PHA board

Our board of directors is made up of a Non-Executive Chair, the Chief Executive, seven Non-Executive Directors, and three Executive Directors. Executive Directors are employees of the PHA. The PHA board Register of interests is available here

Acting Chair and Chief Executive

Julie Erskine - Acting Chair

Julie Erskine is currently Acting Chair, from 01 December 2014, having been Vice Chair since June 2014. Julie is a member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee and the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and is Chair of the Audit Committee for the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People. She is also a member of the Audit Committee for the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland and a lay representative of the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency. Julie has worked in the healthcare service industry for over 30 years and held the position of Operations Director and Support Services Director within a Belfast-based private healthcare company.


Dr Eddie Rooney
Chief Executive

Dr Eddie Rooney is Chief Executive of the PHA. Prior to joining the PHA, Dr Rooney served as Equality Director at the Office for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education from 2004–2008.



Non-Executive Directors

Billy Ashe

Billy Ashe, Mayor of Carrickfergus Borough Council, has been a public representative from May 1997. He has served on the district policing partnership from its inception and was previously Chairman of an urban farm project for learning disabilities. He is currently coordinator of Carrickfergus Community Forum.



Brian Coulter

Brian has extensive experience in Health Regulation, having worked as Non-Executive Director of the General Optical Council and Human Tissue Authority. He is past Chair of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations, Parkview Special School Governors and the Eastern Health and Social Services Council. He had a 23 year career in Health and Social Services followed by 18 years as Chief Executive of The Fold Group. His last employment was as Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.



Dr Jeremy Harbison Dr Jeremy Harbison

Dr Harbison is a retired civil servant. He is a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ulster and a Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission.





Ms Miriam Karp Miriam Karp

Miriam Karp is a Council Member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, a Fitness To Practise Panellist for the Northern Ireland Pharmaceutical Society (Statutory Committee), a Fitness To Practise Panellist for the General Medical Council, a member of the Exceptional Circumstances Body for School Transfer, a Lay Representative for the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency and a consultant for Arthritis Care UK. Within the Nursing and Midwifery Council Miriam is also Chair of the Interim Orders Panel and Chair of the Investigating Committee.




Mr Thomas Mahaffy Thomas Mahaffy

Thomas Mahaffy is employed by UNISON as Policy Officer with responsibility for partnerships, equality, human rights and social policy issues within Northern Ireland. He is a board member of the Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network and Human Rights Consortium.





Paul Porter

Alderman Paul Porter was Mayor of Lisburn City Council from 2010 to 2011 and is an elected representative and member of Lisburn City Council. He is currently employed as personal assistant/office manager for Jonathan Craig MLA, undertaking constituency case work, managing budgets and staff. He was formerly employed as a nursing auxiliary (Thompson House Hospital/ Lagan Valley Hospital and Seymour Nursing Home) from 1994 to 2000. He will bring to his role on the PHA board his experience gained on Lisburn City Council over the past eleven years representing constituents on health issues.


Executive Directors

Dr Carolyn Harper

Dr Carolyn Harper
Executive Medical Director/Director of Public Health

Dr Harper is the PHA’s Director of Public Health and Medical Director. She was previously Deputy Chief Medical Officer in the DHSSPS. She trained in general practice before moving into public health and also worked as Director of Quality Improvement for the Quality Improvement Organisation in California.





Ed McClean

Edmond McClean
Director of Operations

Edmond McClean is the PHA’s Director of Operations and heads the PHA’s communications, governance, business planning and health intelligence functions. His background includes lead Director supporting the initial development of Belfast and East Local Commissioning Groups from 2007 to 2009 and from 1997 to 2007 he was Director of Strategic Planning and Commissioning with the Northern Health and Social Services Board.




Mary Hinds

Mary Hinds (seconded to NHSCT during May 2013)
Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals

Mary Hinds is the PHA’s Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

She was previously Director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining the RCN, she was Director of Nursing at the Mater Hospital in Belfast.



Pat Cullen (appointed as Interim Director during May 2013)

Pat Cullen is the PHA’s Interim Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions.

Pat has responsibility for providing professional advice to all aspects of commissioning within the Health and Social Care Board as well as having lead responsibility for Quality, Safety and Patient/Client Experience throughout Northern Ireland.