Degree in International Business Studies and also spent a year studying in America on a Business Scholarship. Marion previously worked in the financial sector for 10 years and was responsible for providing financial statements to Irish and American clients. A busy mum of three, Marion enjoys the great outdoors, particularly hiking in the Mournes.

Caoimhe Shields

Research & Engagement Officer
Caoimhe joined CDHN in December 2021 as Research & Engagement Officer. Her role involves using community based participatory research models to discover the social circumstances behind unsafe medication practices and avoidable medication-related harm, to inform the HSC Transforming Medication Safety in NI plan 2020-2025. Caoimhe has previously worked in youth work providing young people with advice and support and delivering programmes on a range of topics impacting health and wellbeing. Caoimhe has also worked as an Assistant Psychologist in an acute mental health inpatient centre where she assisted practitioner psychologists in the delivery of a specialist applied psychology service. Graduating from Queen’s University Belfast in 2019 with a BSc Psychology and 2021 with a Distinction in MSc Clinical Health Psychology, she is passionate about mental wellbeing, as well as the importance of understanding the social determinants that can influence health behaviours. Caoimhe enjoys finding a good Netflix series and spending time with friends.

Joana Neves

Community Engagement Officer
Joana joined CDHN in July 2022 as Community Engagement Officer. Joana has previous experience of participating and running service user groups which have had a key focus on co-production and high levels of service user involvement. They have centered around using young people’s experiences and their voices in order to make positive changes for the services which they use. Joana also works as and when within children’s residential services within the HSC. She graduated from Ulster University in 2020 with a BSc Accounting and Human Resource Management and is on track to complete a MSc Strategic Accounting in December 2022. She is passionate about co-production, building up communities and promoting learning through lived experiences. Joana is a mother of one and is currently constructing a Lego city with her seven year old.

Shannon Keegan

Policy & Communications Officer
Shannon joined CDHN in April 2023 as Policy & Communications Officer. Shannon has previous experience of working in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust within Adult Community Older People’s Services Division as an Information Officer. She has worked with a diverse range of service groups such as adults living with physical and sensory disabilities, older people and adults living with a dementia diagnosis. A key part of her role involved co-production work to articulate those with a lived experience of health and social care services to help improve service provision. She has previously worked in the Department of Health on the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Services which involved collating and analysing research, producing policy briefings and promoting the work of the Review through various communication channels. Shannon graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2020 with a BA Hons in Social Policy and Sociology. She is passionate about social justice and reshaping the narratives around the social determinants of health. In her spare time, she enjoys going for long walks and listening to podcasts.