European Cancer Organisation

Bert van Herk

Function: Member of the Oncopolicy Executive, ECCO Patients Advisory Committee

Representing: (ECCO PAC)

I worked for Amnesty International and studied political sciences at the same time. In the next thirty years I worked for various healthcare organizations:  head of staff of a clinic for ambulatory mental healthcare, managing director of a regional association of general and specialized hospitals, CEO of an organization of family planning clinics and a clinic for assisted reproduction and CEO of CASA Clinics, an organization of seven family planning clinics

Since 2004 I have represented the Dutch family planning association RutgersWPF in International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), one of the major NGO’s in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. In 2007 I was elected at the board of IPPF Europe and in 2010 as a regional treasurer of the board. As such, I am also a member of the Governing Council of IPPF, the worldwide board. Since 2005 I am one of the accreditors of IPPF to review if member associations comply with the standards of membership.

In 2000 I was diagnosed with lung cancer. My biggest nightmare was that I would not live to see my children, then 11 and 9 years old, to grow up. After chemo therapy and an operation I recovered. Nine months after the diagnosis I went on with my life. No time to lose, life can be over any time. I do not fancy the word survivor. It does not feel like I did something heroic. I had some very good doctors and lots of luck. So I did see my children grow up and become the wonderful young adults that they are now.

At the end of 2015 I stopped working in management, which gave me more opportunities to serve patients’ interest in healthcare. I was appointed as chair of the Patient Advisory Committee of Spaarne Gasthuis, one of the leading hospitals in The Netherlands. Next to that, LungCancer Europe nominated me as member of the Patient Advisory Committee of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO). 





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