In Memoriam: Jan Weijers

Jan Weijers, member of our board, manager, colleague, jack of all trades, drinking buddy to many, died September 8th, 2019 at the age of 53. Surrounded by his loved ones, he finally had to give up the battle he could not win. Chemotherapy did not cure the metastasized colon cancer.

Jan started working for, what was then the Interuniversity Cardiology Institute Netherlands (ICIN)-an institute of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)- in 2007. In a time when the KNAW drastically cut the budgets, Jan transformed his role from ‘secretary to the directors’ to ‘general manager’. Jan took the “general” seriously. He not just supervised the administrative organization, but also made coffee for guests, changed lightbulbs, organized conventions, wrote the coding for our ERP and vacuumed the hall if he thought that had to be done. Jan made things happen, not in the least by doing them himself.

In the period from 2013 to 2016 Jan played an important part in making sure the planned discontinuation of ICIN was transformed into a restart as Netherlands Heart Institute. Jan was proud to become a member of the board of this new organization. 
Jan also was instrumental in the forming of the “Holland Heart House”. Instigated by Jan, in 2015 five organizations in the field of cardio-vascular research moved from an unremarkable office to the beautiful building we are now housed. Jan acted as project manager; instructed the interior designers, the building contractors, the removal company and did all but plaster the walls himself. 
Jan was very proud of “his” Holland Heart House. After the funeral ceremony, all attendees were invited to celebrate his life with drinks and bitterballen in the offices of the Netherlands Heart Institute.

We will miss Jan dearly.

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