Social Accomplishment Award 2005

Hanneke de Boer

Hanneke de Boer has been working in the field of epilepsy since 1966. Her international career commenced in 1972, when she delivered her first presentation at the International Epilepsy Congress held in Amsterdam. She became the chair of the first IBE Employment Commission in 1983 and was appointed editor of the International Epilepsy News in 1985.

She was IBE's Secretary General from 1989-1993 and its president from 1997-2001, thus being a member of the IBE Executive Committee for 16 years.

During the last eight years she was also a member of the ILAE Executive Committee. Furthermore she was a member or chaired a number of IBE Commissions. In 1999 she joined the Secretariat of the ILAE/IBE/WHO Global Campaign Against Epilepsy and remained involved in the work of the Campaign until today. The ILAE/IBE/WHO Global Campaign Against Epilepsy  “Out of the Shadows” is a joint initiative of the World Health Organization, the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy, and as such perhaps their most successful project.

Ms. De Boer works at a large special centre for Epilepsy (Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland) originally as a vocational consultant where she was finally charged with the coaching and training of vocational consultants, with the setting up of employment projects for people with epilepsy.

During the last 10 years or so she has been involved in the development and maintenance of international contacts for this Epilepsy Centre, which has been designated by WHO as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Training and Treatment in Epilepsy since 2004.

Nationally and internationally, she has presented and published numerous papers on the social aspects of epilepsy, with an emphasis on the employment and employability of people with epilepsy, on the influence of stigma on the lives of the people and the burden of the disorder.

Ms. De Boer has received a number of awards for her work, amongst which Award of the Christian Society for the Care of people with Epilepsy,  the Ambassador for Epilepsy Award, the Spike and Wave Award: Dutch Branch of ILAE (Honorary member), the Award for Social Accomplishment, and a Royal decoration: Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau.