Featured Doctor

HELLEMANN-Geschwinder, Dr Ilse: Past WONCA Executive member

Austria: WONCA leader

What work are you doing now?

I am still practising in a group general practice in Graz, Austria. Also I am lecturing in GP/FM at the Medical University, in Graz at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and "Teach the Trainers" courses. I am supporting the establishing of a department of GP/FM at our University. This is a long standing ideal dating from 2004. Also I am involved in organising events with international participants and exchange programs. Last September, we held the TUFH - Towards Unity for Health conference in my home city of Graz, and I was the conference convenor. I am very active EURACT and Graz is hosting next year’s spring meeting, so again I find myself organising a conference!

What are your hobbies?

Travel, Nature, Family, Literature

You have a long involvement with WONCA?

I am currently representing Austria in Wonca and in EURACT and encouraging successors in these functions. From 1998-2004 I was a member of WONCA World Executive Committee and my main focus areas during this time were: By-laws, Rural Practice, Education and Training in Practice. I am pleased to have been involved in encouraging and establishing of the Special Interest Group (1998) and then Working Party of Women and Family Medicine (2001).

From 2000-2005, I served as the WONCA Liaison Person to WHO. From 1999-2002, I was privileged to be involved in WONCA / WHO collaborative projects as project coordinator and author. The final results, in 2002, was a Joint WHO / Wonca publication TUFH - Towards Unity for Health. As a glimpse into the past a report on my activities, from 2001, is available here.

From 1999-2004, I was project coordinator of The Guidebook Project: Improving Health Systems - The Contribution of Family Medicine. The Guidebook was first published in English by Wonca in March 2002 and was translated into several major languages later on.

During my involvement in WONCA, I enjoyed the international relationships and the strategic development of a global professional organisation.

Are there other projects that you have been proud to have been involved in?

1997-2000: Project Manager of the Austrian national project on Inter-Professional Communication in the Homecare Team

2003: I undertook peer review of training programmes for primary health care providers as part of a consultancy on the implementation of the Armenia Health Project

2008-2009: member of the national committee developing the guideline on managing dementia in Primary Care.

What might people not know about you?

My husband and son are both medical doctors. I have a special qualification in psychosocial medicine, psychosomatics, geriatrics and palliative care, directly focussed on local community’s needs.