The rEACH Committee

rEACH is the research committee of EACH, International Association for Communication in Healthcare. The aim is providing support, networking and resources for researchers in the field of communication within EACH and beyond. It is currently chaired by Arwen Pieterse (Netherlands) and Myriam Deveugele (Belgium, co-chair). rEACH aims to promote networking among researchers, good quality communication research, and support researchers’ expertise-building.

rEACH consists of a large group of interested researchers, all belonging to a project group. Each project group has a lead or two co-leads. The leads together with the chair and co-chair form the core group of rEACH.

The core group has monthly telephone meetings and the whole committee meets twice a year in-person. In 2016 the meetings were held in June and in July. During the in-person meetings, the progress of the project groups is evaluated, group may stop and new project groups can be formed. Project groups stop working if their aim is reached.

Two groups finished their work in 2016.

The structure group produced a document about the working of the committee, to be found under the heading ‘documents’.

The group ‘Managing Special Interest Groups (SIGs) produced documents, to be found under the heading ‘Special Interest Groups (SIGs)’. This group will continue to manage working SIGs.

At present the following groups are active:

  • Planning rEACH Summer School (lead Mara Van Beusekom)
  • Funding (co-leads Anne Moorhead and Alexia Papageorgiou)
  • Tools (lead Marij Hillen)
  • Training (lead Vibeke Sundling)
  • SIGs (lead Arwen Pieterse)

If you would like to contact rEACH, become a member or discuss any information please feel free to get in touch.


MyriamMyriam Deveugele, (Co-Chair)

Myriam Deveugele is the Past President of EACH. She was born in 1953 in Kortrijk, Belgium. She finished her psychology study in 1975 and the postgraduate cycle in Behaviour therapy in 1982. She received the degree of Doctor in Medical sciences in 2003. PhD title: Doctor – patient communication in general practice. An observational study in six European countries.


Gerry HumphrisGerry Humphris

I am Chair of Health Psychology at Medical School, University of St Andrews and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist with NHS Lothian, Western General Hospital, Scotland. I am interested in the development and dissemination of new complex psychological interventions.


Arwen PieterseArwen Pieterse (Chair)

A.H. (Arwen) Pieterse, PhD, senior researcher on shared decision making, risk communication and values clarification at the department of Medical Decision Making / Quality of Care institute, Leiden University Medical Center.


Vibeke SundlingVibeke Sundling

Associate professor and optometrist. Current research activity: the COMHOME study, an international research project on person-centred communication in the care of older people. Research interest: clinical communication, communication skills training, communication in optometric practice, shared decision making.


Anne MoorheadAnne Moorhead

Dr Anne Moorhead is a Lecturer in Health Communication at Ulster University. She is a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr), Chartered Scientist (CSci), and an Accredited Healthcare Communicator from the Association for Healthcare Communications and Marketing UK. Her research interest is in Health Communication, in particularly, communication technologies in healthcare mainly in obesity and mental health. Dr. Moorhead has led multidisciplinary national and international research projects and teams, and has extensive publications. She is a member on different committees, including the Executive Committee of the Association for Healthcare Communications and Marketing (AHCM) UK, and Vice Chair of Office of Research Ethics Committees for Northern Ireland, NHS Research Ethics Committee. She is a Board member and Section Editor for the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the leading e-health peer reviewed journal.


papageorgiou125x160Alexia Papageorgiou

Dr Alexia Papageorgiou is an Associate Professor in Clinical Communication at the University of Nicosia Medical School and holds an honorary appointment with St George’s, University of London.  Dr Papageorgiou holds a BA in Psychology from the American College in Greece, an MSc in Health Psychology from City University London and a PhD in Psychiatry from UCL London University.  Her research covers the areas of clinical communication, medical education, health psychology (how to motivate people to engage in health behaviours and maintain behaviour change) and advance statements of people who can no longer make decisions in medicine and psychiatry.


Marij HillenMarij Hillen

Marij Hillen, PhD, is a postdoc researcher and fellow for the Dutch Cancer Society, based at the department of Medical Psychology of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on improving physician-patient communication in oncology. Specific areas of interest include physician-patient trust, non-verbal communication, and patient-initiated second opinions.


beusekomMara Van Beusekom

Mara Van Beusekom is visiting Scholar at the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews (UK) and PhD Candidate at the Leiden University Medical Center (NL), currently working on message design for an m-health intervention and on visual communication for low-literate patients. She is the lead of the planning group for the rEACH Summer School: a platform where early-career investigators can discuss their work with peers and experienced researchers and create an ongoing supportive peer-to-peer network. She is the Secretary of the yEACH SIG.