The 54th Board Meeting of The Federation of Occupational Health Nurses within the European Union (FOHNEU) was held at Casa dell’aviatore in Rome on the 26 th -28th 2022. This was the first in-person gathering since the beginning of the pandemic where we had no other choice but to swich to zoom mode to be able to continue with the activity of the Federation.
The biannual meeting was attended by representatives from 6 EU Member States. In her opening address the President of FOHNEU, Dr. Henriett Hirdi, thanked the National Representative of Italy, Dr .Walter de Caro, for organising the FOHNEU meeting, which was the 1 st one held in the beautiful city of Rome and the 2nd meeting hosted in Italy in 1995.
Highlights of the meeting
Dr Henriett Hirdi, emphasised the importance of an effective and continuous activity of the Federation as well as the need to regain the involvement and commitment of the National Representatives as used to happen before the Pandemic.
The President congratulated the Sponsorship Group lead by the FOHNEU Vice President, Zsusanna Bonivart for their achievement involving the Swedish company Cederroth’s First Aid. Since the mid 1970 this company has been developing and marketing innovative products and solutions in many workplaces worldwide. She expressed her gratitude for their commitment in sponsoring FOHNEU website and events.
Special mention was given to Ms. Mara Helderman for her positive contribution and support even for the short period of time within the Federation as she will no longer be able to participate as National Representative for The Netherlands.
A new agenda point was added under the name “Table discussions on Occupational Health Nursing- Improvement opportunities” with the aim to devote more time in sharing good practices involving topics faced by occupational health nurses in their daily activity. The topic addressed in this occasion was “ Dealing with Alcohol and Drugs at the workplace”. All member present found this initiative very productive and rewarding and agreed to extend this activity for future meetings.
A subject of particular concern was the European Journal of Occupational Health NursingEJOHN. The significant decrease in researching activity within the occupational field was directly affecting submission of articles and hence the publication of future issues. Dr Henriett Hirdi utilised her expertise in this area and kindly gave all present a key note speech on “How to write an article”.
During the meeting, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Giuseppe La Torre, Professor on Occupational Medicine in Sapienza University of Rome and Director of the Occupational Health Service of Policlinic Umberto I. He tabled a proposal to collaborate in the development of an education program on Occupational Health Nursing together with Sapienza University di Rome.
The Board also welcomed a Representative from Istituto Nazionale Assicurazione Infortuni sul Lavoro, INAIL (The National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work in Italy), a public non-profit entity safeguarding workers against physical injuries and occupational diseases.
The President announced that FOHNEU as Official Partner of The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) was invited to attend its forthcoming Healthy Workplaces-Good Practice Exchange event, including the Ceremony for the hand-over of partner certificates with Commissioner Nicolas Schmit. The event will take place in Brussels on 13 and 14 June 2022. The President, Dr Henriett Hirdi will be delighted to attend the Event on behalf of FOHNEU. She reiterated the importance of ensuring partnership and our contribution to disseminate materials at National and European level.
Elections for the post of President and Treasurer for the tenure 2022-2025 took place. We are pleased to announce that the National Representative of Belgium, Ms Valerie Van Gulck was elected as FOHNEU Treasurer. The Board warmly praised Dr Henriett Hirdi as she was re-elected as FOHNEU President for three consecutive tenures. Congratulations were given to both Officers.
The President and those present at the meeting expressed their gratitude to the National Representative of Ireland (INMO Section), Ms Margaret Morrisey for her contribution and commitment as Treasurer of FOHNEU for three consecutive tenures.
It was very pleasing to see each other again, a fact that enhanced a very congenial and warm atmosphere.
The place and date for the next FOHNEU Board Meeting is still to be confirmed .
Minutes written by: Gema Arevalo Alonso (FOHNEU Secretary)