About the ESR Patient Advisory Group

In 2013, the European Society of Radiology took its communication with patient groups to another level, by launching the ESR Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG) at the European Congress of Radiology 2013.

The goal of the ESR Patient Advisory Group is to bring patients, the public and imaging professionals together to positively influence advances in the field of medical imaging to the benefit of patients in Europe.

The ESR-PAG is a group of committed patient ambassadors that give a unique voice to patients in the area of medical imaging. Its members strongly believe that close collaboration is key to building a mutually beneficial relationship between patients and the radiology community in the interest of increased patient involvement.

Latest news from the PAG:

Interview with ESR-PAG member Cheryl Cruwys


The ESR-PAG is not only chaired by a patient representative but also includes patient members covering several disease-specific areas. In addition to these patient representatives and radiologist members from the ESR, the group also features a representative of the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS).

Caroline Justich
Be accepted Caroline Justich Be Accepted Caroline Justich, an experienced salesperson, with a focus on communication, financial services and real estate holds commercial power of Infomica Immobilienbörse GmbH.

Always aware of the big picture, she brings all stakeholders together to lead them towards a common target. She studied Industrial Psychology in Miami at FIU and a module of languages, economics and law at Karl Franzens University in Graz.

She joined the ESR-PAG group in 2019 with the goal to create a better doctor-patient relationship in order to meet all participants’ needs. This has a lot to do with communication. Due to her experience, she is able to train and develop tools and strategies to improve this interaction. This will strengthen the radiologists’ position as its unique selling point (USP) in times of surge of the artificial intelligence and improve “how” critical information is transmitted to a patient. The importance of the way information is communicated has been shown in various studies.

Nikoleta Traykova, Chairperson of the ESR Communication and External Affairs Committee

Representatives of pan-European patient organisations
Judy Birch
Pelvic Pain Support Network (PPSN) Judy Birch Pelvic Pain Support Network (PPSN)
Facebook | Website 1 | Website 2

Judy Birch is a member of the International Alliance of Patients Organizations (IAPO) , the European Federation of Pain (EFIC) and founder member in 2011 of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE).

As the co-founder of the Pelvic Pain Support Network (PPSN), she provides support, information and advocacy for those with pelvic pain via the website, the message board and Facebook. The network advocates for those with pelvic pain at policy, clinical, guideline development meetings and conferences keeping up to date with research and practice.

A key aim is to improve health care professional and public awareness of the impact of pelvic pain. They deliver university sessions on “patient experience” for undergraduate health professionals as well as for practicing clinicians. Judy represents those with pelvic pain in many research trials and studies to improve the quality of life of those with pelvic pain. All of her roles are voluntary, and she supports research trials to improve the Quality of Life of those with pelvic pain.

Judy became a member of the ESR-PAG in 2013.

Erik Briers
Europa Uomo (European Prostate Cancer Coalition) Erik Briers Europa Uomo (European Prostate Cancer Coalition) Erik Briers is Belgian and born in Hasselt, Belgium.

He is co-founder (2004) of the European Prostate Cancer Coalition (Europa Uomo), board member of the Belgian patient prostate cancer support group Us-Too Belgium, and chief editor of the magazine “PROSTAATinfo”. Erik played many roles in patient engagement including on medicines and development of new medicines.

He served a 3 year-term as an alternate patient representative on the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT) of the EMA, and acts regularly as a speaker on how to engage patients in the development of both new medicines and clinical trials.

One of his key issues is the imbalance between literacy and access to healthcare, novel medicines, and clinical trials - patients must be able to understand documentation. Erik was an invited speaker at many fora on this subject and on doctor-patient communication.

He has been an active member of ESR-PAG since 2013. He believes imaging in all its forms is of highest importance for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of cancers, including his own, with the increased importance of new guidelines including MRI imaging.

Cheryl Cruwys
Dense Breast Info Cheryl Cruwys Dense Breast Info
Twitter | Facebook

Cheryl Cruwys is British, born in London, UK.

Cheryl was diagnosed early with breast cancer in 2016 in France thanks to the French standard practice of performing supplemental screening on dense breast tissue.

She is co-founder of Breast Density Matters UK and has been instrumental in the UK Breast Density Education effort for both health professionals and patients, raising awareness of the implications of dense breasts. Based on her research-driven approach to raising awareness, Cheryl was invited by medically-sourced DenseBreast-info to join the organization as European Education Coordinator.

Cheryl regularly lobbies Westminster for improved education for patients and more effective screening for women with dense breasts. Cheryl is also a patient representative on the ecancer medical science Editorial Board. All her roles are voluntary.

In March 2019, she became a member of the European Society of Radiology’s Patient Advisory Group, and recognised that the ESR-PAG offers the ideal platform to encourage discussion on patient-focussed initiatives. Her principal aim is to improve information and communication between imaging experts and patients.

Stefan Gijssels
Patient Expert Center Stefan Gijssels Patient Expert Center
Twitter | LinkedIn

In 2016, after he recovered from a metastatic colon cancer, Stefan Gijssels became a patient advocate and health policy consultant.

Stefan is the pro bono Chair of the Patient Expert Center (PEC) in Belgium, an organisation that trains members of patient organisations to become patient experts in their disease area.

He is Patient Expert at Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC), the international organisation created by the European School of Oncology.

Stefan Gijssels is a health policy consultant, publicist and speaker, primarily focused on making health systems more patient-centric and smarter.

In 2019, Stefan Gijssels co-founded and led Digestive Cancers Europe, as the continuation of EuropaColon, moving the organisation from the UK to Belgium, expanding its scope, hiring new staff and significantly increasing the organisation's activities and funding.

Stefan is the author of the “Roadmap for the Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer in Europe”, published in 2021 by Digestive Cancers Europe. He is the co-author of the European Code of Cancer Practice, organised by the European Cancer Organisation.

He was formerly:
- Co-Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee of the European Cancer Organisation, and a member of the Board and the Executive Committee.
- Member of the Board and Executive Committee of FT3P (From Testing to Targeted Treatment Programme)
- Co-Chair of the European Alliance for Value in Health.

Before his advocacy work, Stefan was a public affairs consultant in various agencies, as well as VP Public Affairs & Communications at Johnson & Johnson.

Natalia Maeva
BSPPH Natalia Maeva Bulgarian Society of Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

Natalia Maeva lives in Sofia, Bulgaria and holds a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She started her career as a radio reporter and continued to work as a PR & marketing specialist for several Bulgarian ministries, banks and private companies. Her international career led her to Greece, Poland and Switzerland, where she worked as a regional manager.

Starting from her personal drives it is essential to share that she have been fighting pulmonary hypertension (PH) for more than 13 years. In addition, she is also a double lung transplant patient (2016), who is blessed to live a normal active life for the last six years.

Natalia is a founding member and current President of the Bulgarian Society of patients with pulmonary hypertension (2012). She is Vice President of the Bulgarian National Patient Organization, responsible for rare diseases and transplantation (December 2021). Since 2018 she also works as a Deputy Chair of the Bulgarian association of patients with respiratory failure and lung transplantation. As well as this, she is a Board member of PHA Europe (2022-2024).

Natalia is also a PAG member of the European Lung Reference Network, which covers nine groups of rare lung diseases, as well as a member of the COVID-19 PAG and part of the European Lung Foundation’s (ELF) united PAG’s group. She was scholar of EURORDIS Leadership school 2021.

She joined the ESR-PAG in December 2021 with the goal to create a better doctor-patient relationship in order to meet all participants’ needs.

Lavinia Magee
Lung Cancer Europe (LuCe) Lavinia Magee Lung Cancer Europe (LuCe)

Lavinia Magee is Nurse Consultant, Thoracic Oncology, Royal Papworth Hospital. Her Papworth career started in 1997 as clinical research nurse and database manager. As a Lung Cancer Nursing UK (LCNUK) member she was awarded the first Research Interest Group Grant to look at the psycho-social impact of taking TKIs. In 2013 she became a committee member of LCNUK and was involved in developing the Using Your Voice (UYV) and Thoracic Oncology Research Concept to Home Run (TORCH) projects. She represents LCNUK within the UK Lung Cancer Coalition and Lung Cancer Europe and is a member of LORD NCRI subgroup.

I would be delighted to help in any way I can and represent LuCE.

Evelyn Steinthaler
(no affiliation)

Additional members
Dr. Dominique Carrié / Radiologist, Toulouse (France)

ESR 2nd Vice-President
Andrea Rockall

ESR Quality, Safety and Standards Committee Chairperson
Núria Bargalló Alabart

ESR National Societies Committee Chairperson
Christian Loewe

ESR Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Committee Chairperson
Apostolos Karantanas

European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS)
Dr. Andrew England

The ESR Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG) was launched during the ECR in March 2013.

The group is chaired by a patient representative, and the Chairperson of the ESR Communication and External Affairs Committee serves as vice-chairperson.

The goal of ESR-PAG is to bring together patients, the public and imaging professionals in order to positively influence advances in the field of medical imaging to the benefit of European patients.

Please click here for more information.


The ESR-PAG is active in a variety of ways: contributing to the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) and the International Day of Radiology (IDoR), developing patient information, and collaborating on European topics of common interest such as the EuroSafe Imaging campaign or patient empowerment, among others.

The ESR-PAG is also active on social media, engaging with patients and the medical imaging community. You can follow their updates on the ESR’s EU & International Affairs twitter account.

March 22, 2022
Insights into Imaging: What radiologists need to know about patients’ expectations: P.A.T.I.E.N.T.S C.A.R.E.R.S A.I.M.S
Read more
7 January 2021
The results from a patient survey of value in relation to radiology, conducted in 2019 by the ESR’s Value-Based Radiology Subcommittee and supported by the ESR-PAG, were published, indicating ways in which value to patients might be increased.
Read more
May 6, 2019
ESR Patient Advisory Group launches ambitious new strategy
Read more
March 3, 2018
ECR Today: ESR Patient Advisory Group puts the patient at the centre of the debate on big data and the patient-doctor relationship
Read more
November 2017
HELP - Emergency Medical Imaging: Patients caught between fear and fascination
(Article published in the book of the International Day of Radiology 2017)
Read more
May 2017
[email protected]: It's all about the patient
Read more
March 4, 2017
ECR Today: Experts to look into quality of care in clinical radiology
Read more
March 4, 2017
ECR Today: ESR Patient Advisory Group to focus on patient safety and big data
Read more
April 2016
EPF Newsletter: “Involve Patients to Improve the Quality of Care” – European Congress of Radiology
Read more
March 2016
ECR 2016 session on patient-centred care
Read more
April 29, 2015
European Hospital: Tips to eliminate barriers
Read more
March 17, 2015
Insights into Imaging: The ESR Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG)
Read more
February 26, 2015
Driver Diagram and Change Package: The ESR Audit & Standards Subcommittee together with the ESR Patient Advisory Group developed a driver diagram on patient-centred care in clinical radiology to ensure that a patient-centred human approach is embedded in the work of the ESR.
Read more

One of the core aims of the ESR-PAG is to improve communication between radiologists and patients in order to increase public awareness of radiologists’ day-to-day work and for radiologists to get a better understanding of the needs of patients. Therefore, ESR-PAG members are preparing articles that give an insight into their personal experiences.


A day in the life of ... during the COVID-19 crisis

A day in the life of an MS patient during the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020)
A day in the life of a breast cancer patient during the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020)
A day in the life of a patient who still connects during the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020)
A day in the life of a patient with simple steps to stay calm during the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020)
A day in the life of a cancer patient during the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020)
A day in the life of a pelvic pain patient advocate during the COVID-19 crisis (May 2020)
A Day in the life of a radiologist affected by COVID19 (EN) (June 2020)
A Day in the life of a radiologist affected by COVID19 (FR) (June 2020)


A day in the life of ...

A day in the life of a radiologist
A day in the life of an MS patient
A day in the life of a radiotherapy patient
A day in the life of a radiographer

Since May 2019, ESR-PAG members review and provide input to official ESR scientific publications and statements. To increase patients’ understanding of radiology and in a bid to make health information understandable to all, the members of the group regularly contribute to publications by drafting summaries in lay language.


ESR statement on portable ultrasound devices
Impact of Artificial Intelligence on radiology: a EuroAIM survey among members of the European Society of Radiology
ESR Statement on the Validation of Imaging Biomarkers
The Current Status of Radiological Clinical Audit and Feedback on the ESR Guide to Clinical Audit in Radiology and the ESR Clinical Audit Tool (Esperanto) – an ESR survey of European Radiology Departments
Radiation Dose Management Systems – Requirements and Recommendations for Users from the ESR EuroSafe Imaging Initiative
Position statement and best practice recommendations on the imaging use of ultrasound from the European Society of Radiology ultrasound subcommittee
The identity and role of the radiologist in 2020: a survey among ESR full radiologist members
Performance Indicators for Radiation Protection Management
Patient Survey of Value in Relation to Radiology: Results from a Survey of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) Value-Based Radiology Subcommittee
ESR EuroSafe Imaging and its role in promoting radiation protection – 6 years of success
Cumulative effective dose from recurrent CT examinations in Europe: A EuroSafe Imaging survey
Referral guidelines for medical imaging in children: an ESR-EuroSafe Imaging survey on availability, awareness and use in clinical practice among European radiologists
European consensus on patient contact shielding

Patients in Focus

At the European Congress of Radiology 2022, the Patients in Focus programme was organised in close collaboration with the ESR Patient Advisory Group (PAG). A total of 15 sessions were held at July’s congress with the aim of improving communication between patients and doctors. Invited speakers included patients, radiologists, radiographers, and representatives from other medical disciplines. The event was freely open to the public and was complemented with social events, interviews and a collection of e-posters produced by radiologists and patients.

All Patients in Focus and Be accepted sessions can be access on ESR Connect on-demand and free-of-charge:


As part of the Patients in Focus programme, a series of posters were produced to bring real life patient stories where the impact of radiology is shown. Each poster highlights a patient’s personal story, their disease journey and relevant radiological images with the explanation on how this has been of crucial importance for the treatment and quality of life for the patient:

Patients in Focus ePosters

Meet the Patients at Patients in Focus

Be accepted

Be accepted is a campaign founded by ESR-PAG Chair Caroline Justich and supported by the ESR. Be accepted supports women from the moment they are diagnosed with cancer and throughout their whole journey. For radiologists, Be accepted optimises patient communication and workflow and, on a multidisciplinary level, all medical specialists can benefit from adequately informed and well prepared patients.  

Be accepted aims to catch patients in their first shock after diagnosis and offer them guidance with positive perspectives. Be accepted bridges the gap between conventional and complementary medicine and provides holistic support throughout the course of the disease with filtered, summarised and evidence-based information from the most qualified experts.

Be accepted will use its magazine and website to reach women who have recently been diagnosed, providing them with personal insights from patients and doctors, lifestyle hacks and positive articles to help them cope with their disease, as well as access to the knowledge of the most respected medical experts, giving them a head start in knowledge and time. 

Meet Be Accepted

Patient factsheets from the SINFONIA project

The SINFONIA project, which is coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR), has produced fact sheets for the general public and patients on 3 different topics: diagnostic radiology, radiation therapy, and nuclear medicine.

These fact sheets offer information on doses from medical exposure and their impact on the risk for patients. Click on the links below to view the factsheets as well as Q&A’s:

EuroSafe Imaging Tips & Tricks for patient safety

What patients should know

EuroSafe Imaging aims at improving quality and safety in medical imaging. Part of its mission is to improve information for patients.

EuroSafe Imaging provides information on CT, interventional radiology and paediatric imaging dedicated to patients, this information was reviewed by patient representatives who are members of the ESR Patient Advisory Group.

Further information is added regularly.

To find out more, click here!


Contact the ESR Patient Advisory Group

Hospital links to patient information

With the help of the ESR’s member societies, we have identified a number of European hospitals that provide patient information on radiological procedures and methods on their websites.

*The ESR takes no responsibility for third party content or external websites.*

Allgemeines Krankenhaus (AKH)
Währinger Gürtel 18-20
1090 Wien
CHC Liège
Clinique St Joseph
Rue de Hesbaye 75
4000 Liège
CHU Charleroi
Blvd P. Janson 92
6000 Charleroi

 Institut Jules Bordet (en francais)
1 rue H. Bordet
1000 Bruxelles

UZ Leuven
Herestraat 49
3000 Leuven
Tampere University Hospital 
Elämänaukio 2
33520 Tampere
Helsinki University Hospital
Tenholantie 10, 00280 Helsinki

Kuopio University Hospital
Puijonlaaksontie 2, 70210 Kuopio

Turku University Hospital
Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, 20521 Turku
Oulu  University Hospital
Kajaanintie 50, 90220 Oulu
Institut Curie
26 rue d’Ulm
75248 Paris cedex 05

Le journal de l’Institut Curie
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Charitéplatz 1,
10117 Berlin
Universitätsmedizin Greifswald
Fleischmannstraße 8
17489 Greifswald
Universitätsklinikum Essen
Hufelandstraße 55
45147 Essen
Deutsche Röntgengesellschaft e.V.
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 10
10587 Berlin

Medizin mit Durchblick
National Patient Information Platform Radiological Society of the Netherlands 
p/a Domus Medica
Mercatorlaan 1200
3528 BL Utrecht 

Spital Thurgau AG
Waldeggstrasse 8a
8501 Frauenfeld

UniversitätsSpital Zürich
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zürich

Kantonsspital Baden
Im Ergel
5404 Baden

Kantonsspital Aarau

Tellstrasse 25
CH-5001 Aarau
United Kingdom
Guy’s and St. Thomas’ - NHS Foundation Trust
Great Maze Pond
London SE1 9RT