CAPHRI Societal Impact Team Award for research on COVID-19 in nursing homes

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This year's award was presented by jury member Dr Cristian Ghergu, project leader Maastricht Platform for Community Engaged Research (MPCER).

On 23 November 2021, the team within Maastricht University's research institute CAPHRI that investigates the impact of COVID-19 in nursing homes received the CAPHRI Societal Impact Team Award for the great national and international impact their research has had on the well-being of nursing home residents.

MPCER project leader Cristian Ghergu was part of the jury for the selection for the CAPHRI Societal Impact Team Award. The jury members were:

  • Cristian Ghergu, project leader Maastricht Platform Community Engaged Research (MPCER)
  • Bouwien Janssen-Kuijpers, Director Development & Alumni Relations UM, Director of University Fund Limburg (SWOL)
  • Margot Krijnen, Communications Adviser UM​

The nominees were: 

  • Covid-19 in Nursing Homes. - AGEING AND LONG-TERM CARE
  • Team of Occupational Epidemiology for their role and contribution to the programme 4Limburg: Towards a Vital, Sustainable and Inclusive Society. - FUNCTIONING, PARTICIPATION AND REHABILITATION
  • Covid-19 team: A collaboration between department of Social Medicine, the department of Medical Microbiology and the Public Health Service South Limburg. - HEALTH INEQUITIES AND SOCIETAL PARTICIPATION
  • Forensic epidemiology research team. - OPTIMISING PATIENT CARE 
  • The development of Public Health Competency Framework in cooperation with ASPHER en WHO Europe. - CREATING VALUE-BASED HEALTH CARE

The jury was impressed with the quality of the nominations: "It was a difficult decision to make as all nominees made very strong claims to the award. The main reasons why we chose the Covid-19 in Nursing Homes project were their work’s close alignment with values of societal relevance, exposure, and inclusion. It is a project actively engaged with practices of care for a vulnerable and historically neglected population. Their work dealt with a highly charged and difficult topic, navigating concerns around reducing exposure to covid-19 risks, while also attending to the lived experiences and needs of nursing home residents, their families and communities, as well as those engaged in care work. The research was extensive, and produced meaningful outcomes, reaching a wide audience in the media, as well as policy makers, thus contributing to care-related policy decisions that included the knowledges of those affected by them. 

This team's work is timely, and as we settle with the fact that living with COVID 19 is becoming a long-term situation, we see it as highly relevant, and necessitating continuity (as do the other excellent candidates!). 

The research team of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes consists of Dr. Ramona Backhaus, Audrey Beaulen MSc., Dr. Bram de Boer, Prof. dr. Jan Hamers, Johanna Rutten MSc, Erica de Vries MSc., Dr. Judith Urlings and Prof. dr. Hilde Verbeek.

Read an interview with Dr. Ramona Backhaus by Margot Krijnen here