Meet Gert Ossenkoppele, our Volunteer of the Month
- Can you tell us what you do for EHA and when you started? How did you became a volunteer? Who helped/encouraged you to become one?
I am lucky to be one of the first members of the EHA (member number 34). I am involved as volunteer since 2009 when EHA got a grant from the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme by the European Commission to create a European Network for the Harmonization of Training in Hematology known under the acronym H-Net. In a joint effort of 26 national hematology societies, H-Net aimed to arrive at a truly harmonized curriculum for European hematologists, thus raising the competence levels of hematologists and, ultimately, improving patient care and public health. This curriculum is now well established and updated already several times. I was at that time board member of the Dutch Society of Hematology (NVvH) and became the link between NVvH and EHA. In 2012, I was elected as Board member of EHA which ended in 2016.
In 2013, I became a member of the EHA Educational Committee (EC) representing the Curriculum Committee and in 2016, I was was elected as Chair of this EC. Apart from that, I have been Chair of the AML Scientific Working Group from 2014-2020. I am still a member of the Global Outreach Committee and the Fundraising and Sponsor Committee.
So can’t imagine a life without EHA…..
- What is your motivation on volunteering for EHA?
I am a true believer in collaboration in Europe. Every attempt to collaborate on a European level should be embraced. And because I am a hematologist the easiest way to do so was through EHA. Borders in every aspect should be avoided, they are the cause of much of the trouble we experience now in the world.
- Why you choose to serve EHA?
I am especially interested in education and helping to develop various tools to make peer-reviewed knowledge available, which is directly applicable in practice, making hematologists more aware of the latest trends, developments, publications, and studies. Examples are: A new web based educational platform (EHA Campus), EHA exam, Progress tests, Tutorials, HOPE conferences etc.
- What does volunteering for EHA give you/do to you?
It is really a pleasure to work with so many interesting and expert colleagues from countries throughout Europe in one organization with the ultimate goal to achieve what is in the mission of EHA. Also interacting with young colleagues who will become the next generation of leaders in our field is great fun.
Apart from that, the people working in the office create an atmosphere in which it is very pleasant and attractive to work for. Making knowledge available in less well developed countries is another aspect that gives me much satisfaction
- What would you say to others who would like to volunteer for EHA as well?
Join us you are more than welcome!