Development & Alumni Relations Office 


05 December 2019

This year’s Volunteer of the Year is Professor Gerry Gormley, Queen’s medical graduate (1995) and Clinical Professor in Simulation and Clinical skills in the Centre for Medical Education at the University.

Delivering the citation, Helen Surgenor, Assistant Director (Fundraising), in the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO), said: “Gerry has been tireless in his support for the Development and Alumni Relations team. He has attended events at weekends and evenings, given tours to individuals and groups, hosted visits to the existing clinical skills centre and led on an event in London for potential donors. 

“This is a true example of partnership working – academic and professional services staff coming together for an amazing and impactful outcome.”

Professor Gerry Gormley is a clinical academic at Queen’s. He balances his time between being a GP in Carryduff, and carrying out his role as Clinical Professor in Simulation and Clinical skills within the Centre for Medical Education at Queen’s.

Gerry graduated in medicine from Queen’s in 1995 and as a general practitioner in 2000. He gained his Doctorate in Medicine relating to medical education and patient care in 2003 and in 2005, and began his academic career as a Clinical Teaching Fellow.

Since then, he has strived for excellence in teaching and having a positive impact on students.

In 2007 he was promoted to a Senior Lectureship, and just recently to a Clinical Professorship in Simulation and Clinical Skills. His teaching is underpinned by a simple philosophy – to provide students with a stimulating learning experience that allows them to achieve their full potential and take a sense of pride in what they do.  

Over the past three years, the Development and Alumni Relations Office has worked closely with Professor Gormley Gerry on the development of a new simulation and experiential learning centre.   

When it opens (in autumn 2020) it will promote excellence in healthcare education through an interprofessional simulation based approach that drives safe, effective and collaborative patient care.

Speaking about this latest recognition, Professor Gormley said: “It is a huge honour to receive this award.

“Working alongside colleagues in DARO and the many generous donors, we are able to realise our ambitions to further advance our world-class educational experience for health and social professional students at Queen’s, and the members of society they will serve.

“As ever, I’m only one small piece in the wider network across the University who are fully committed in developing a world-class simulation centre – InterSim.”

The Simulation Centre will be one of the few in the UK to truly champion simulation based education. Medical, Nursing and Midwifery, Dentistry and Pharmacy students will train together in interactive scenarios that closely replicate the clinical setting.

This will build on the University’s expertise, transform the student experience and ultimately enhance the effectiveness and safety of patient care.

“Gerry’s enthusiasm and commitment have played a vital role in making this vision a reality and giving Queen’s students such an amazing opportunity,” said Helen Surgenor.

“We have been fundraising for this project for over a year and I am delighted to share with you that we are now just £50,000 short of reaching our target to secure £2m before 31 December 2019,” she added.

Presented at the Medical Donor Thank You event in December, Gerry received the Alumni Volunteer of the Year accolade for going ‘above and beyond, giving of his time freely, always maintaining a cool sense of calm’. Described as an engaging and passionate speaker, Gerry was also recognised for his enthusiasm for, and commitment to, simulation based learning, which, said Helen, was ‘infectious’. 

To support health-related projects at Queen’s – including the Simulation Centre and medical research – visit the Development and Alumni Relations Office website or contact Teresa Sloan, Head of Health Fundraising, telephone +44 (0)28 9097 5394. Medical queries arising out of this news story should be raised directly with a GP/consultant and not with DARO staff.

Media enquiries to Communications Office at Queen’s University Belfast, or telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5292.

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