Estefanía Callejas De Luca - Membership and Governance Officer at the European Patients' Forum

Estefania works for the European Patient’s Forum, the leading voice of patient organisations in Europe. Her role involves creating a dialogue between patient organisations and stakeholders for European projects. To uphold patient empowerment through patient advisory boards, Estefania relies on practical knowledge and tools she gained from the master’s programme Governance and Leadership in European Public Health.

The value of governance

Estefania: “My job title is Membership and Governance Officer, as an alumna for a master’s with ‘Governance’ in its name, you could say I had a head start during my job application.” Besides governance in complex European health systems, Estefania can also rely on leadership courses such as stakeholder engagement, leadership training sessions and writing policy briefs. “One of the best things the programme gave me was an internship at the European Commission, where I worked for the policy strategy unit at the Health and Food Safety department and really delved into the EU-bubble.”

Between patient communities and policymakers

Estefania now works for the European Patient’s Forum, an umbrella organisation representing 79 patient organisations at the European level. “I work in the coordination of patients advisory boards; groups of patients that provide their perspectives on European projects. Think of it as roundtables where policymakers sit alongside industry representatives, patients, patient organisations and healthcare providers - hearing all these different voices is very inspiring.” Examples of current European projects are Digital Health and Universal Access to Healthcare. 

Academia in favor of real-world problems

Estefania isn’t settled in her career just yet, she aspires to conduct a PhD in the near future and become a professor. “Working at the European Patients’ Forum gives me insights into what the real-world needs are, which I can use in academia.”

If you are looking for the same insights without necessarily pursuing a PhD, the master’s programme will still suit you well. “Many cases that we discussed reappear in my job. If you hear about authentic cases taught at Maastricht University, know that they truly prepare you for the real world” 

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