After a long and impressive career in the Dutch national government, which culminated in his position as secretary-general at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), Leon van Halder (1955) entered Radboud university medical center on 1 April 2015 to become the new chair of our Executive Board. Starting from that very day, he gave color to our organization both as a strong and strategic manager and as an involved and enthusiastic individual.Leon believed in our mission and in everyone’s capability to realize this mission. Under his inspirational leadership, Radboud university medical center continued to develop as a forerunner in the healthcare of the future with an emphasis on person-centered care, innovation and collaboration in networks. This resulted in a major shift at our medical center, that affected all of us. The right care, at the right moment and at the right location: he advocated for that by, for example, meeting with network partners and colleagues. He truly enjoyed this. And as a result, many came to know Leon as an amiable connector and motivator. Collaborative agreements have now successfully been made with most of the hospitals in the region, thus initiating the movement towards an academic medical network. Leon propagated this idea every day. He simultaneously set the agenda with politicians and insurers for suitable network financing. And we have also taken major steps together in the areas of personal care and innovation.
Leon was active outside of Radboud university medical center as well. He was chair of the Van Halder Committee for the future care for elderly persons living at home (Ministry VWS) and chair of the Integrity in Public Broadcasting Committee. In addition, he was active in the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), the umbrella organization of all of the university medical centers in this country. Under his leadership, a collective labor agreement was drawn up with remuneration that was in line with the market for the more than 70,000 employees. At the negotiation table, he supported the interests of employees in the areas of work pressure and generation policy. These are now important themes at Radboud university medical center.
“Are we taking care of one another?” This was one of his memorable expressions. It was extremely important to him to help and look out for one another in a world of ambition and daily hard work. That resulted, among other things, in the Healthy Professionals program, which has now spread throughout the organization and helps employees to be more aware of balance and health.
In May of 2017 Leon announced that he had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and that he would have to step down temporarily so that he could fully concentrate on his health. Despite the fact that he lived in The Hague, he deliberately chose to be treated at Radboud university medical center, where he was very satisfied with his care. For months, he worked with astonishing self-discipline on his health, his physical condition and his emotional state. In October of 2017, Leon returned to his post as chair of our Executive Board and continued his work with undiminished ambition and energy.
Until early March. On 11 March of this year he announced that he would resign from his position. In his message to all of the employees he wrote: “This is a difficult decision for me. My work really means a lot to me. I think that Radboud university medical center is an astounding organization. The developments and challenges in healthcare and at Radboud university medical center, which I was allowed to work on together with you, have continued to give me so much energy, satisfaction and enjoyment. I would have liked to have stayed and enjoyed this work longer.” We would have liked to have had him with us much longer too. It was a great pleasure and an honor to work with Leon. We will miss him tremendously.
Leon van Halder passed away on Wednesday 27 March. His death occurred unexpectedly sudden and has deeply affected all of us. We wish his wife, his daughters and his loved ones strength in coping with this great loss.
On behalf of the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board,
Loek Hermans and Paul Smits
Want to know more about these subjects? Click on the buttons below for more news.
Related news items
Radboud University and Radboud university medical center are examining demerger9 September 2019
Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (SKU) is going to examine the possibility of the administrative demerger of Radboud University and Radboud university medical center. The aim is to make both organisations more efficient within an increasingly dynamic and complex environment.read more
Overwhelming number of participants for Radboudumc research studies at Lowlands festival19 August 2019
As representatives of the cardiology department Radboudumc, Marc Brouwer and Joris Nas look back on the 3-day Lowlands festival with great satisfaction. The Lowlands Saves Lives Trial was an overwhelming success with the inclusion of 383 festival attendees in a randomized study.read more
Walking for science Research by Radboud university medical center and Radboud University during the Vierdaagse (Four Day Marches)5 July 2019
The Vierdaagse is a unique opportunity to conduct research into physical activity and healthy lifestyle.read more
Professor Jan W.A. Smit appointed as dean/vice chair of Radboud university medical center as of 1 August 201927 June 2019
The Board of the Stichting Katholieke Universiteit has appointed Professor Jan Smit as vice chair of the Executive Board per 1 August 2019.read more
1.6 million euros for Radboud university medical center in new study into shorter tuberculosis treatment5 June 2019
The study is meant to reveal whether a shorter treatment using a new combination of four different antibiotics could be as effective as the regular, longer treatment for tuberculosis (TB).read more