January volunteer of the month
Volunteer of the month introduction:
EHA is a Public Benefit Organization under Dutch law. This means that at least 90% of our efforts are focused on the general good, and profits generated from our activities are solely invested in projects and programs for the benefit of the hematology community. It also means that volunteers are driving our and do not receive any salary or financial compensation. As such, as a non-profit association, EHA deals with different kinds of volunteers to push programs forward. These volunteers range from board members to committee members, case writers, external reviewers. Altogether they work for ‘The good cause’ by sharing their knowledge and experience in the broad range of projects and programs EHA is doing. All aimed at lifting hematology to the next level. In the Volunteer of the month we put a volunteer in the spotlights with an interview.
Fabienne Lucas currently serves as a Member for the YoungEHA Committee. This committee is established to represent the voice of young hematologists and junior members within EHA, and to advise the EHA Board and relevant committees about activities related to junior European hematologists and scientists. Her volunteer journey started in 2013. She considers former EHA founder Ans Steuten and Michaela Gruber as her mentors in volunteering for EHA.
Below you find our interview with Fabienne as we feature her in our first ‘Volunteer of the Month’ series:
EHA: Can you tell us what you do for EHA and when you started?
Fabienne: I serve as a member on the YoungEHA Committee after having been a steering group and founding member since 2013. YoungEHA's goal is to represent, support and advocate for early career hematology researchers and clinicians across Europe. For example, we help organize the Young EHA Research Meeting (YERM), the YoungEHA track and social events at the EHA Congress, and we provide a “young perspective” to other EHA Committees and EHA activities. Within the YoungEHA committee, I have been leading the development, design and implementation of the YoungEHA website, which I consider one of our most important tools to fulfill our YoungEHA mission. In addition, I have been supporting several EHA Congresses by providing press release updates summarizing the scientific highlights of a congress day.
EHA: How did you become a volunteer? Who helped you become one?
Fabienne: I have been very fortunate to be introduced to the EHA family at an early time in my career as a physician scientist by both my clinical and research mentors and by being one of 20 Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) trainees in the 2013 class (Edit. TRTH provides junior researchers with a unique, year-long training and mentoring experience. TRTH is a joint effort of the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and is focused on helping early-career hematological scientists build successful careers in hematological translational research). Ans Steuten and Michaela Gruber laid the foundation for what is now YoungEHA by inviting interested TRTH trainees and EHA fellowship award winners to a kick-off meeting at the 2013 Congress in Stockholm, and I have been a volunteer ever since.
EHA: What is your motivation on volunteering for EHA
Fabienne: My motivation can be summarized as: “Opening doors and inspiring others to follow their vision”. I volunteer for EHA because I want to give back what I have received, and I want to inspire others to follow their passion for hematology.
EHA: Why you choose to serve EHA?
Fabienne: I trained as a medical doctor and clinical hematologist in Germany, did an immunology/ hematology PhD in the UK, postdoctoral training in the US and am now entering training as a hematopathologist in the US – I have therefore experienced multiple countries and clinical and research settings and what it takes to rapidly and successfully adapt to a new situation or side of hematology. The support, network, mentoring and friendships I have found within the EHA family have been such a big part of my journey across borders, which makes volunteering for EHA almost second nature.
EHA: What does volunteering for EHA give you/do to you?
Fabienne: Apart from building a great support system, network and friendships, I have learned so much by working with EHA staff, more senior volunteers and seasoned EHA officials such as Tony Green and Shai Israeli – not only about hematology as a field, but also about management, organization, leadership and the importance of reaching out, building bridges, “thinking big” and “rattling the cage”.
EHA: What would you say to other who would like to volunteer for EHA as well?
Fabienne: Volunteering for EHA has been an absolute honor and a great opportunity to learn, give back and be the change that will take us to the next step as a community. I invite YOU to support #YoungEHA, #BeTheChange, create a #VisionOfYourFuture and lead to a #ChangeOfMindset.