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Allied health professionals

The AHP Committee will guide the Association in its efforts to champion the role and influence of those allied health professionals – nurses, nurse practitioners, surgical care practitioners, therapists, perfusionists and other non-surgeons – involved in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with cardiothoracic conditions. The purpose of the AHP Committee is to lead, advise and support EACTS activities in all matters concerning cardiothoracic allied health professionals, including educational output, research, training, and Guidelines. EACTS is a membership Association of surgery, not surgeons, and the involvement and influence of the professionally diverse range of our membership is a vital part of our mission.


Richard van Valen

Allied Health Professionals Committee

Chair 2023-2025


Richard van Valen has been working in an academic teaching hospital as an advanced nurse practitioner for over 20 years. During that period he succesfully finished a PhD focusing on quality improvement and patient safety in Cardiac surgery. Since 2012 he has worked with allied health professionals (AHP) in Cardiac surgery to become an official committee within EACTS. This was achieved in 2023. His goal as chair is to further the visibility of AHP, integrate them within multidisciplinary guidelines and provide them with a platform to show their work.

Cristina Ruiz Segria

Allied Health Professionals Committee

Member 2023-2026


Cristina Ruiz Segria graduated in 1996 as a Nurse in Spain. After a few years working in the Primary Care she moved to United Kingdom where she started in 2003 as a Scrub Nurse in Cardiothoracic Unit at James Cook University Hospital. In 2007 she started her training as a Surgical Care Practitioner obtaining her Degree and her masters in Advanced Nurse Practice in 2015. She has taken part of several educational projects with Society Cardiothoracic England and Royal College of surgeon Edinburgh related to the training of Specialist Nurses in the field of Cardiothoracics. She also recently is collaborating with Hearts of Ghana training teams to become independent operators. Her aim in EACTS will be to embrace the role of nursing within the team to improve patient's care and outcomes.