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September 2015

Picture: © EPF

YOUNG PATIENTS ARE YOUNG PEOPLE!

It has been an incredibly busy and successful year for the EPF Youth Group, the highlight of which was the Annual General meeting that took place on 18-20 of September, in Bucharest. This was the opportunity for the Youth group to discuss plans for 2016, do practical exercises on capacity development and run the new Board elections.

The EPF Youth Group has been actively working towards creating a more sustainable youth group through capacity development training. The training was delivered throughout 2015 by various members of the EPF Secretariat. This entailed the development of group guidelines for representatives, an elevator pitch, and an introduction to communication skills development to aid the social media and promotional side of the group in order to reach our wider audience.

Over the last year,  two new members have joined the EPF Youth Group: Anna Zaghi (Italy) from the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) and Cristian Traicu (Romania) from the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG).

The Youth Group was also present at several events throughout 2015, that helped raise visibility of the group and allowed for more national and international interaction with other youth and health organisations:

  1. EPF Youth Group was present for the first time at the YO!Fest 2015, a major youth event in the European Parliament, to raise awareness about chronic conditions from the perspective of young people
  2.  The EPF Youth Group Annual General Meeting was an opportunity for the Youth Group’s delegate to present an overview of current and future activities.
  3. Cristian Traicu, attended the EPF Cross Border Healthcare Conference on behalf of the Youth Group and shared his concerns about affordability of healthcare services for patients staying abroad.
  4. Martha Carabott was awarded the Golden Cookie award in September for the delivery of the Coeliac Youth Summer Camp.
  5. Lembe Kullamaa, member of the Youth Group was present at the Estonian Parliament to help parliamentarians experience how it is to live with rheumatic diseases
  6. Aneela Ahmed, the newly elected President of the Youth Group, discussed about Mental Health issues surrounding young patients on the BBC.

We look forward to the year ahead, which will include the first EPF Youth Group roundtable seminar, tackling tough EU-wide issues such as transition to adult care. The group is also developing a workshop for the 2016 European Youth Event (EYE), which will tackle discrimination against young patients in employment and in searching for jobs.

The EPF Youth Group will continue to work towards ensuring recognition of young patient's needs is high on the World Health Organisation Agenda and in the wider European health community.

Contact: Valentina Strammiello, Programme Officer, valentina.strammiello@eu-patient.eu or youthgroup@eu-patient.eu.