Start of the DCVA Leadership Program 2020

The first edition of the DCVA Leadership Program officially started. During three days of training and social interaction Margreet van Rixtel trained the fifteen participants in taking their first steps of becoming leaders who are able to solve complex current healthcare related problems.

During the three days of training the participants were introduced to the different styles of leadership, how to analyse complex healthcare problems, and how to be able to affect change. In addition, the fifteen future leaders had to directly apply the theory in practice. “The variety between theory and use of the theory was very well balanced”, according to Matthijs Cluitmans, biomedical engineer at MUMC and Philips, one of the participants of this year’s program.

Complex current challenges

The participants also got to know each other and their personal mentor, who will support them during the course of this program. “We could never have achieved everything we created here during these days when the program would have been online. It was of great value to really meet and see each other”, according to Joost Lumens, associate professor at the department of biomedical engineering at CARIM, MUMC, also a participant of this year’s program. Furthermore, the participants took their first steps in becoming more familiar with the content of the complex current challenges they are assigned to and their involved clients.

Healthcare challenges

For the five complex healthcare challenges, the participants were divided in multidisciplinary subgroups of three participants each. The focus of these challenges were formulated in collaboration between different partners of the DCVA. The topics of these challenges are: utilizing existing technologies, evaluation of cardiovascular healthcare, patient welfare, animal free innovations and set up and implementation of data registries. During the upcoming months the groups will work on the different challenges and present their outcomes in June 2021.

Creative intermezzo

At the end of the second day, the participants were introduced to leadership in a more creative manner. During a djembe workshop, the participants were requested to step out their comfort zone and experiment with leadership, teambuilding, and following and taking initiative. “It was clearly exciting for the participants to take the initiative, but many brave efforts were made and the participants were very enthusiastic”, according to Niels Fleurke, teacher of the workshop.


Part of the program was to inspire the participants with personal stories of their mentors. The mentors of the participants presented their own career path and what has moved them to take certain decisions during their career. In addition, Sjoerd Repping, professor “Zinnige Zorg”, was invited to tell about his own career. “Do I like the things I am doing? Does it contribute to the bigger picture? Am I able to do it? And do other people think I can do it?“ were important questions for Sjoerd Repping during his career.

DCVA Leadership Program 2021-2022

In September 2021, a new group of future leaders will start with the DCVA Leadership Program. Application for the 2021-2022 program will be open in january 2021.

Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about this program or do you have any suggestions? Please contact Professor Jolanda van der Velden, Chair of the DCVA Talent Program at

Dec 19

Start of the Leadership Program

Oct 01

Prof. Dr. Jolanda van der Velden