Friday, October 2, 2009

The 20th anniversary of the Department of Nursing Home Medicine

Yesterday, the department of nursing home medicine of the VU University medical center celebrated its 20th anniversary. In 1989, the first training course for nursing home physicians in the world was established at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (now the VU university medical center). Now, 20 years later, 750 nursing home physicians have been trained at VU medical center. Also the research at the department, embedded in the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, has seen a spectacular growth with more than 400 scientific publications, and an impressive list of PhD graduates. The twentieth anniversary was celebrated October 1st, in Artis Zoo Amsterdam with more than 200 visitors, many of them trained at the VUmc. They enjoyed speeches of national and international speakers. After the head as well as founding father of the department, Prof. Miel Ribbe gave a brief introduction, profs. Douwe Draaisma from Groningen University, Paul Schnabel, director of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, and Sheryl Zimmerman from the University of North Carolina provided their entertaining, thought provoking and evidence-based views on aging, the elderly and elderly care. After a tour along the elderly animals in the Zoo, the people present, and Miel Ribbe most of all, were pleasantly surprised by the dean of VUmc, Prof. Wim Stalman, who proudly announced that Prof. Miel Ribbe was honoured by Queen Beatrix with a knighthood, among others for his excellent work in establishing, nursing, promoting and disseminating the art and science of nursing home medicine of these outstanding performances.