Prof. Dr. Jan Peter Balkenende



Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

When I think back on Noaber Year 2022, two dates immediately come to mind. The 21st and 23rd of June! Coincidence? I'm not sure yet.

On the longest day of the year, we organized the change event. More than 180 friends of Noaber gathered at Zonneoord Estate to be inspired about change by a variety of special speakers. Michelle van Tongerloo, a Rotterdam street doctor, spoke about her work with people who fall through the cracks in our society. We were moved by the experiences she shared and the call for changes she made. Her story fit in well with Jet Bussemaker's introduction on inequality of opportunity and health. Doctor Anne Rozendaal also informed us about the changes to our health as a result of climate developments. Unfortuna

tely, Safi Bahcall was unable to be physically present due to a COVID infection. He made an online appearance to challenge us to go for 'loonshots': pioneering innovations that may seem crazy and

 have the risk of failing but which can result in great change! I cannot mention and summarize all the speakers here. But take my word, it was a meaningful day with talks that continued late into the mid-summer night.

And then that other date.

Two days after the longest day, we as a board and some staff members paid a working visit to the Radboud University Medical Center. Talk about changes! We listened to presentations on interesting projects we are involved in as Noaber. For example, the project in which patients diagnosed with cancer receive evidence-based lifestyle advice. And then the developments in the field of ‘prehabilitation:’ preparing patients to ‘weather the storm’ of their surgery and avoid or overcome complications.

Incidentally, it was also a year of change for Lexmond residents. When the village no longer had a permanent GP, two GPs were found in cooperation with Buurtdokters, a Noaber investment, to take over the practice. After all, a familiar and trusted neighborhood doctor, who really knows his patients, their life history, and context, is essential. In Lexmond, too. The fact that the residents helped make the financial side of the takeover possible through crowdfunding made it that much more special.

So much more happened this past year.

On 4 April, we had the opportunity to present Noaber's vision on the importance of prevention in healthcare at the Future Health Basel 2022 conference. The topic of lifestyle and prevention already gets a lot of attention within Noaber, also in relation to policymakers and other organizations in the world of healthcare. We reflected, partly using Rien van Gendt's insights [1], on the role of philanthropy in general and that of Noaber in particular. Here, of course, we think about the values that Paul and Mineke Baan - the founders - stood and stand for and that are now being carried forward by the next generation committed to Noaber. Keeping those values at the center and continuing to reflect on them strengthens and inspires Noaber's work.

In short... 2022 was (again) a year in which, through our investments and programs, we were able to realize our mission: driving change, improving health.

For that, we are grateful!


Annelies van Veldhuizen-Baan
Board member

The Only Constant in Life Is Change.
Heraclitus (540-480 B.C.)

Change is a constant part of our humanity. There is something very plausible in this thought because we experience its consequences. For example, current economic, demographic, and societal changes are causing our existing systems of care to be strained. For this reason, Noaber has chosen a clear direction. We want to improve health and encourage change, preferably within the existing systems. In this annual report, you will read about the efforts and developments in 2022 that have been important in realizing this mission.

One of the highlights of 2022 was the change conference with speakers from home and abroad. We looked at change from different perspectives. As Jan Peter Balkenende,  chairman of the board, mentioned in his preface, the contributions of Michelle van Tongerloo (a street doctor from Rotterdam) and Safi Bahcall (author of the book Loonshots) were particularly memorable. 

In addition, our third social health program has really taken off. This program aims to increase awareness, evidence, and acceptance of social health in the Netherlands. Looking forward to 2023, there are extraordinary prospects as far as this program is concerned. We look forward to the results of a survey on social health conducted by Motivaction. The outcomes will support us in continuing our long-term vision in a sustainable way.

Important results were also achieved in other areas such as Noaber Ventures. AMT Medical, an investment of NextGen Ventures, is a company that is developing a highly innovative solution for bypass surgery. The first ten patients have been successfully operated on with this technique and the solutions are being assembled in a clean room at Zonneoord Estate.[2]

It is with a good feeling that I look back on 2022. It became increasingly clear that our mission is more relevant than ever. There is still much to do, however. This emphasizes the importance of believing in something; one of the most important values I inherited from my parents. But I also learned 'gratitude' from them. Gratitude for the commitment, knowledge and skills of our Noaber employees, for example. Because without them, we could not have realized our mission for our ‘Noabers’ (neighbors).



Preface with Prof. Dr. Jan Peter Balkenende

Annelies Baan