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    Putting you at the centre of all decisions affecting your health

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    30% of the European population lives with allergies, asthma and COPD

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    Because breathing is taken for granted, we work for better recognition of chronic respiratory diseases

Director - Susanna Palkonen

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My role at EFA is to support and lead the EFA team and facilitate the work of the Board, in collaboration with EFA’s Deputy Director.

I have worked in the allergy, asthma and COPD patient movement for over 15 years and since 2002 for EFA, coordinating EFA activities as directed by our Board of volunteers. I have also been in the Board of the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) since 2006. I have studied social policy and my expertise in EFA disease areas, advocacy, stakeholder collaboration, fundraising and integration of patient perspective have built over the years, thanks to the passionate EFA network, partners and staff. As EFA, I am a member of many initiatives, such as the Horizon 2020 Scientific Panel for Health and as EPF, the European Medicines Agency Patient and Consumer Working Party and have co-authored several papers with our scientific partners in the field of allergy, asthma and COPD.

Being a patient with allergic rhinitis and atopic eczema, I am passionate about health and prevention from patients’ perspective and that patients have a say in health, environment and research policy. I am grateful of all the wonderful people dedicated to the cause I can work with; there is still a lot to do to achieve equality of access to care, safe environment and meaningful patient participation across Europe and that keeps me going.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +32 (0)2 227 27 21 / Linkedin

Director of Operations and Projects - Giuseppe de Carlo

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I implement and manage all activities related to EU-funded research projects and I collaborate with EFA Project and Fundraising Manager on the implementation of EFA’s own projects.

I have worked in the implementation and management of national and European projects since 2011. I have worked as a Project Officer/Manager in consulting companies as well as in non-profit organizations in different fields, such as education and training, culture and creativity, international cooperation and human rights. I completed a Master degree in International Economics at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, with research and study experiences in the United Kingdom and in Belgium.

All my previous working experiences aimed to address people’s specific needs through the activation of dedicated initiatives. Similarly, my role at EFA allows me to work towards the development of actions and tools that will ease the life of patients with chronic diseases.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +32 (0)2 227 27 13 / Twitter: @GiuseppeDeCarl0Skype: giuseppe.decarlo.amber / LinkedIn

Director of Policy and Communications - Isabel Proaño Gómez

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I lead EFA policy and communications strategy, within our core programme, EFA projects and EU projects we are partnering in. 

I have worked in communication and advocacy since 2007, in the private (insurances), public (development cooperation) and non-profit (public health) sectors. My expertise is communication for political and social change.  Following my Bachelor studies in Communications and Political Sciences in the Complutense University of Madrid, I completed a Master’s degree at the College of Europe that led me to work at regional level in Brussels first and Central Africa later. I joined EFA as Communications Officer in 2014.

I think patients have a major role to play to improve healthcare and prevention in our society. Despite the fact that allergy, asthma and COPD are highly prevalent diseases, they are still largely unrecognized and stigmatized. I work for EFA to change the perceptions about these diseases, through the development of information, campaigns and tools that will empower people living with allergy, asthma and COPD.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +32 (0)2 227 27 12 / Twitter: @IsaProanoSkype: Isabel.proa / LinkedIn

 

Health Policy and Patient Engagement Officer - Caroline Heilpern

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As Health Policy and Patient Engagement Officer, I am working on EU policies related to EFA’s mission so that the needs of people with allergy, asthma and COPD are at the core of our work, and I ensure patient participation across EFA.

Before joining EFA I have been working in a healthcare consultancy and prior to that in a mobile health start-up and in a law firm where I dealt with pharmaceutical cases. My background is a master degree in EU law from Maastricht University as well as studies in International Relations at ICP Paris.

I believe that a strong and united patient voice in close cooperation with European and international institutions is of crucial importance to advance the rights of patients. With chronic respiratory diseases considered an epidemic of the current century, it is important to keep allergy, asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases high on the European agenda, highlight prevention as a crucial aspect of health policy and to increase patients’ literacy and empowerment, leading to a more patient-centred disease management. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +32 (0)2 227 2720 / Twitter: @HeilpCa Skype: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / LinkedIn 

Communications Officer - Nolwenn Coutel-Darieu

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Since April 2018 I am working as a Communications Assistant, helping with the EFA internal and external communications as well as EFA’s projects and newsletters.

For almost a year now I have been working in Communications, evolving in political environments such as the Ecolo-Bruxelles Party and the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament. Coming from a multidisciplinary background with studies in bio-engineering, Modern Oriental Languages and Literature, and finally a master in Political and Lobbying Communication, my aim is to use my skills to promote positive political and social changes.

Health concerns all of us and I believe it to be a fundamental Human right. Being familiar with the hurdles a person can face when confronted with a chronic disease, and being aware that some lives could be made easier, I work for EFA to allow patients to be heard and empowered, inform on the diseases and help pushing health and environment as political priorities.   

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +32 (0)2 227 27 12 / Skype: nolwencd  / LinkedIn

EFA Programme Assistant - Sofía Romagosa Vilarnau

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I implement and manage all activities related to EU-funded research projects and I collaborate with EFA Project and Fundraising Manager on the implementation of EFA’s own projects.

I graduated in 2017 in Sociology and I am currently specializing in Public Health.  I worked as intern for three months at the Patients Advisory Council of the Catalan Health Department where I was involved in a research in methods for involving patients in the design, development and evaluation of health policies.

I believe in healthcare as a human right. EFA, together with the patient community, has a key role to improve disease prevention and healthcare quality and access by representing patients’ voice in policymaking processes and scientific research.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  / +32 (0)2 227 27 13 /  Skype: Sofia Romagosa Vilarnau / LinkedIn

Corporate Relations and Fundraising Manager - Antje-Henriette Fink-Wagner

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Since 2008, I am EFA Corporate Relations and Fundraising Manager, building long-term relations with funding partners to secure a relevant part of EFA´s annual budget and I am responsible for EFA’s own projects.

For 21 years I worked for pharmaceutical companies, most of the time for global respiratory franchise respiratory/ medical affairs departments, where I represented the companies at international organisations like GARD (WHO), EFPIA, GINA, GOLD, ICC and IPCRG. I developed and managed projects with key opinion leaders and was responsible for scientific meetings. My specialty during this time were the Immune system and empowerment of patients. After finalizing my diploma as nutritionist at the Christians-Albrechts-University Kiel/ Germany I worked for the international Red Cross during the civil war in Uganda. I completed my doctorate at the Institute of Nutritional Sciences at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen/ Germany.

I have an allergy and realized early the importance of health literacy. I believe that patients need to understand and control their own chronic disease in a rational way to live their own best possible lives. I want to support chronic patients to become a relevant voice in the concert of stakeholders.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +49 171 761 6923 / Skype: fink.wagner / LinkedIn

EFA Honorary Members

  Erkka Valovirta (Finland)

Elizabeth Bell (UK)

Arne Heimdal (Norway)

Edith M.A.L. Rameckers (The Netherlands)