"Through chemistry studies, a research position in pharmacy and a brief stint as a councillor, I eventually ended up in the communications department of Amsterdam UMC. A colourful array of jobs on my CV, but by now I have been feeling right at home here for eleven years now." Michel Tromp is an Online Landscape consultant. "From websites and apps to chatbots and digital forms, within the walls of Amsterdam UMC I am mister online." Outside those walls he is also husband to Irtiza and father of five children.
"A new website or app, advice on an existing site, sparring partner in further development, a digital form, errors in the chatbot, tips on Google Analytics, especially if it has anything to do with online."
Why are you committed to healthcare?
"Of course I am not at the bedside. However with my work I can, for example, ensure that the administrative burden on healthcare staff is reduced and that they have more time for patient care or research. For AMR (AMC Medical Research BV, ed.), for example, I developed 36 digital forms so that staff there have more time for other things, namely supporting researchers in their medical scientific research projects. In this way, I also contribute in my own way to affordable, good healthcare. A rewarding job. “
Amsterdam UMC aims to be diverse and inclusive. Where are the opportunities?
"When Amsterdam UMC sailed with a boat for the first time in 2018 during the Pride Amsterdam boat parade - I was part of the organisation at the time - one of the people on board came up to me: 'I've been working here for 25 years but today, for the first time, I have the feeling that I'm allowed to be who I am.' I found that heart breaking. We are only inclusive when everyone can talk about their private lives at the coffee machine without hesitation or self-censorship. That you, as a woman, can simply say that there is a woman waiting for you at home or that you, as a man, can say that you have been out and about again as Joke at the weekend. Not always having to watch your words would take away so much tension and stress from people. The freer and better people feel in the workplace, the better they perform. That also means being able to talk about any awkwardness. We are all just people and sometimes we say something stupid. Point that out, explain to someone why it offends you. Don't immediately side line someone with big words like racist, sexist. Today's cancel culture is anything but inclusive. We are learning, it is a process of trial and error. But with mutual respect and openness we will get there.”
A good example of inclusiveness within Amsterdam UMC?
“With this pride boat we show the outside world that we want to be there for everyone. Of course it's great that we as an organisation are sailing along and are visible, but how often do we actually say within the walls of our hospital that you matter ? With support from the Board of Directors, we started a project with the pride working group to spread that message internally as well. We want to organise a Month of Equality with all kinds of activities. Think, for example, of an Equality Tree at a central location on both sites, where people can hang a message anonymously. What are they up against? What do they feel insecure about? Perhaps they have experienced something with colleagues? We will work with the input from that tree. Another idea is to pin an equality pin on the employees at the entrance, accompanied by a message like 'you are welcome here !’ Hopefully that will lead to open discussions.”
Outside of working hours?
"From squid to lamb testicles and zebra steaks, my husband and I love to make our food at home into something special. I also love to travel. Or no, let me correct myself . I hate travelling but I love to be somewhere else. Japan, for example, has really captured my heart. The culture there is so different from ours. I like to immerse myself there with my nephew Pepijn. Completely out of our comfort zone, because English is hardly spoken there. And I also like to attend a party now and then. Recharging by completely unloading.”