Sustainable workforce solutions: Boosting wellbeing and recruitment


Wednesday 11 September


Session description:

How can the global healthcare sector build a sustainable workforce? In this session, the panel will share successful approaches to supporting and sustaining the healthcare workforce. Presentations will include how data-driven insights can significantly improve healthcare workers’ wellbeing, as well as leadership initiatives to enhance and sustain the nursing workforce.


Wednesday 11 September



Dr Sumaya Al Blooshi

Director of Nursing, Emirates Health Services, UAE

Dr Sumaya Al Blooshi is the President of the Emirates Nursing Association and the Director of the Nursing Department in the Emirates Health Services. She is leading the National Nursing & Midwifery Strategy in the UAE and the Task Force Committee for the Cabinet Initiative (Attractiveness of Nursing Profession). She is also an Honorary Associate Professor at MBRU.

Dr Sumaya is an Awardee of the Emirates Pride Medal for Mohammed Bin Rashid Government 2017, the Community Serving Medal 2020, the Best Government Communication Campaign in Promoting the Nursing Profession 2018, the “Pioneer Nurse” at the Global Health Pioneer Awards, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing 2022.

Ms Katerina Tarasova

Executive Director, Accreditation and Health Standards Organization, Canada

With 17 years of experience in international development, strategic planning, and health systems strengthening, Katerina Tarasova has a proven track record for building lasting partnerships, helping advance quality and patient safety in more than 35 countries. She has collaborated with funding agencies such as the European Commission, Pan American Health Organization, and World Bank to mobilize international projects focused on healthcare, education, and socio-economic development.

Katerina is a Member of the Board for the Canada-Arab Business Council, and a Committee Member for the International Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and a Diploma in European Integration from Carleton University in Canada.

Mrs Vera Vertessen

Director of Patient Care, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Belgium

Vera Vertessen graduated in 2004 from the University College Karel de Grote in Antwerp. Her young children did not dampen her inquisitiveness which led to a Master’s Degree in Hospital Sciences at the University of Brussels in 2009 and a Postgraduate Degree in Diabetes Education in 2010. Her career started in 2005 at UZ Brussel as a Registered Nurse – from there, she took several challenges among which is the start of a thriving Diabetes Clinic from scratch.

In 2021, she returned to her home base at UZ Brussel where she started as the Coordinator for the Center of Rare Diseases. In October 2022, she was appointed as the Director of Patient Care and gathered a new management team around her which has been operational since March 2023.

Vera is strongly value-driven and this unconsciously sets her apart from her other colleagues. She thinks very patient-oriented but from a financial reality that transcends the boundaries of her own department. She is a strong believer of equity, apart from everyone’s responsibilities, but expects employees to take ownership in order to grow.

At the macro level, she is an advocate for all nurses. She demands that the nursing profession is portrayed in all media in a positive light rather than nurses as jaded and overworked healthcare professionals with no social life. She is also a member of the Federal Council for Hospital Facilities, which rules on all matters relating to hospital programming and financing, and she chairs the Working Group of Healthcare Directors in Flanders.