Usman Khan left the European Management Association (EHMA) after three years to take up a position as Executive Director at the European Patients Forum (EPF) in April 2019. We sit down with Mr Khan to discuss the decisions that led him to his new role and what the future has in store as he oversees operations at EPF.
What led you to join EPF after your 3 years at EHMA?
I found the decision to apply for the Executive Director at EPF a very difficult one. I was very happy at EHMA and felt that in three years we were making progress in re-establishing ourselves as an important part of the European health NGO space. However, the opportunity to work with an organisation and membership community which is focussed on integrating the patient voice in all aspects of healthcare was one I felt I had to take if offered.
What would you say was your biggest career highlight during your time at EHMA and what can you bring from your role at EHMA to the EPF?
EHMA is built around a strong and vibrant membership and network and it was a honour and pleasure to work with a fantastic Secretariat Team and Board to promote the value of effective health management and facilitate activities that enhanced health management capacity and capability and brought that to make meaningful improvement to health services. If I were to point to a single highlight, then I would have to say the manner in which we have taken the EHMA Annual Conferences to the next level as a multi stakeholder event, valued for innovation and constructive engagement and providing a platform for continuing activities and programmes.
What are some of the biggest issues facing patients in Europe and how do you plan to tackle these as Executive Director at EPF?
Whilst it is evident that more stakeholder groups now understand the value and benefit of engaging patients, there is still a long way to go until we will be able to say that ‘nothing about me, without me’ is a reality for patients across Europe and that these same patients are able to access the services they need, when they need them, without affordability being a hindering factor. To address these challenges EPF must work with its Membership Organisations and its wider network to build a coalition for the patient voice, focussed on building capacity and capability of patients and patient organisations and ensuring the patient perspective is accounted for in all aspects in health policy and practice.
How will you assess the ‘Strategic Plan 2014-2020’ and what do you anticipate will be the key factors that will inform the next strategic plan?
The Secretariat are currently undertaking an evaluation of the current Strategic Plan, which will form an important part of the base for the 2021 Plan. We will then work with our Board and Members to undertake a root and branch assessment of what EPF will seek to achieve over the next five years, focussing on our value as the independent voice of patients and as a key enabler in building patient voice capacity and capability. It is just great that EPF has so many partners coming together to help deliver to a common purpose and EPF will look to ensure that it focusses on those elements where it can best add value, partnering and leveraging for common good.
What’s your top management tip?
Always listen, never stop learning and don’t be afraid to lead.
Source: HealthManagement.org Interview
Image Credit: European Patients Forum