Fransje van der Waals, together with Prof. Joep Lange († 2014), founded Health[e]Foundation in 2003 to fill the gap in knowledge and expertise among doctors and nurses with respect to poverty-related diseases in developing countries. At Health[e]Foundation, she drew on 30 years of experience as a GP and university professor of Women's Studies to develop an education curriculum and teaching method for professionals with an emphasis on blended learning.
Professors from Columbia University (US), Johns Hopkins University (US), Imperial College London (UK), University College London (UK) and Yale University (US) helped design the curriculum. The study on the effect of distance learning, particularly in developing countries, will be based on an extensive analysis of the quantitative data that has been collected over the past decade from over 10,000 participants in the e-learning programmes. In the AMC's Global Health department, Van der Waals will develop master classes for medical students focused on working in developing countries. In addition, she will concentrate on developing a Master's programme in Global Health Education at the Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute in cooperation with Duke University (US).
Van der Waals studied medicine and received her MD degree from the University of Amsterdam. From 1987 to 1999, she was the head of the University's Women's Health Studies Department. Van der Waals earned her doctorate following a study on sex differences concerning the effect and use of benzodiazepines. Previously, she conducted research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (US).