Head Office Vienna
The office of the Östereichische Gesellschaft für Neurologie und Psychiatrie (ÖGNP) was located in a room at the Neurological Hospital Rosenhügel in Vienna. Uschi Tschabitscher worked part time for this society in the office. Already before the foundation of the EFNS in 1991 Franz Gerstenbrand was a member of the management committee of this society and with the permission of the Austrian Society and the medical director of the hospital, Professor Gernot Schnaberth, the EFNS could use this room (free of charge). Uschi Tschabitscher was now able to start her brilliant work for the EFNS.
After a short time her workload increased and the engagement of a second person was urgent. That was the moment when Lisa Müller, now executive director of the EFNS, joined the secretariat of the EFNS.
However, not only the workload increased, but also the stationary / papers, computers, telephones, faxes and congress materials…- and we had to look for more space.
Uschi was acquainted with the director of the Wiener Medizinische Akademie, a non profit professional congress organisation in Vienna. This organisation had its office in an administrative building of the old Wiener Allgemeines Krankenhaus, which dates back to Joseph II in 1780 and was nowadays renewed as the University Campus. She found out that they had two rooms unused, which we could rent in 2002. In addition, we were allowed to use their meeting rooms.
Due to the financial development of the EFNS the Management Committee considered to purchase an office of its own and asked me ( after approval by council) to look for it.
Anja Sander, in the meantime a further co-worker in the office, Lisa Müller and I spent some time viewing many real estates and finally found a freshly finished building just above the Museumsquartier and near the centre of the city.
The empty space could be constructed and shaped by an architect, exactly according to our needs.
We own now 4 nicely accommodated secretarial spaces, a small meeting room, a big one on the upper floor and a “social corner”.
Branch Office Florence
President Franz Gerstenbrand recognised that Luigi Amaducci from Florence, Vice president of the EFNS, already had tight connections to the EU in Brussels and it was decided to build up strong connections in Brussels to promote neurology at the political level. This activity was much supported by Jes Olesen, but all the work could not be delegated to the head office in Vienna. Consequently, a branch office in Florence had to be opened. From then on, Evelyn Sipido was responsible for this task and later on for many others activities that are described in her personal remarks in this chapter.
Branch Office Prague
The fall of the iron curtain in Europe and the foundation of the EFNS coincided closely in time and the EFNS, from the beginning, felt very responsible towards our colleagues in the middle and eastern European countries. To have a close connection to these countries another branch office was opened in Prague where Pavel Kalvach was responsible with the help of Magda Dohnalova. Also this office is still very active and efficiently organising important activities such as the department-department programme and the EFNS Academy for young neurologists.
By Eberhard Deisenhammer and Lisa Müller