The Maastricht UMC+ Executive Board focuses on strategic issues and responding to the changing environment of the Maastricht UMC+. The duties and responsibilities of the Executive Board are outlined in the Board regulations. The Executive Board consists of the following members:
President and CEO Prof. Marja van Dieijen-Visser
Prof. Marja van Dieijen-Visser is President and CEO of the Executive Board of the University Hospital Maastricht [azM] and of the Executive Board of the Maastricht UMC+.
Prof. Marja van Dieijen-Visser studied chemistry with mathematics at Leiden University and earned her PhD in 1981 from Maastricht University on the topic ‘Behaviour of tissue enzymes in the circulation’. Van Dieijen- Visser has been employed by azM since 1993 as Professor and Department Head of Clinical Chemistry. This department was merged with the Central Diagnostic Laboratory, which she headed from early 2011 until January 2014. From 2006 through 2013, she was also a managing director within azM, most recently as managing director of the unit responsible for Imaging & Laboratories. She has also held numerous other administrative positions in the Maastricht UMC+, including Chair of the Staff Assembly and Chair of the Central Education Committee. Her expertise in the area of research focuses on cardiac biomarkers. Her research involves both heart damage in patients with acute coronary syndrome, as well as the study of heart damage caused by extreme exertion. She has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles, three books, several book contributions, and has supervised 15 PhD students. Van Dieijen-Visser is a member of the international EFLM working group on cardiac markers and also holds various managerial and supervisory positions.
Vice-President of Executive Board Prof. Annemie Schols
Prof. Annemie Schols is Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) and Vice-President of the Executive Board of Maastricht UMC+.
Prof. Schols is professor of Nutrition and Metabolism in Chronic Diseases. She studied in Wageningen, and also in Maastricht and Gothenburg, specialising in clinical nutrition. She then obtained a fellowship to do scientific research in Canada. She obtained her PhD from Maastricht University in 1991 with her thesis on nutrition and metabolism in COPD. To accelerate the translation of basic research into clinical practice, she established the postgraduate teaching institute MINT in 1998. Since 2004 she has been professor of Nutrition and Metabolism in Chronic Diseases and from 2006 to 2020, she was director of the research school NUTRIM.
Her team's line of research is metabolic disruptions in COPD and lung cancer, with a particular focus on damage to the skeletal muscles and on the cachexia syndrome. Their findings form the basis for the development and clinical evaluation of new interventions aimed at having a positive impact on the course of the disease. To date she has supervised 43 doctoral students within this line of research. She has more than 350 scientific publications in international journals to her name, as well as more than 50 book contributions. Her work is frequently cited. In teaching, Annemie Schols has helped to establish successful new interdisciplinary education programmes at Maastricht University.
She has extensive management experience in a variety of roles on national scientific committees and boards, and on international advisory councils and in scientific associations. Focus areas in her portfolio as a member of the Executive Board are overall responsibility for FHML (research and teaching) and internationalisation. Further key areas are cooperation between schools and between faculties, as well as integrating the FHML schools with the care centres of Maastricht UMC+.
Member Helen Mertens MD
Helen Mertens MD is a member of the Executive Board of the University Hospital Maastricht [azM] and a member of the Executive Board of Maastricht UMC+, her portfolio includes Quality and Safety.
Helen Mertens received her MD from Maastricht University and completed specialty trainings in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She conducted research into gynaecological cancer and also obtained her PhD on this subject (in 2002). Helen Mertens' career is characterized by a combination of direct patient care, training of medical staff, and executive and management positions in care organizations. She was, for instance, medical director of Orbis MC, a forerunner of the present Zuyderland. The focus of her professional activities has gradually shifted from 'individual care' to 'collective care'.
Member Prof. Nanne de Vries
Prof. Nanne de Vries is Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) and a member of the Executive Board of Maastricht UMC+.
Prof. Nanne de Vries is professor of health promotion. He majored in social and organizational psychology at the University of Groningen, where he obtained his PhD in 1988. He worked as an assistant professor at the same university (1987 – 1990) and at Maastricht University's forerunner, the University of Limburg (1986). Between 1990 and 2000, he was an associate professor with the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. In May 2000, he accepted an appointment as professor and chair of the Department of Health Promotion at Maastricht University (until 2011). In his research, Prof. De Vries studies the processes of behavioral change through information, social networks and changes in the environment. He is particularly interested in the settings for health promotion (school, neighborhood, health care institution, family), with an emphasis on nutrition and weight. He has co-authored more than 150 international journal articles and numerous chapters of books, and has supervised more than 40 PhD candidates. He has edited various journals and continues to serve on a number of editorial boards. He frequently serves on grant award panels. In his teaching, Prof. De Vries concentrates on the health sciences, medicine and psychology.
Member Gabriël Zwart MAC
Gabriël Zwart is a member of the Executive Board of the University Hospital Maastricht [azM] and a member of of the Executive Board of the Maastricht UMC+ with responsibility for finance.
Gabriël Zwart was a member of the Management Board of the Philadelphia Zorg foundation, where his responsibilities included finance. Before that he performed and held various roles and positions in the healthcare sector on the basis of his financial background.