Friday, June 18, 2010

Cycling to work and cycling to school

The Norwegian Medical Journal published an article on the merits of cycling to work. The authors report  positive effects of cycling to work on fitness (VO2max) and health indicators (total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and body mass index). Earlies studies, including research conducted in the Netherlands and Norway, indicate that cycling to school is also associated with evident health benefits.

For my home to work cycling here.

A symposium to honour Prof. Andre Knottnerus

Yesterday, Prof. Andre Knottnerus was honoured with a special symposium because he stepped down as chair of the Netherlands Health Council. The minister of health -Ab Klink-, the chair of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands -Dr. Alexander Rinnooy-Kan-, the inspector general of the national Health Care Inspectorate –Prof. Gerrit van der Wal, and others gave brief presentations to illustrate the importance of Andre Knottnerus work for the Health Council. The symposium was led by Prof. Daan Kromhout, the vice chair of the Health Council.

Prof. Knottnerus will continue his work for the public good as chair of the Scientific Council for Government Policy.

Andre Knottnerus is a member of the external advisory board of the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First research seminar of the newly established department of Midwifery Science

About two years ago the college for Midwifery of Amsterdam and Groningen together with the VU University Medical Center, expressed the ambition to further develop the discipline of Midwifery in the Netherlands into a university-based, academic field. Such a development is already in a more developed state in countries like the UK, Canada and the Scandinavian countries.

In this development it was decided to work towards an academic bachelor and master program to be established at the VU University Medical Center, and to start a research program. This establishment of this research program was the first concrete step in this academic development process, and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research at VUmc took the responsibility for this step in close collaboration with the Midwifery college.

Two post doctoral researchers were recruited, Drs Ank de Jonge and Judith Manien, in close collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, a national study of midwifery practice was conducted (the ‘Deliver’ study), a number of Midwifes and Midwifery college teachers started their PhD research projects, and a chair in Midwifery Science was founded.

Early this year these developments led to the establishment of the first university department of Midwifery Science in the Netherlands. Yesterday, June 15, this department held its first research seminar. The research presentation was given by Dr. Eileen Hutton, associate professor at the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and assistant dean at the faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. Dr. Hutton will be appointed as the part time professor of Midwifery Science at the VUmc department later this year. We are very proud that such an authority in the field is willing and able to lead the further development of the research program and to further develop the scientific talent in Midwifery Science in the Netherlands. She will combine this chair with her work in Canada.