Keynote speakers

Plenaries and Speakers

With increasing demands for improved patient outcomes, greater accountability and enhanced patient safety, clinicians are driven to embrace and integrate knowledge into health care practice. A range of different frameworks and models have been developed and applied for implementing Evidence-based Practice, involving interaction between the context, researchers and end users to propose pathways to closing the gap between research knowledge and its application to treatment options, policy and practice. Following each plenary, there will be a number of special sessions in the afternoon that match the plenary theme and provides a unique platform to exchange ideas and showcase experiences and lessons learned for implementing Evidence-based Practice in a manner that contributes to effective policy, practice, and programs.

Day 1

Zoe Jordan


Associate Professor Zoe Jordan is  the Executive Director of the Joanna Briggs Institute and Collaboration. Zoe is interested in the relationship between communication theory, engagement and translation science, particularly in an increasingly global context.  She is also interested in international, cross cultural collaboration, including but not limited to discursive competence, cultural brokering and relational empathy.

Plenary title: Knowledge translation, fuzzy logic and discourse

Jo Rycroft Malone


Professor Rycroft Malone is Pro-Vice Chancellor Research & Impact, Director, National Institute for Health Research's Health Services & Delivery Research Program at the Bangor University, Wales, UK.   Jo’s particular interests and expertise lie in knowledge translation research including how and why evidence or knowledge do or do not get used in practice. Currently she is responsible for leading the strategic direction and development of a knowledge translation research program and for developing capability and capacity in the field.

Plenary title: How and why evidence or knowledge does or does not get used in practice.

Stijn van de Velde


Stijn Van de Velde (Physiotherapist, PhD) is project manager at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health for the EUnetHTA Activity Center for other technologies. He is also part of the MAGIC team which works to improve the creation, dissemination and dynamic updating of clinical practice guidelines, evidence summaries and decision aids. In 2015, Stijn received a Marie Curie Research Fellowship (EU Horizon 2020). During his fellowship, he completed the GUIDES project, which aimed to improve the impact of computerised clinical decision support system (CDS) through better content wise development and optimised implementation. Stijn is the founding editor-in-chief of EBMPracticeNet, a national electronic information service with a CDS in Belgium. He was also co-founder of the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice at Belgian Red Cross-Flanders.

Plenary title: Computerised decision support (CDS) made trustworthy and effective.

Dimitri Beeckman


Prof. dr. Dimitri Beeckman holds a BSc. in Nursing, a MSc. in Nursing and Midwifery, a MSc. in Education, and a PhD from Ghent University in Belgium. His doctoral thesis focused on pressure ulcer prevention and management of Incontinence- Associated Dermatitis (IAD). Dimitri is Professor of Skin Integrity and Clinical Nursing, Visiting Professor at University of Surrey (Guilford, UK) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Dublin, Ireland), Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel

Plenary title: Development and application of agreed standardized sets of outcomes in effectiveness trials: a step forward for clinical decision-making?

Jef Adriaenssens


Jef Adriaenssens is post-doc health service research expert at the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Center (KCE) in Brussels.  In 2016-2017 he was primary investigator of the KCE research project ‘development of a national EBP governance, implementation and evaluation plan for Belgium’.  He is coordinator of the Platform ‘Wetenschap en Praktijk’ group, an evidence based platform for nurses and midwives.  He is also deputy-director of the Belgian Inter-university Collaboration for Evidence-based Practice (BICEP), staff member of the Belgian Center for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBAM) and member of the General Assembly of EBMPracticeNet Belgium. Further on he is lecturer and trainer in several evidence-based practice courses in Flanders.

Plenary title: National EBP Governance plan

Nadine Jacqmin


Nadine Jacqmin is a Nursing Science PhD. candidate at Laval University (Quebec, Canada). She currently writes a Doctoral Thesis about Evidence-Based Teaching in Bachelor Nursing Education Programs in French-speaking Belgium. This Thesis is leading by Johanne Gagnon and Kathleen Lechasseur, Professors at Laval University. Nadine Jacqmin is also a Nurse Teacher in Haute Ecole Robert Schuman (Libramont, Belgium), a Lecturer in Liege University (Belgium) and trainer on Evidence-Based Nursing in Belgian Centre for Evidence- Based Medicine (CEBAM- Belgium).

Plenary title: Evidence-based teaching in Bachelor Nursing Education Programs in French-speaking Belgium

Trudy Bekkering


Trudy Bekkering (physiotherapist, epidemiologist, PhD) performed her PhD on the development and implementation of clinical guidelines for physiotherapists. Since 2008, she is staff member of the Belgian Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine teaching EBM and validating clinical guidelines, and Cochrane Belgium teaching and providing individual support for systematic reviews. Last year, at the Department of General Practice at KU Leuven, she co-founded the Primary Care Rapid Recommendations group.

Chair of concurrent session

Day 2

Bert Aertgeerts


Bert Aertgeerts is professor and head of the Department of General Practice at the KU Leuven University. His expertise focuses on the development of Systematic Reviews, Diagnostic Research and Clinical Evidence Based Practice Guidelines. Over the years, he enjoined for the Integration of Evidence-Based Sources, including Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems (CCDSS), into various Electronic Health Record Systems for GPs and other care providers in Belgium. Since September 2016 he is one of the responsible authors of the BMJs WIKIRecs ( WIKIRecs explore significant, evolving changes in evidence, and generate topic related recommendations, that can be implemented in a CCDSS at an international level. He is also the driving force behind EBMPracticeNet, a network organization commissioned by the Belgian government which groups all relevant Belgian EBM organizations.

Plenary title: Primary Care: EBM in the Electronic Medical Record

Per Olav Vandvik


Dr.Vandvik is spending most of his time heading a wonderful team of colleagues in the MAGIC research and innovation program aiming to provide clinicians and patients with trustworthy evidence summaries, guidelines and decision aids at the point of care. Supported by a career research grant from Helse Sør-Øst RHF and several innovation grants this work includes the MAGIC authoring and publication platform and innovative solutions for decision aids and integrating guidelines in the electronic medical record linked to patient specific data. Dr.Vandvik is also a recognized teacher in evidence-based medicine and guideline methodology for clinicians and decision-makers in health care. He is a devoted member of the GRADE working group and G-I-N Board of Trustees. Per Olav Vandvik is also researcher at the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services in Oslo and career grant researcher and acting consultant affiliated with the Department of Medicine, Innlandet Hospital Trust-Gjøvik, Norway.

Plenary title: The use of best current evidence at the point of care

Jako Burgers


Jako Burgers (1962) holds a GP practice in Gorinchem and is head of the department Guideline Development & Research at  the Dutch College of General Practitioners. Previously, he worked as a senior researcher at IQ healthcare, UMC St Radboud Nijmegen, and as program director at the Dutch Institute for Healthcare Improvement CBO. He has authored over 150 national and international publications on guideline development, patient involvement, quality of care, and healthcare system performance. He was a 2008–09 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, based at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. He served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) in 2007/2008 and was chair of the organizing committee of the G-I-N conference in 2015 in Amsterdam. He holds a medical degree from the Free University Amsterdam and a Ph.D. from the UMC St Radboud Nijmegen, where his dissertation, "Quality of Clinical Practice Guidelines", received the CARE award in 2002.

Plenary title: Personalised Care in Clinical Practice Guidelines: the role of patients in implementing EBP

Thérèse Van Durme


Thérèse Van Durme is a post-doc public health researcher at the Institute of Health and Society at the Université catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, where she is the operational coordinator of a nationwide evaluative, mixed methods study involving six Belgian universities. The topics under evaluation are programmes of integrated care for people with multiple chronic conditions. Until June 2017, she was the coordinator and participated in the implementation study of innovative interventions, which were aimed at helping frail older people to remain at home. During the course of this implementation study, a learning community was started among the professionals and policy makers, to identify, disseminate and test best practices in the field of homecare for frail older people.

Plenary title: Learning communities to support the evaluation and the implementation of best practices in the field of supporting frail older people to remain at home.

Herman Vandevijvere


Herman graduated in 1992 at the HIPB in Mechelen as Bachelor in Nursing. He has since worked in different ICU's, ER's and OR's in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent. In 1996 he was one of the first nurses in Belgium to get an additional Bachelor's degree designed for nurses in Emergency Room and Intensive Care units. After a ten year stopover as Marketing Manager in an international company based in Italy he transferred again to nursing. In 2015 Herman graduated as Master in Nursing at the University of Antwerp. He currently works as lector and researcher at the University College KdG in Antwerp. It was during his studies at the University of Antwerp that he gained interest in the different aspects of nursing research and the importance thereof for the quality of care. He specializes in qualitative research, economic aspects of healthcare and implementation of EBP.

Chair of concurrent session

Bart Geurden


Bart Geurden, RN, PhD, is currently teaching Nursing Sciences and Nursing Theories at the Karel de Grote university college (,  an educational  institution located in Belgium, Europe. He is a member of staff of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBAM), the Belgian Cochrane Centre ( As such he is frequently asked to present lectures on ‘Evidence Based Practice’ and ‘Evidence Transfer’ in nursing practice. He is director of the ‘Belgian Interuniversity Collaboration for Evidence-based Practice’ (BICEP), which is a Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence. The Joanna Briggs Institute ( is located in the University of Adelaide, Australia. Currently he is participating in the development of a Joanna Briggs Translation Centre, in order to provide free accessible evidence based guidelines in Dutch and French for nurses in Belgium at .  As senior researcher he is associated with the University of Antwerp (Belgium) Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), with the Nursing Research Centre at the Karel de Grote University College (Antwerp, Belgium) and with the Center for Research in Primary Food Care (Leuven, Belgium; His research topics are ‘evidence-based practice in nursing’, ‘malnutrition in health care’ and ‘primary food care’.

Chair of concurrent session

Day 3

Holger Schünemann


Prof. Schünemann is chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, widely considered the birthplace of evidence-based medicine and problem-based learning. His scientific work focuses on evidence synthesis, quality of life research and the presentation and development of health care recommendations spanning clinical medicine to public health. He has played a leading role in reshaping practice guideline development methodology as a key contributor to the revised methods for WHO guideline development in 2006 and the Institute of Medicine statement on trustworthy guidelines in 2011. He has been advisor to ministries of health, other governmental organizations and professional societies for their guideline programs. He is co-chair of the GRADE working group (, for which he coined the name and has had major responsibility for disseminating its spirit of collaboration, openness and advancement of evidence assessment and the creation of better health care recommendations.

Plenary title: GRADE

Mieke Vermandere


Mieke Vermandere is Project Leader of EBMPracticeNet, a network organization commissioned by the Belgian Government that brings together all relevant Belgian organizations producing Evidence Based Information. The mission of EBMPracticeNet is to develop an online Knowledge Base ( offering Health Care Providers and Belgian residents both Clinical Guidance and General Evidence based Information, which can be accessed through the Electronic Medical Record.

Plenary title: Translation of Clinical Practice Guidelines: EBMPracticenet

Philippe Vandekerckhovee


Philippe Vandekerckhove, M.D./PhD & pathologist, is CEO of the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders. The Belgian Red Cross invests heavily in scientific research in its core activities of prehospital care in humanitarian aid and blood banking. It uses both primary and secondary research to underpin all its operational activities with scientific evidence. The Center for Evidence-based Practice of the Belgian Red Cross (CEBaP) has a staff of 10 PhD’s that are engaged on a fulltime basis in these activities. Philippe furthermore is associate professor at the Faculties of Medicine of the University of Leuven and the University of Ghent, and holds non-executive positions as president of the European Blood Alliance and president of GAP.

Plenary title: Evidence-Based Practice in the field of pre-hospital care.

Peter Van Bogaert


Professor Peter Van Bogaert is chair of the Department of Midwifery and Nursing Sciences at the Antwerp University since October 1, 2010. As chair of the research group Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), he is responsible for the development and evaluation of regional, national and international scientific collaboration. He supervised various courses in the master programme Nursing and Midwifery Sciences such as management and innovation; integrated care delivery; and quality of care and patient safety. In addition, he is a member of the Belgian Board of Quality of Nursing Care and member of the Nursing Quality Indicators for Reporting and Evaluation (NQuire) International Advisory Committee Registered Nurses’ Associations Ontario Canada. His research topics are focussed within health services and outcomes research such as nurse practice environments and psychosocial environments of healthcare workers related to various patient outcomes; implementation of improvement initiatives related to quality and patient safety and nurse managers’ role in healthcare settings. 

Plenary title: Introducing an RNAO Best Practice Spotlight Organisation in the Antwerp Region

Ellen Vlaeyen


Ellen Vlaeyen is a geriatric nurse and has a master of science in nursing. She is the coordinator of the Flemish Center of Expertise for Falls and Fracture Prevention ( Additionally, she is doing a PhD at the Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery entitled “Fall prevention in nursing homes: Documented effectiveness, prevailing views and current practices”.

Plenary title: Successful implementation: taking context-related barriers and facilitators into account.

Emmy De Buck


Prof. Dr. Emmy De Buck obtained her Master degree in Applied Sciences and a PhD in Medical Sciences at the KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium. In 2009 she started her career at the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders where she was co-founder of the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP), which provides scientific support to diverse activities of the Red Cross; from blood supply to first aid. She is currently head of CEBaP where she is responsible for developing evidence-based guidelines (both national and international) and systematic reviews, all published in peer-reviewed journals. From 2016 onwards she is also appointed as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the KU Leuven, where she teaches Evidence-Based Practice and supports medical students in the development of systematic reviews.

Plenary title: Bridging the gap between research and practice: involving the target group to ensure successful implementation of evidence-based guidelines.

Jitka Klugarová


Dr. Jitka Klugarová is a Deputy Director in Clinic of the Czech Republic (Middle European) Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare: A Joanna Briggs institute Centre of Excellence and also Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide. Jitka has background in physiotherapy, podiatry, biomechanics, Evidence-Based Healthcare approach and systematic review methodology. Her area of interest is in development, implementation and teaching of EBHC, especially in the evidence synthesis. She is a member of international method group of Joanna Briggs Institute who innovated methodology of systematic reviews of text and opinion. As a member of JBI GRADE center, Jitka is focused on the implementation and improvement of GRADE methods within systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines. Jitka is currently involved in building of the National Centre for Clinical Practice Guidelines in the Czech Republic.

Plenary title: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines Implementation in Czech Republic.

Marleen Corremans


Marleen Corremans graduated as a speech therapist in 1995 at the Katholieke Vlaamse Hogeschool of Antwerp. In 2007 she achieved the degree of bachelor in nursing at the  Karel de Grote University College in Antwerp. and afterwards the professional title of Oncology Nurse (2011). In 2015 she graduated  as a master in nursing and midwifery at the Antwerp University. Currently she’s working on a PhD at the Antwerp University. In 2015 she redirected her professional career to nursing education at the Karel de Grote University College of Antwerp. Here she lectures oncology to nursing students in addition to her work as a researcher at the local Research Center for Expertise. In  the fall of 2016 she submitted a PhD proposal at the Antwerp University looking into taste steering during or after a treatment with chemotherapy.

Chair of concurrent session

omputerised decision support (CDS) made trustworthy and effective


NRF - Nursing Research Factory - was founded in May of 2016. The most important aim is to provide a link between researchers and available nursing research. We also strive to promote scientific research and its implementation for nurses nationwide.

NRF was founded by four nurses who are still involved in research on a daily basis.

It is their experience and search for opportunities that brought about the idea

to create a platform like NRF.

Marleen Corremans

Marleen Corremans (°1974) graduated as a speech therapist in 1995 at the Katholieke Vlaamse Hogeschool of Antwerp. In 2007 she achieved the degree of bachelor in nursing at the  Karel de Grote University College in Antwerp. and afterwards the professional title of Oncology Nurse (2011). In 2015 she graduated  as a master in nursing and midwifery at the Antwerp University. Currently she’s working on a PhD at the Antwerp University.

In 2015 she redirected her professional career to nursing education at the Karel de Grote University College of Antwerp. Here she lectures oncology to nursing students in addition to her work as a researcher at the local Research Center for Expertise. In  the fall of 2016 she submitted a PhD proposal at the Antwerp University looking into taste steering during or after a treatment with chemotherapy.

Herman Vandevijvere


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