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Organisation: European Federation of Allergy & Airways Diseases Patients’ Association (EFA) (Belgium)

Susanna Palkonen is Director of European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), which brings together 44 member associations from 25 countries to improve the care, environment, participation and equality of people with allergy, asthma and COPD at the European level.  Among others, Susanna is the patient representative in the EC DG Research and Innovation’s Horizon 2020 Scientific Panel for Health, ERACoSysMed Advisory Board and the Clinical Advisory Board of the Human Brain Project.

Recently Susanna became the Chairperson of the PACT, Patient Access Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative to improve equal access to patient centered care in Europe.

In 2018 she stepped down from the Board of the European Patients’ Forum EPF, the umbrella association for 64 European level disease specific patient groups and national platforms of patient associations, of which EFA is a member, after 12 years of service and where she was vice president 8 years and represented EPF at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Patient and Consumer Working Party. In her private life she is the Secretary of the Board of the Lehmijärvi-lake protection association, lake in Finland where her family has summer cottage, with the aim to protect and improve the quality of the water for anyone wishing to swim in or fish on the lake. Susanna has co-authored several papers with the scientific community and believes in equal participation in research by patients and their representatives. She studied social policy and as a patient with atopic eczema and allergic rhinitis she is interested in how policies and systems, but also patients themselves can support patient centered care and prevention.