Working Group members

Healthcare settings – built as they are on caring relationships – can be the ultimate expression of compassion and help set an example for how compassionate organizations can be run. Our experts in health and healthcare are working internationally to make this happen.


The GCC Compassion Health Impact Cluster aims to transform healthcare globally by helping to support compassionate cultures and leadership across health and social care. The mission is to aid the integration of compassion with all agencies that affect human happiness, well-being and belonging in society.


To achieve this shared mission the GCC Health Impact Cluster brings together healthcare experts, practitioners, and users across the world to demonstrate the power of compassion in healthcare, identify ways that compassion can be embedded in healthcare design, and to advocate the adoption of those proposals.


Michael West CBE (Convenor)

Michael West is a Fellow of The King's Fund, Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, Visiting Professor at University College, Dublin, and Emeritus Professor at Aston University. He has authored, edited and co-edited 20 books and has published more than 200 articles on teamwork, leadership and culture, particularly in healthcare.

Vidyamala Burch OBE

Vidyamala brings a lived experience perspective to this group having lived with spinal injuries for all her adult life. She is also the Founder of The Breathworks Foundation - an international charity offering mindfulness and compassion approaches to living with pain, illness and other life challenges.

Suzie Bailey

Suzie leads the leadership and organisational development team at The King’s Fund, UK. She was an operational leader in acute, community and mental health care providers for more than 21 years and is passionate about improving care through the development of people and cultures. At Sheffield Teaching Hospitals she led the creation of the Sheffield Microsystem Coaching Academy in partnership with the Dartmouth Institute in Massachusetts, US.

Rachna Chowla

Rachna is a Joint Director of Clinical Strategy at King's Health Partners, one of eight Academic Health Science Centres in England. She is also GP and has an MBA from INSEAD, where she is also part of their Healthcare Management Initiative. She has previously worked at a health-tech start-up, a large pharmaceutical company in Milan and with the King’s Fund on Compassionate Leadership and Innovation. She is a poet and a publisher, and the Swirling Leaf Press, her publishing label helps poets and non-fictions writers share their work of Love, Truth and Beauty.

Barbara Doeleman

Barbara is founder and director of BFC Compassionate Care & Mindful Medicine. Her background - in knowledge and experience - means that she can clearly interpret and put into practice the connection between healthcare, leadership, teamwork, science, mindfulness and spirituality (contemplative traditions). She works nationally and internationally with experts in the field of integration of mindfulness & compassion in organization and leadership.

Carina Hilders

Carina is Associate Professor at the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management.

Hani Malik

Hani is a consultant family physician and lecturer in family medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) Medical University of Bahrain. He has over 15 years of clinical experience and 11 years of experience in higher education and is a fellow of the higher education academy in the UK. Hani has a professional and specialised research interest in positive psychology, mental wellbeing, and contemplative practice. He is a strong advocate of cultivating and replicating compassion concordantly within oneself and others, which would facilitate a culture of collaborative innovation within current healthcare systems.

Caroline O'Regan

Caroline brings a pragmatic and educational perspective to this group having incorporated compassionate leadership in undergraduate and post graduate curriculum and executive development programmes at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Ireland and Internationally. She works in partnership with the Irish Health Services System (HSE) and has launched a range of compassionate leadership and nurturing compassionate cultures in health and social care as part of Irish National Government Health Strategy and Policy (*Slaintecare) (*Slaintecare : A 10year government strategy agreed by all political parties and healthcare stakeholders).

Dr Katy Steward

Consultant, coach and board member, Katy trained as an anthropologist and has worked for 30 years on the power of culture to inhibit or enable change. A trustee on the OxfamGB board she also played a significant role in helping health care in UK develop compassionate cultures.

Helen Thomas

Helen is Assistant Director of Leadership and Succession at Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).

Paquita de Zulueta

Paquita was an inner-city GP for 38 years (retired 2021) and GP lead in 2018 for the Grenfell NHS outreach team. As an academic at Imperial College London, she writes and teaches about clinical ethics and compassion in healthcare. Her other interests include mental health (qualified in CBT, compassion focused therapy and EMDR), professional development and wellbeing, and migrant health. She worked as clinical volunteer for Doctors of the World London for ten years. She is a qualified coach and currently coaches and mentors healthcare professionals and others, acts as a Schwartz Round facilitator and is chair of a charitable organisation Human Values in Healthcare Forum.

Nicola Harker

Dr Nicola Harker is a Bristol-based Doctor, Speaker and Compassionate Leadership Coach. Nicola worked as an advisor to Macmillan Cancer Support alongside her work as a GP and Cancer Lead. Alongside her medical qualifications, Nicola is a trained teacher of Self-Compassion, a transformational coach, and has been involved in teaching and training throughout her career. She is the author of publications in Psychologies Magazine, The British Medical Journal, and Nature.

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