16 December 2021

Veni grant for Daan Westra

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)  awarded a prestigious Veni grant to Daan Westra. A Veni grant of 280,000 euros allows highly promising young scientists to conduct independent research and develop their ideas for a period of three years.

Daan will work on his research project 'The Works in Healthcare Networks', in which he studies the effectiveness of networks in healthcare.

There is a well-known saying that goes; 'Alone you go faster, but together you go further'. Networks have therefore become an indispensable part of healthcare. For example, network medicine is one of the pillars in the vision of the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists and network care is a spearhead of the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate. Healthcare organizations meanwhile participate in dozens of networks simultaneously; this varies from disease-specific networks such as ParkinsonNet and DementiaNet, to ROAZ networks, which play an important role in the Covid pandemic, and regional networks that have to organize the 'right care in the right place' in a region.

Daan: “It sounds so beautiful, collaboration in networks. But in practice it is very difficult. Research even shows that more than 70% of the networks fail and do not achieve their goals. What makes the other 30% so successful? To gain more insight, I will conduct the first large-scale empirical network study into the effectiveness of networks in healthcare. What makes this project unique is that it compares as many as 200 networks over time, to identify effective configurations of structure, functioning, and contextual characteristics. Based on the findings I will develop a self-assessment tool that helps networks collaborate more effectively and achieve their goals”.

The project will be carried out within the Living Lab of Sustainable Care Limburg, in collaboration with Tilburg University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (USA), Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Groningen and Nivel.