Meet Eva Hellström-Lindberg, our March Volunteer of the Month
- Can you tell us what you do for EHA and when you started?
These days I am not as involved in EHA as I used to be, besides the various services when asked for, which I think is how it should be.
- How did you became a volunteer? Who helped/encouraged you to become one?
During my research career, since I was young I worked a lot within international collaborative networks. I was nominated to be on the EHA Ballot in 2000 and to my surprise and happiness, I was elected as councilor. I became President-elect in 2003 and was the EHA President 2005-2007. Together with Laurent Degos, I led the development of the first Hematology Curriculum (Passport) and then led the curriculum through the subsequent phases. I led the office through the vibrant phase when the congress grew from 2,000+ to almost 10,000 attendees and the office expanded from approximately 3 to 10 people. A lot has happened during these years including TRTH, a new structure for the Educational activities, formalized collaboration with ASH, etc. Moreover, the EHA Board developed its first mission statement during these years. Importantly, during this period we successfully defended hematology as a separate EU speciality (which was under threat). We had so much hard work and great fun. After stepping down from the EHA Board in 2009, I continued to work with the curriculum and on TRTH program, and later served on the Nomination Committee, including as Chair.
- What is your motivation on volunteering for EHA?
European collaboration is unique! All the small countries cannot do much by themselves but together we are probably the strongest body in the world. All these years with active work within EHA have simply been the most rewarding period in my life and I have learned a lot.
- What does volunteering for EHA give you/do to you?
It gave me friends for life and a fantastic network!
- What would you say to others who would like to volunteer for EHA as well?
It is of course different today, 20 years after I was involved, so much more to chose between. But in essentials I think the attraction is the same, to work together towards something that you feel is important.