Advocacy Working Group - Biographies
Patrick Crombez, Belgium, EONS Board Member (co-Chair)
Patrick is Head Nurse of the Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation at Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, Belgium. He is Coordinator of the Nursing Cell of Evidence-based Practice and co-founder and organizer of the Biannual Meeting of Nurses in Oncology at J. Bordet Institute. He is senior lecturer in Nursing in Hematological Oncology and speaker at National and International Conferences and Congresses. He is president of the Belgian Oncology Nursing Society and co-president of the nursing committee of the Belgian Hematology Society. He is an active member of national and international organizations and has been an Executive Board Member of EONS since 2013.
Helena Ullgren, Sweden (co-Chair)
Helena has been an oncology nurse since 1995, and has regional responsibility for head & neck cancer in a new nursing role in Sweden, Regional Cancer Center, Stockholm-Gotland. She is also starting as a nurse leader in research and development, in the cancer clinic at Karolinska University Hospital. Helena has a MSc in palliative care, and is in the process of starting a PhD at Karolinska Institute. She is a board member of Swedish Nursing Society, with a special interest in advocacy. Personal interests are symptom management, integration and organisation of cancer care, as well as developing advanced nursing roles in cancer care.
Graça Braz, Portugal
Graça achieved her nursing diploma in 1989, becoming a specialist nurse on “Health in the Community” in 1997. She has two Post graduations, one on ’Health Education” and another on ’Hospital Management and Administration”. She has been working on the Portuguese Oncology Institute - Oporto for 23 years, currently being the Chief-Nurse of the Outpatient Clinic. She is a member of the Portuguese Association of Nursing Oncology.
Fernanda Conceição, Portugal
Fernanda has been a cancer nurse since 2004. She worked in the Portuguese Oncology Institute, Lisbon, until 2016. During that time she postgraduated in Oncology Nursing in 2008. In 2016, she moved to the oncology clinical center the Champalimaud Foundation. Progressing to a leadership role as head nurse in the critical and recovery area, she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management. She is also focused on the promotion of patient- and family-centered quality care and the better performance of teams. The impact of health financing and promotion/prevention policies is a growing interest.
Matthew Fowler, United Kingdom
Sidsel Dragsbæk Holm, Denmark
Sidsel graduated as a Nurse in 2006 and has since been working as a Clinical Nurse in the Department of Oncology at Odense University Hospital, Denmark. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Nursing Science at the Institute of Public Health at Aarhus University. As part of her work she is involved in improving the quality of nursing care, with emphasis on palliative care and end-of-life care. Additional professional interests are patient education and interdisciplinary cooperation.
Terry Hanan, Ireland
Terry is currently working in the National Cancer Control Programme and is based in their head office in Dublin. She has worked for over 20 years in clinical and managerial roles in cancer services in Ireland. She completed a Higher Diploma in Oncology (University College Dublin) a Masters in Health Services Management (Trinity College Dublin) and a Cancer Nursing Leadership Programme facilitated by the Royal Marsden. Terry is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Nursing in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
As projects manager for the National Cancer Control Programme current projects include:
- Cancer survivorship; co-chair of the National Cancer Survivorship steering group, The focus of the group is to action 2017-2025 National Cancer Strategy cancer survivorship recommendations which include undertaking a national needs assessment, development of Patient treatment summary and care plans and development and implementation of national survivorship programmes
- National Nursing initiatives; including working towards standardisation of nursing documentation, chemotherapy competency assessments and telephone triage systems. Developing and supporting an ANP forum for nurses working in medical oncology, radiation oncology, haematology and palliative care roles in Ireland.
- Interdisciplinary projects include membership of a multidisciplinary group focused on national standardisation of oral anticancer medicines practices; project manager for national lung cancer leads group, procurement and coordination of national delivering bad news workshops.
Halldóra Hálfdánardóttir, Iceland
Halldóra Hálfdánardóttir has been head nurse of the inpatient Oncology Department at Landspítali in Reykjavík, Iceland, since 2012. She has worked there since 2001, first as a registered nurse and then as an assistant head nurse. She was a board member of the Icelandic Oncology nursing society from 2010 to 2016. She was an international contact member of the board and attended four EONS advisory councils in this capacity. She received her Bsc degree in nursing from the University of Iceland in 2000. She also has a diploma in oncology nursing (gained 2006) and an MSc in nursing management (gained 2010), also from the University of Iceland.
Merel van Klinken, the Netherlands
Merel van Klinken graduated as a nurse in 2006. She has been working as a registered oncology nurse since 2009 and is currently also working as a palliative care nurse in a specialised oncology hospital. She holds an MSc in nursing sciences and is looking to improving the quality of palliative care in her own hospital setting. She’s also part of the team that analyses deaths that occur in admitted patients. As well as teaching oncology nurses, she teaches other disciplines in the hospital about palliative care. Merel is a member of the Netherlands Nursing Society and is an editorial member of the nursing magazine, Oncologica.
Theologia Tsitsi, Cyprus
Theologia started her nursing career in 1993. She has a Bsc and Msc in Nursing Science from UK universities, an MA in Healthcare Management from the Cyprus Open University and a PhD in Oncology Nursing from the Cyprus University of Technology. She is a member of Special Teaching Staff in the Nursing Department of the CUT, on secondment from the Cyprus Ministry of Health. Her PhD was on the effectiveness of relaxation techniques in reducing anxiety in parents of children being treated for cancer. Her research interests continue to be focused on the psychological wellbeing of parents whose children have cancer.
Dimitrios Protogiros, Greece
Dimitrios is a specialised oncology nurse with both a clinical and research background who has experience in supportive and palliative cancer care of adult patients and their families. He currently works as a research nurse at the Development and Improvement of Nursing Care Delivery Systems Laboratory, at the Nursing Department of the School of Health Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Dimitrios holds an MSc in Oncology Nursing and Palliative Care and is actively involved in the education of undergraduate nursing students. He has been accepted in the European Cancer Leagues Youth Ambassador programme, as the Youth Ambassador representing Greece to promote the European Code Against Cancer. He is also a Board Member of the Greek Nursing Studies Association. Dimitrios is passionate about specialty recognition and cancer nursing progression.You can follow him on Twitter: @buyurdelli
Emma Woodford, UK - Observer
Emma is EONS’ Chief Executive Officer. She is an experienced senior advocate and programme manager with more than 20 years’ experience in the charity/NGO sector. Early in her career, Emma worked on community development projects in Vietnam and Thailand and then moved to Brussels where she became a health advocate at the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL). There she worked with cancer nurses, prevention managers and oncologists on a number of projects, including facilitating the MEPS Against Cancer group in the European Parliament. After ECL, she went on to be Interim Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance. She later worked as an EU Senior Advisor for the International Diabetes Federation for Europe.