History

The VvE has been in existence since 1986. On this page you will find several important events in recent years:  

Year Event Description
1979 First edition of WEON! In 1979 the Working party on Epidemiological Research was founded: better known as WEON. This group organized the WOEN meetings since 1979. The first years several meetings per year and from 1984 onward WEON became the annual two day national epidemiology conference.
1986 The Society for Epidemiology was founded! Around 1985, during WEON the wish to establish a Society for Epidemiology was expressed. On October 24, 1986 the official step was undertaken: The VvE was founded and registered with the Chamber of Commerce!
1987 Joining FEDERA! Soon after the VvE was founded, the society joined FEDERA (Foundation Federation of Dutch Medical Scientific Societies). FEDERA was founded in 1959 and its mission is to promote a healthy biomedical research climate in the Netherlands.
1988 The first Epistel! In 1988 the first Epistel appeared, the newsletter of the VvE. The first Epistel mainly consisted of: announcements of seminars, courses, book reviews, possible subsidies, administrative notices and information regarding membership. The editorial was started up by two editors. The Epistel has had several different looks in the past 28 years. From clippings to a digital newsletter. The contents of the Epistel is more varied and the editorial staff has grown.
1989 The first secretary! The number of members grew and a secretary was hired in 1989 to assist the society’s secretary. The secretariat moved to Leiden and was first housed at the former NIPG/RIP, where the secretary of the VvE worked. A few years later, the secretariat moved to the Comprehensive Cancer Center in Leiden. There the VvE could rent space for the secretariat. Since July 2002, the secretariat of the VvE falls under FEDERA and thereby moved to Rotterdam. In the past 30 years, the VvE has had four secretaries.
1990 Contact and collaboration within Europe! In 1990 the VvE Board planned to further develop to the contact with the International Epidemiological Association (IEA). This resulted in a permanent international representative from the VvE, who is closely involved in the IEA-EEF. The IEA-EEF organized a conference in the Netherlands in collaboration with the WEON and the VvE three times in recent years: in 1995 (The Hague), 2006 (Utrecht) and 2015 (Maastricht).
1991 The Privacy Committee was founded! The Privacy Committee was founded in 1991. The reason for setting up the committee was the introduction of a number of medical bills (the Person Registration Act, the Medical Treatment Act (later Medical Treatment Agreement Act) and the Medical Experiments Act). The VvE set up the Privacy Committee to be able to more actively participate in the further development of legislative proposals and also express its concern about such legislation. In 1995, the first product was delivered, the Good Conduct Code. In 2003, the Privacy Commission was consigned to FEDERA, under the name COREON (Commission on Research Regulation). From that moment, affiliated institutes started paying a contribution, particularly for legal assistance. Since then COREON has grown steadily, both in terms of the number of participating institutions as well as the number of the reports and codes of conduct that have been published. Since 2004 COREON holds an annual session during WEON.
1992 The first policy document and work plan was drafted! Until 2000 the VvE board formulated its policies primarily per subject, on an as needed basis. Inquiry amongst epidemiology professors, and discussion during the WEON in 2000 about the past and future of epidemiological research in The Netherlands, indicated that there was a need for greater clarity. In cooperation with the Commission Strategic Explorations the VvE board worked on a policy document (over a 6 year period), with a corresponding work plan for the duration of two years (congruent with the term of the President). The purpose of the policy document is to clearly identify the goals, structure and duties of the VvE.
2005 VvE Prizes awarded! From 2005, the VvE awards three prizes during WEON:
  • - VvE Prize Junior Researcher: for the best epidemiological publication by a junior researcher. The prize consists of a certificate and a check for €1000,-
  • - VvE Student Prize: for the best abstract and presentation by a bachelor or master student who has done an internship or a facultative course in epidemiology. The prize consists of a certificate and a check for €250,-
  • - VvE Poster Prize: for the best poster presented during the poster session. The prize consists of a certificate and a check for €100,-
As of 2014 a fourth VvE prize is awarded: the VvE Achievement Award. The award is given to a (international) scientist that plays or has played an important role in the field of epidemiology. The prize (a bronze statue of an owl) is awarded by the President of the VvE during WEON, on the recommendation of the organizing committee of the WEON.
2008 The visitation committee was instituted! Since 2008 the VvE board appoints a review (OF visitation) committee. The committee visits training programs at their own request. The review committee assesses whether a program meets the requirements for registration as Epidemiologist A and B and advises the VvE board. The board decides whether the program is recognized or not. In 2015, the evaluation procedure was revised. The new assessment procedure became effective as of January 1, 2016. The review has two goals. First, it is a peer review, where experiences are exchanged between training programs to facilitate them learning from each other and thereby improve the quality of training. Secondly, assessing whether the training program meets the requirements for registration as epidemiologist A or B.
2010 Start of the PR working party and the VvE focus groups! Prior to 2010, one of the VvE board members managed the PR. With the 25th anniversary coming up, a PR working party was instituted in 2010. This working party consisted of three VvE board members with the support of the secretariat. After the jubilee, the PR working party focussed on the distribution of VvE brochures, gifts for members, cards for newly-appointed or retiring professors and PhD students completing their PhD, bookmarks and VvE posters. An important topic in the VvE policy document for 2010-2015 fostering cohesion within the epidemiological community. Therefore, the VvE started with focus groups ISOQOL-NL and Public Health, that organized an annual meeting on a specific subject. There are now five VvE focus groups, namely: Public Health, ISOQOL-NL, Causality, E-Epidemiology and Biobanks. These focus groups organize an annual meeting. The VvE makes an amount of €250,- per year available for each focus group.
2011 25th anniversary of the VvE! In 2011, the VvE celebrated its 25th anniversary. In honor of this anniversary, there were a number of activities:
  • The new logo of the VvE was presented during the opening of the WEON.
  • There was a plenary session during the WEON with a look back on the past years of epidemiology by prof. A. Hofman and prof. G.A. Zielhuis, and a look towards the future by prof. H.C. de Vet and prof. L.J. Gunning-Schepers
  • The special Jubilee book “Inspiration in Epidemiology” published landmark articles by Dutch epidemiologists. All members received a free copy
  • Epistel had a special anniversary edition containing interviews with epidemiologists from the beginnings of the society.
  • The Epistel and the website were given a new look
In 2011, the VvE also started using social media. A closed network group was set up on LinkedIn, where soon more than 600 members joined
2013 Putting the volunteers in the spotlights! In 2013 the theme of the paper issue of the Epistel was: Putting the volunteers in the spotlights! Over the years the number of active VvE volunteers has increased. In this issue all volunteers were the focal point!
2015 New course! In 2015, the VvE board set out a new course. A new policy document was drawn up for the period 2016-2020. This policy document has three main priorities: research, education and cohesion in the epidemiological community. The working method of the VvE board was changed. Three Core Groups were formed, corresponding to the three priorities. The core groups consist only of board members. Each core group is responsible for drawing up its own work plan.
2016 New VvE Junior Epidemiologists working party! In 2016, the VvE Junior Epidemiologists working party was established. This working party focuses on all junior epidemiologists. Its aims is to enhance the development of junior epidemiologists in the field of education and research, as well as enhancing the cohesion between junior epidemiologists and with the VvE. The working party aims to achieve this goal by organizing activities for junior epidemiologists.