Thursday, April 23, 2009

EMGO+ awards for Petronella van ’t Veer and Nannah Tak

At the general meeting of the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research (see next message on this Blog!) on Wednesday April 22, the EMGO+ awards were announced. The EMGO+ Science Award for the best paper of a junior researcher was for Petronella van ‘t Veer-Tazelaar for her paper in Archives of General Psychiatry, entitled Stepped-Care Prevention of Anxiety and Depression in Late Life. This study, published in one of the highest ranked journals in the field, indicated that stepped-care intervention is effective in prevention of onset of anxiety and depression among elderly individuals.
The EMGO+ Societal Impact Award was awarded to Nannah Tak for her work on the evaluation of fruit and vegetable schemes in primary schools. Her studies, based on the ‘Schoolgruiten’ and ‘Pro Children’ projects. Showed that school-based interventions to promote fruit and vegetable consumption among school-aged children consisting of free school fruits and vegetables and a nutrition education curriculum are indeed associated with higher intakes, and such interventions are cost-effective. Her studies have received much media attention. Based on these studies and other studies in the field, the European Commission has decided to support school fruit and vegetable schemes throughout the European Union.

The EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research has started

Yesterday, the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, EMGO+, was officially launched with a kick off meeting in ‘Pakhuis de Zwijger’ in Amsterdam.
EMGO+ is an trans-disciplinary, and interfaculty research institute. The faculties of Medicine, of Psychology & Education, and of Earth and Life Sciences participate in this new institute, that builds on the strong foundation of the ‘old’ EMGO Institute for Extramural Medicine. Click here for some pictures of the event

The formation of EMGO+ is based on a detailed business-case and is supported by a start-up subsidy from the board of the VU University.

With a 300+ attendance, and with presentations by Prof. Lex Bouter, vice chancellor of the VU University, Prof. Wim Stalman, dean of the VU University Medical Center, and Prof. Paul van der Maas, chair of the Netherlands Health Council’s Advisory Council for Health Research we received a good overview of the chances and challenges for EMGO+, and its mission.

The mission of the Interfaculty Research Institute for health and care research is to encourage, initiate, conduct and publish excellent research of international standing to improve public and occupational health, primary care, rehabilitation and long-term care.

More specifically, by fulfilling its mission the institute is aiming to contribute to improving evidence-based:
• Public and occupational health;
• Primary health care;
• Rehabilitation practice;
• Long-term health and health care.

In these fields the institute aims to contribute to:
• Strengthening the evidence-base for current ongoing practice;
• Innovation of practice;
• Innovation of relevant research methodology;
• Provide input and direction for education and training for researchers and practitioners.

Scientific output in terms of acquisition of research grants, completion of doctoral thesis, and publications in peer reviewed international scientific journals, as well as societal impact are the indicators of the overall performance of the Interfaculty Research Institute.

Later on the day, we had the big EMGO+ quiz, the different research programs met in sub-group sessions. After some drinks and a buffet dinner, the EMGO+ Science and Societal Impact Awards were announced. The kick-off meting ended with a party with a great performance by the EMGO+ band.