News Beyond the scientist Philip van der Wees

13 June 2018

Philip van der Wees, appointed professor of Allied Health Sciences on 1 june. The focus of the Chair is value-driven allied health care in interdisciplinary networks.

Where and when were you born?
I was born in 1966 in Benthuizen, a small village in Zuid-Holland.
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in Amsterdam with Marjon Katerberg. If my loved one can’t be found in her studio there, busy painting and sculpting, she travels the world as a sand and ice sculptor. My part-time position at the George Washington University also brings me to Washington, D.C. for several short term residencies per year.
Who was your role model when you were a kid?
This question kept me busy for a few days, but I can’t think of a specific one. I respect a lot of people – including my parents – but that is different than having (had) a role model.
Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)
So after concluding that I could not think of a specific role model, this one was easy to skip.
What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?
The publication of international standards for developing clinical guidelines when I was chair of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N). The standards emphasize the importance of interprofessional collaboration of healthcare professionals, including medical doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals. I received the G-I-N Najoua Mlika Cabanne Innovation Award for my contribution to stimulating the role of allied health professionals in clinical guidelines.     
What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?
I would like to bring patient centered care to a higher level through interdisciplinary networks of healthcare professionals. The focus of my work is aimed at allied health professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and dieticians. These professionals make an important contribution to recovery and coping with a disease or health condition in daily activities, and to stimulate participation in work, sport, hobbies and family life.
For what can we wake you up?
Well, for a bike ride of course. And afterwards a pint of cold India Pale Ale to celebrate the achievement.
What is your hobby and how good are you at it?
I am a cyclist and ride my mountain bike and road bike whenever and wherever possible. The picture was made during a bike challenge in Austria which I joined with a group of friends. This year we will go to Italy for a week of cycling and camping. My other hobby is rock climbing which I do with Marjon.
What is your biggest irritation?
Intolerance and lack of respect.
Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?
I would like to invite the Obamas for dinner. They live not too far from my apartment here in Washington, but I did not have the courage yet to ring their doorbell. A few years ago I studied the impact of implementing Obamacare in Massachusetts, and it would be nice to discuss over an IPA how Barack and Michelle could promote the benefits in their new Netflix series.

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