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 am responsible for financial management and HR and I coordinate EFA projects and our participation in EU 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


Policy Officer - Panagiotis Chaslaridis


 At EFA, I contribute to the development of advocacy and communications initiatives vis-á-vis the institutions and other stakeholders in the context of specific policy dossiers. EFA’s mission is fully aligned with my beliefs on the most pressing problems patients face in our days, such as participation in policymaking, the right to quality care, and the need for a healthier ambient environment.

I have completed two postgraduate programmes, the latest being an Advanced Master’s on European Politics and Policies at KU Leuven. Following my studies, I worked for 2 years as a compliance officer at a shipping company. In Brussels, I have completed a traineeship at the European Economic and Social Committee, before working as a researcher in the energy and environmental practice of a consultancy firm. I joined EFA as a Policy Officer in late 2018.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +32 (0)2 227 27 20 / Skype: akis.chaslaridis / LinkedIn


Junior Communications and Policy Officer - Maximilian Kunisch

Max Kunisch


As Junior Communications and Policy Officer I work in the internal and external communications as well as EFA’s policy activities and projects. I believe that health has the most powerful impact on one’s quality of life. Working for EFA for me means working for people who suffer from chronic diseases, to empower their voice through projects and campaigns and to push political actions in their favour.

I work in communications for more than two years now. After my Bachelors in Marketing & Communications in Austria and Italy, I completed my Masters at the University of Salzburg in 2018. Currently I am enrolled for a beneath-working MSc. at VUB.

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

Projects and Engagement JuniorOfficer - Sofia Romagosa Vilarnau

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I implement activities related to EU-funded research projects and I collaborate with EFA Director of Operations and Projects on the implementation of EFA’s own projects. Also, I ensure the involvement of EFA Members in EFA's projects to ensure we fully include their national perspective into EU activities.

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 34 /  Skype: Sofia Romagosa Vilarnau / LinkedIn

Projects Intern - Chiara Genua


I am a 22 years-old medicine student from Italy currently doing a three-months internship here at EFA.  

As a Medicine student I can give my support and a scientific insight to the EFA projects while improving my knowledge and professional education. 

As a future doctor, it is really important for me to be part of the EFA projects and actually do something to try to improve the patients’ quality of life. When approaching to a patient, especially a chronic one, I think that it is important to health care professionals to take in consideration also the patient’s feelings and health-related quality of life in order to provide the best treatment possible. 

Thanks to this internship I can really understand which are the needs of chronic patients and how to satisfy them. This will really help me in my future career.

Director of Corporate Relations - Antje-Henriette Fink-Wagner


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)

Dear Visitor,

for regularly updated information on Covid-19 for allergy and respiratory patients, please consult our Covid-19 resource and information hub.
Stay safe!
The EFA Team