pEACH advisory committee

Peter Martin (chair):

Peter is the Palliative Medicine Physician and Regional Director of Palliative Care for Barwon Health and Clinical Associate Professor with Deakin University.

Peter has been involved with communication skills training for 20+ years. He has taught communication skills with Cambridge, Monash, Melbourne and Deakin medical schools.

Sarah Bigi (co-chair):

Sarah Bigi (Ph.D. in Linguistics) is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Catholic University of Milan (Italy). Since 2008 she has been working on doctor-patient interactions, in particular on argumentative strategies in doctor-patient decision making ( She collaborates with the Association of Italian Diabetologists ( as a consultant on communication issues.

Suellen Allen:




Jette Ammentorp:

Jette is Research Manager at the Health Services Research Unit and Center for Patient Communication at Lillebaelt Hospital and Professor at the University of Southern Denmark.

In several efficacy studies she has investigated the impact of multidisciplinary communication skills courses, methods to evaluate the outcome of the training and methods to implement and embed it in clinical practice. Intervention studies aimed to empower patients are another of her areas of interest.

Kasey Boehmer:

Kasey Boehmer, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Health Services and a health services researcher in the Knowledge and Evaluation Research (KER) Unit at Mayo Clinic. Kasey directs the Minimally Disruptive Medicine (MDM) working group, and is responsible for the leadership and project management of projects of core programs within the KER Unit, including Shared Decision Making, Dissemination and Implementation Research, and MDM.

Her primary research interests include patient-centered care and communication techniques to understand and support the capacity of patients with multiple chronic conditions and their caregivers. She has developed the ICAN Discussion Aid, a practical communication tool that supports the practice of MDM, to assist patients, their caregivers, and their healthcare teams with discussions about how life and healthcare are working together. This Discussion Aid also supports a practice called “Capacity Coaching,” which Kasey has co-developed with partners at the Mayo Clinic Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center and two VA Medical Centers.

Edgard Eckman:

Edgard Eeckman is (since 2005) the communication manager and spokesperson of the UZ Brussel, the university hospital of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels). He acquired a bachelor in communication management in 1979 and a pedagogical certificate in 1980. He gained substantial experience in internal and external communication, strategic communication, crisis communication, media training and media relations. He worked as a journalist, head of the communication service of the Belgian Red Cross and senior communication consultant before joining the hospital.

In 2007, being 50 years of age, he decided to acquire a master in communication studies at the VUB. In 2009 he started his PhD “Power to the patient? Studying the power balance between patient and general practitioner (GP) in relation to Web health information”. He will defend it in September 2018. He teaches “patient empowerment” at the Erasmushogeschool Brussel and speaks and writes regularly on that subject. He is the co-editor and one of the authors of the book on communication in and by healthcare organizations (published by Lannoo Campus in 2015) and the co-author of a book that touches at the problems in Belgian Healthcare in the form of a satirical story (edited in 2016 by HVV/Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging).