20 February 2018

Elise van de Putte appointed professor of Life Cycle Paediatrics

Professor Elise van de Putte: "Multidisciplinary cooperation is a condition for innovation"

“Providing all children in the Wilhemina Children’s Hospital with an opportunity has always been my main motivation,” says Prof. Dr. Elise van de Putte. The paediatrician specialising in social paediatrics and medical head of the outpatient care department at the University Medical Center was recently appointed professor. With her new chair of Life Cycle Paediatrics, Van de Putte will be focusing on supporting children’s social and emotional development. 

Elise van de Putte

Oil spill

Van de Putte has been active in the field of social paediatrics for years, both as a physician and as an academic. She believes that her appointment as professor will give her the chance to broadly share her knowledge on unrecognised pain and chronic fatigue in children, especially concerning children suffering from rheumatism, gastrointestinal disease and cancer. Van de Putte hopes for a metaphorical metaphorical oil spill, that will help longitudinal studies on children’s general well-being become more mainstream.

Continue reading below the image.

Photo: Ed van Rijswijk

Healthy play, better coping

As a co-researcher, Van de Putte is involved in 'Healthy Play, Better Coping', an interdisciplinary research project organised by Dynamics of Youth. This project looks at specific questions, such as: to what extent does the development of chronically ill children differ from that of normal children? And how can we positively influence their development by offering various forms of play? To this end, Van de Putte is cooperating with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Utrecht Centre for Game Research. "This partnership facilitates innovative treatment methods, involving the virtual world, for example. A multidisciplinary cooperation is a condition for innovation", says Dr Van de Putte.

Children require care even after being discharged, and even after their 18th birthday
Elise van de Putte
Medical head Ambulatory Care, pediatrician and researcher
Foto: Ivar Pel
Photo: Ivar Pel

Looking beyond your own hospital

In addition to multidisciplinary cooperation, Van de Putte has also been looking into multisectoral cooperation. "Children require care even after being discharged, and even after their 18th birthday, and this is an important part of the life-cycle approach. It will be challenging to develop this further, as we are only at the beginning of this process.

Foto: Kees Rutten
Photo: Kees Rutten

Letting the child decide

Van de Putte’s goal is 'to help sick children develop to their maximum potential'. Her expectation is that children will increasingly set the agenda when consulting with their doctor. Van de Putte has recently developed a tool, enabling children to more clearly communicate with their doctor about what’s important to them. 

The inaugural address by Van de Putte will be held on 6 July 2018.

Dynamics of Youth

Dynamics of Youth is one of the four Strategic Themes of Utrecht University. Dynamics of Youth connects excellent child and youth research from all seven faculties, and looks for the answer to a crucial question for future generations: how can we help our children with their development into well-balanced individuals who can successfully hold their own in a rapidly changing environment?