Who We Are

Ghana Mission

We are a collaborative group of cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons working between Teesside in the UK and Kumasi in Ghana to develop a sustainable and wide-ranging cardiac services program. To find out more about us, our missions and future plans CLICK HERE


Dr Andrew Turley - I was appointed consultant cardiologist South Tees NHS Foundation Trust 2010 and now work split site between The Friarage Hospital, Northallerton and The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough. 

I have a sub-specialty interest in heart failure and Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices (CIEDs) including permanent pacemakers, ICDs, cardiac resynchronisation therapy and implantable loop recorders plus.  I hold British Heart Rhythm Society accreditation in pacing and devices.  I also have a keen interest in medical education and hold several undergraduate and postgraduate roles.

I am past chair of British Heart Rhythm Society certification committee, faculty member for Heart Rhythm Congress and Chair of the North East Strategic Clinical Network – cardiac rhythm management sub group.

I lead on the pacemaker mission and work closely with Lavan Balasundaram and pace4life (https://www.pace4life.org/), a charitable organisation that is undertaking a project that will see thousands of discarded pacemakers sent to needy individuals in resource poor countries such as Ghana.

Furthermore we are working collaboratively with Associate Professor Thomas C. Crawford, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director and Principal Investigator — Project My Heart Your Heart, The University of Michigan.  We are working to enrol Kumasi as an implanting centre for a formal RCT:  My Heart Your Heart (MHYH): Prospective Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of Cardiac Pacemaker Reuse in Low to Middle Income Countries.   

Mr Joel Dunning is a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and has been in post at the James Cook 

University Hospital since 2012. He has been on a mission to Enugu, Nigeria and is also the founding director of the Cardiac Surgery Advanced Life Support Course, a course that teaches post-operative cardiac surgical care to ICU staff worldwide. He brings some of this teaching to Kumasi and also supports the post-operative care of the patients after surgery. In addition, he is an Editor of CTSNet and has been  documenting this mission by video in order to promote the good work of the mission and lay the foundation for future trips. 

Mr Enoch Akowuah is a Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and Clinical Director of the James Cook University Hospital Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He has a special interest in valvular heart disease and in particular mitral valve disease and will be ideally placed to be the operating surgeon on this mission supported as the second assistant by Dr Isaac Okyere, or Mr Joel Dunning.

Ms Fiona Laugland was a senior sister in our cardiothoracic intensive care unit and has now moved into a new role as a specialist critical care practitioner with extended skills in cardiothoracic intensive care management including line insertion, and inotrope and vasoconstrictor prescription. She is a key support to intensivists on our cardiothoracic surgery unit and led the post operative nursing care in Feb and October 2019. 

Dr Mike Foley is a Consultant Cardiac Anaesthetist from James Cook University Hospital and led the anaesthetic care of the patients intraoperatively in Feb 2019 and also post operatively in the ICU. He is one of our senior anaesthetists with more than 20 years experience in cardiac surgery.


Dr Jan Spegar is a consultant cardiothoracic anaesthetist from James Cook University. He came on the Feb 2019 mission and led the anaesthetic care of the patients intraoperatively in and also post operatively in the ICU in October 2019. He is from Slovakia. 


Dr Min Balcunias is a consultant cardiothoracic anaesthetist from James Cook University.  He came on the October 2019 mission and was key in the intra and post operative care of the patients.  



Mr Kim Thompson is a senior perfusionist and partner in Cambridge Perfusion services. He has also held several senior positions within the Society of Clinical perfusionists of Great Britain and Ireland. He leads the management of the cardiopulmonary bypass services.



Dr Nicholas Child is a consultant cardiologist at North Tees Hospital, also working cross site at James Cook Hospital. He has a special interest in imaging and echocardiography. He has been a consultant since 2012 and led the preassessment of all patients  in Feb 2019


Dr Shazia Akowuah was  present on the Feb 2019 mission. She is a General Practice partner in Middlesbrough and has a special interest in teaching and training. She provided important logistical support and support the well-being and safety of the team members themselves.


Ms Alison Clark was also a senior sister in our cardiothoracic intensive care unit and like Fiona has moved to join the team of critical care practitioners.Together Fiona and Alison provided the post-operative care for the patients on the KATH ICU including overnight care in Feb and October 2019.


Ms Zara Patterson is a Cardiac Physiologist with a sub specialty in CRM. She was involved in the mission to Kumasi in October 2019. Supporting device implant and follow-up as well as developing training plans for the local team. 




Get in touch for more help and information

+44 (0) 1789 867 501info@heartrhythmalliance.org


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