Valentina Obreja is an innovator transforming Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) from a desperate last resort into a promising chance of survival. ECMO — also known as extracorporeal life support — is a technology, therapy, and complex piece of medical equipment that externally pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood when their heart and lungs need support in healing. Valentina has dedicated her career to improving care of patients receiving ECMO therapy. The dedication of her dissertation is evidence of Valentina’s greatness, and it reads “Never give up!” to her ECMO patients.

Following graduation from the Faculty of General Medicine at West University in Romania, she pursued a Master of Science degree in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Valentina subsequently achieved national certification in evidence-based practice, which speaks to her commitment and future work in ensuring that the delivery of healthcare and decision-making are based on the best available evidence, patient preferences and values, and clinical expertise. Valentina’s spirit of inquiry is infectious and she leads by example.