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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
Aletta Jacobs School of Public HealthAletta's Stories

Henk Meines

Participation - partner

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 30 articles describes what every human being, anywhere in the world, is entitled to. Here, in the relatively safe and quiet Netherlands, the situation of human rights is one of the best in the world. But securing primary rights does not mean that you can be part of it or let alone be happy. Being part of something and using your talent in the service of yourself and others? It starts with your own responsibility!
I see this responsibility as a duty that the right of being human entails. But, like a beginning, this responsibility also ends. Sometimes someone just needs a little help until that responsibility can be taken again. Taking care of that (temporarily) vulnerable other person is also a form of personal responsibility. Within this collective responsibility many hands make light work; everyone can link his or her qualities and abilities to the social interest. It is mainly the unrelenting sight of this importance that makes us people. For me, this social awareness has been the main reason to shift from the profit to the non-profit sector. Letting the human interest come first in a society in which everyone can and should join: That makes me happy. And hopefully many others ....


My name is Henk Meines. The non-profit organisation for which I hold my responsibility is the social medical division of UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) in the Northern Netherlands. UWV is the gatekeeper to social worker insurance; The door to the financial safety net for people who no longer can continue with the things they do. For the financial gap that arises when people (temporarily) are unable to work a compensation exists in the form of benefits. On the other hand, there is the challenge in the area of ​​health. Participation has a huge impact on health and its perception. That is why, in addition to our financial task, there is an equally important social responsibility. From our perspective participation starts with reintegration. We support people like you and me in filling in their own responsibility. Together with the parties in the service chain. From our own experience we know too well that not every support is accepted. Through research we find out what does and does not work. Reintegration leads to more healthy years through participation. The added value of our cooperation with Aletta is therefore reciprocal; On the one hand, scientific research helps us in making choices that help people to take responsibility. On the other hand, our very practical knowledge about reintegration and participation provides the much needed substance for new research. From our combined expertise we work on a society in which we can continue to participate as much as possible. It is wonderful to work on that.

Henk Meines
Henk Meines
Last modified:05 March 2019 10.14 a.m.
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