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Dr B.M. Buurman-van Es (1977) has been named professor of Acute Geriatric Care at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA). She will be combining this chair with her position as professor of Transmural Geriatric Care at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS).

Prof Bianca Buurman - van Es
Credits: Dirk Gillissen

Bianca Buurman studies how acute care needs arise in elderly persons, and how we can structure care in such a way that it will contribute to the quality of life and retention of self-sufficiency among the elderly. An acute need for care might arise, for instance, if there is a medical issue that requires treatment in hospital, when the caregiver is overburdened or when an elderly person is in the final phase of life.

Added value for the elderly

Together with her research group, she explores ways to better organise the cooperation between GP, district nurse, care home and hospital. This might entail preventing stays in hospital by offering preventative care in the GP’s practice, shifting hospital care tasks to the district in the form of a Neighbourhood Hospital or providing more effective counselling during and after a stay in hospital. The central considerations at all times are whether care provides added value for elderly persons, whether it fosters improved cooperation and whether it is generally effective. To that end, partnerships have been established with elderly persons themselves, professionals, healthcare insurers, municipalities and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

In her role as professor, Buurman also hopes to promote the implementation of interventions that have proven effective and to create the preconditions needed to realise this goal, such as systematic funding and the education of future professionals.

Buurman is involved in teaching students of Medicine at the UvA and Nursing/Physiotherapy at the AUAS. Those efforts are focused primarily on the organisation of care and providing care to vulnerable elderly persons.

About Bianca Buurman

Buurman began her career as a nurse at the AMC in 2000. She obtained her doctorate degree at the UvA in 2011 with her PhD thesis Screening, Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Strategies to Prevent Functional Decline in Hospitalized Older Patients. In 2015, Buurman was named associate professor in the Geriatric Medicine unit of the department of Internal Medicine; she has also served as AMC Principal Investigator since 2016. Buurman has additionally been a professor of Transmural Geriatric Care at the AUAS since 2015. She continues to work as a nurse one day every two weeks.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research awarded Buurman a Veni grant in 2014, and she received a Rubicon grant in 2013 to conduct research at Yale University. In 2014, she won the American Geriatrics Society New Investigator Award for her promising research in the field of geriatrics. She has in recent years secured funding for her research from the ZonMW programmes ‘From Knowledge to Action’, ‘The National Care Programme for the Elderly’, ‘Quality in Health Care’ and ‘Palliative Care’, and from the NutsOhra fund.

Besides her work at the AMC and the AUAS, Buurman is currently a member of the Amsterdam Public Health programme council on Ageing & Later Life, the Ben Sajet Training Centre and the Amsterdam Centre on Ageing. She has a seat on the Health Council of the Dutch Committee on Self-Sufficiency of Elderly Persons as well.