10 September 2019

Yvonne Engels has been appointed Professor of Spiritual Healthcare at Radboud University/Radboud university medical center, with effect from 1 August 2019.

Engels is an expert in the field of palliative care: optimising patients’ quality of life when healing is no longer possible. In 2006, she co-founded the palliative care expertise centre at Radboudumc, which focuses on multidimensional caregiving and anticipating patients’ wishes, needs and future scenarios. In recent years, identifying and exploring patients’ existential questions has played a prominent role in her research. As Professor of Spiritual Healthcare, she strives to ensure that the question ‘what is this patient specifically concerned about?’ is always included in the healthcare process.  Not only for palliative patients, but for all patients.

Engels: ‘It is my personal goal that all healthcare providers at Radboudumc will be able to identify their patients’ existential questions, explore them where possible and refer them to an expert in this field when necessary.’ 
Yvonne Engels (Roermond, 1958) studied at the Vroedvrouwenschool (Midwifery School) in Heerlen and worked as a midwife until 1998. She earned her Master of Health Sciences degree – cum laude – from Maastricht University in 1998 and subsequently began working as a researcher in the IQ-Healthcare department at Radboudumc. In 2005, she earned her PhD from Radboud University with a thesis on the organisation of general practice in Europe. From 2006, she worked at a researcher in the Radboudumc Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine. There she developed tools and courses about the application of early palliative care, in which spiritual care played a prominent role. She has coordinated various studies and led multiple international EU projects. Among other things, she is a board member of the International Primary Palliative Care Network (IPPCN) and a research leader in the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) steering committee for primary palliative care. She leads think tanks within the Interdisciplinary Honours Programme for Master's students and is a lecturer and coach for medical students.

Yvonne Engels is member of the theme Healthcare improvement science.
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