Board of Directors

Angela Brand
Rachel Dunscombe
Brian O’Connor
Maritta Perälä-Heape
Bleddyn Rees​
Priit Tohver

The Team

Jane Carolan
Erik Gerritsen
Roger Lim
Valentina Tageo
Julien Venne

Angela Brand

MD, PhD, MPH, Professor at the University of Maastrich

Angela Brand, MD PhD MPH (USA) is Full Professor at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) as well as Professorial Fellow at MERIT (Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology), Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences (FHS), Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

She is Director of the European Centre for Public Health Genomics (ECPHG), holds a Dr. T.M. Pai Endowed Chair on Public Health Genomics and is Adjunct Professor at the School of Life Sciences, Manipal University, India.

Jane Carolan

National Director Health Business Services at Health Service Executive

Rachel Dunscombe

CEO at NHS Digital Academy

Rachel Dunscombe is CEO of the NHS Digital Academy and global lead for the KLAS Arch collaborative – a group of organisations creating academic quality evidence for Digitisation.

She was formerly the CIO of the Salford Royal/NCA Group one of the 2 most digitally mature organisations in the NHS. She has worked across the health, care system as well as in the private sector and Europe.

She is currently visiting professor at Imperial College London and a member of the UK government’s AI Council.

Erik Gerritsen

Secretary General at Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of Netherlands

Erik Gerritsen studied Political Science at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Information management at the University of Amsterdam. 

In 2011 he obtained his PhD in Public Administration. Gerritsen started his career at the government where he held various positions at the Ministry of Finance before he was appointed as director Finance-Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

At that department Gerritsen was appointed as deputy Secretary General in 1999. 

Since 2009 Gerritsen has held the position of chairman at Youth Protection Region Amsterdam. In 2015 he was appointed as Secretary General at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Roger Lim

Senior Policy Advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport

Brian O’Connor

Chair at ECHAlliance

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Brian developed his career as a consultant, manager and investor. He has worked in the UK, US and Hong Kong and has significant experience as a company director in a variety of industries.

He is currently providing strategic advice to Governments, International organizations and companies on the challenges facing healthcare in general and specifically on the Connected Health opportunity. He created the European Connected Health Alliance, a not for profit organisation which connects Governments, Industry,Research Institutes, Health Services, Patient Groups etc through a Global Network of Ecosystems.

He is Chair of a number of innovative companies and an investor in start ups.

Maritta Perälä-Heape

Director, Centre for Health and Technology at Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu

Maritta Perälä-Heape, Professor of practice in data-enabled health care and innovation ecosystems; Director, Centre for Health and Technology (CHT), Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. She is managing the strategic R&D&I collaboration between academia, business and public healthcare sector (OuluHealth ecosystem).

She is actively contributing to the policies on health-related data practices and competence building in exploiting the next generation data sets for the development of future predictive service provisions.

The current focus is in building national research and innovation knowledge Hub (DigiHealth Hub) in Finland, and creating synergies with European innovation partnerships and smart specialization strategies. She acts as an expert in several national and international boards and steering groups.

Bleddyn Rees

Chair at Digital Health Society

Bleddyn Rees is a vastly experienced commercial lawyer with 30 years experience of outsourcings, privatisations and complex contracting and projects. He has a unique CV for a private sector lawyer, having spent three and a half years on secondment as General Counsel of the Commercial Directorate of the Department of Health. 

On his secondment to the Department of Health Bleddyn advised the Minsters (Prime Minister, Secretary of State, Ministers of State), Special Advisors and NHS organisations and gave evidence to the Health Select Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. 

Bleddyn has a detailed understanding of the UK health sector and regulatory framework.

Priit Tohver

Junior doctor and the Advisor for E-Services Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia

Priit Tohver is a junior doctor and the Advisor for E-Services Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia, overseeing the digital transformation and innovation of health and welfare systems in Estonia. Priit’s core function is to direct global cooperation in e-health between Estonia and a variety of stakeholders.

He has previously served as an advisor to the Estonian Mission in Geneva on diplomatic matters related to health, development and trade, covering organizations such as WHO, UNCTAD and WTO during the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU.

Priit also has six years of experience as a civil society and global health activist, having also served as the Regional Director for Europe at the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA).

Valentina Tageo

International Projects Lead at ECHAlliance

Valentina graduated in Economics and obtained a Masters in European Project Management. She is experienced in international project management, with skills in proposal writing, project execution and reporting; she is also familiar with several funding programmes (e.g. H2020, INTERREG, URBACT). Valentina’s fields of interest are health and social innovation with a focus on the use of ICT to improve quality, effectiveness and uptake of public services. She has been Support Manager for two out of six of the Action Groups of European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing providing management and stakeholder engagement expertise. She is collaborating with: Badalona Serveis Assistencials, Barcelona City Council; Open Evidence (spin-off the Open University of Catalonia); Catalan Agency for Health Information, Assessment and Quality (AQuAS); Ab.Acus (Italian biomedical engineering SME); Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Julien Venne

Researcher at the United Nations University

Eclectic by nature, Julien is interested by research, pubic policies and business. He’s currently involved in research activities at the United Nations University, the University of Maastricht (NL) and the University of Manipal (India). He’s also developing several entrepreneurial projects and consultancy services through his own company, Malsamamind. Naturally evolving in an international environment (Europe and beyond), interested in strategic thinking, Julien likes to work where public and private sectors meet.

For 10 years now, he’s involved in the digital health sector, working within hospitals settings with clinical teams; supporting entrepreneurs; designing digital solutions as well as business strategies for industry leaders; advising policy-makers from local to international level; or enhancing connections between digital health players via networks and events.

His focal point is the post-digital society and the transformation of human activities through technologies. Great promoter of collaborative work within multi-stakeholders ecosystems (with citizens, governments, public services, companies, researchers, NGOs), Julien is developing international complex projects and platforms related to the governance of our digital twins as well as the impact of technologies on human wellbeing, on individual & collective behaviours, on politics & policies (GovTech, CivicTech) and on societal/environmental challenges (UN SDGs).


Connected Health Alliance CIC
13A Ballyhoy Avenue
Dublin 5


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