Sander de Hosson has been elected Alumnus of the Year 2019 by the University of Groningen. He is receiving the award for the incisive way in which he calls for attention for the emotional side of palliative care and for making death a topic for discussion amongst medical staff, starting during their training.
Sander de Hosson (Utrecht, 1977) studied Medicine at the UG from 1995 to 2003, when he then specialized as a lung doctor and worked in this position at the Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis in Assen. He pays special attention to the human side of medicine, tries to make illness and death a more discussable topic and has developed himself into an ambassador of palliative care. He has also been influential outside the medical sector by publishing newspaper columns about patients in the last phases of their lives, which were collated in his book Slotcouplet (2018) that was elected Best Groningen Book 2019 in the non-fiction category.
His election as Alumnus of the Year was motivated in the jury report as follows: ‘Through his significant involvement with his patients, his efforts for change in medical training programmes and the appealing and moving way in which he connects the outside world with what happens in the medical sector through his columns, Sander de Hosson is a fantastic and meaningful source of inspiration for everyone within and outside the medical sector and for current and future students of Medicine.’ And: ‘For us as a jury, this is the first time that we have awarded the UG Alumnus of the Year award to a doctor – which is special, in these times of COVID-19. Through our election of Sander de Hosson, we also show our support and appreciation for all of the people who work within the medical sector.’
This year, the jury for the Alumnus of the Year award comprised: chair of the jury Cisca Wijmenga (Rector Magnificus), Merel Rumping (social entrepreneur and Alumnus of the Year 2016), Oscar Couwenberg (Dean of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences) and Remco Kouwenhoven (Director of Alumni Relations & Fundraising/Ubbo Emmius Fund).
The Alumnus of the Year award, a sculpture made by Groningen artist Wia van Dijk, will be awarded during the online Opening of the Academic Year on 31 August 2020.
The recently published July edition of alumni magazine Broerstraat 5 contains an interview with De Hosson under the title ‘Everyone has their own ideas about a good death’.
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