Lymphoma Coalition Europe
LCE in Good Hands with New Regional Manager
Having Charlotte Roffiaen join Lymphoma Coalition Europe (LCE) in June 2015 as regional manager is a boon for LCE given her experience in working for non-profit organisations.
“I’ve been working for non-profit organisations in health-related issues focusing on patient rights in Europe since 2001 but the position at LCE was something new for me as it’s working on a specific disease. Also, the European dimension of the position was of interest to me,” said Charlotte. She is also well-versed in how European institutions work, all experience that will be invaluable in her new position.
Prior to getting involved with non-profit organisations, Charlotte, a lawyer by profession, worked for a law firm in Brussels, Belgium.
“After a while, I realised I wanted to do something else and found I was much more attracted to not-for-profit as it has more meaning,” she said.
In her new role at LCE, Charlotte recognises that she has a steep learning curve in front of her.
“When I was at the 2015 Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA), there was a lot I didn’t understand, especially with all the acronyms being used, but many people were very kind in explaining things to me,” she said. Charlotte attended the congress with Karen Van Rassel, the chief executive officer of LC.
Need for LCE
The formation of LCE in 2015 came about as a result of a request by European LC members to form a body that could support the unique interests within Europe and the European Union.
“The European members wanted to be able to join forces at the regional level and thus have greater leverage in terms of advocacy issues rather than only at the country level,” said Charlotte.
While attending the EHA congress in Vienna, Charlotte had an opportunity to meet some of the European LC members.
“It was very exciting to meet them and learn about what they are doing. There is an opportunity to combine resources that will be helpful to all,” she said.
The first goal for LCE is to establish a presence in Europe.
“The first phase of this goal is to determine in which country LCE should be set up and whether to register the organisation as a branch or new organisation,” said Charlotte.
Achieving this goal is key if LCE wants to be involved at the European level in activities undertaken by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
“A prerequisite to accessing funds and being part of the EMA decision-making process is to have an established presence in Europe,” she said.
The timing on completing this first goal is end of November 2015.
LCE’s influence is already being felt. In July, LCE was approached by EHA and asked to review its Research Roadmap for Hematology in Europe.
“While I couldn’t do this myself at this point, we were able to ensure that members were notified of this opportunity. I was then able to review and consolidate the comments and submit them to EHA,” she said.
- The other goals of LCE are to:
- Raise funds for LCE so it is self-sufficient;
- Provide mutual support to members of LCE for activities such as those being undertaken for World Lymphoma Awareness Day and, over time, develop common activities;
- Leverage information from LC’s global database on lymphoma specific to Europe.
Charlotte, who is originally from France but has been living in Italy since 2001, speaks three languages fluently: French, Italian and English. She also has a working knowledge of two other languages.
“The first foreign language I learned was German. While I’m no longer fluent, I can still understand it,” Charlotte said. She also understands Spanish.
August 31, 2015