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28 June 2017

Movers & Shakers

Meet Vida Augustinienė, new IDF Europe Board Member from Lithuania

Vida Augustinienė qualified as an engineer in Lithuania and worked for 15 years in construction engineering. After she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986, she decided to dedicate herself to learning and sharing knowledge about lifestyle and nutrition related to diabetes.

In 1989 Vida and a number of medical doctors founded the Lithuanian Diabetes Association (LDA), of which she became President in 1993 and has been re-elected ever since.

She regularly holds sessions sharing evidence-based information on diabetes to empower patients to control their disease, prevent complications, have an active relationship with healthcare professionals and generally live life to the fullest. Vida also dedicates much of her time to advocate for a patient-oriented National diabetes prevention, treatment and control program with public authorities and the medical sector.

Since 1994 Vida Augustinienė is the editor of the Lithuanian Diabetes Association newspaper ,,Diabetas“; she authored six books about the control of diabetes and proper nutrition, many articles in the Lithuanian and foreign press and presented at numerous national and international meetings.

Between 1993 and 1999 Vida was a member of the National St. Vincent Declaration committee, and was a Member of the Board of the European Patients Forum between 2009  and 2015 .In 2002 at her initiative the Council of Representatives of Patient's Organizations of Lithuania (LPOAT) was founded, representing to date 27 organisations of patients with various chronic diseases. Vida Augustinienė chairs the Council of LPOAT, which is a member of International Alliance of Patients‘ Organisations  and of the European Patient Forum. Since 1995 she is a member of the European  Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Vida Augustinienė is at the origin of a number of changes in Lithuanian legislation, which enable patient organisations to participate in the decision-making process regarding the development of healthcare. Since 2003 she is a member of the mandatory health insurance Council and a freelance expert of the Healthcare Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. Among other commitments, Vida was a member of the Board of the Lithuanian Ministry of Health between 2005 and 2012 and a member of the committee of diseases, medicines and medical aid instrument compensation between 2009 and 2012.

On the 5th of July, 2009, Vida Augustinienė was awarded the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Dieabetes Association became a Member of the International Diabetes Federation in 1994. Between 1994 and 2003 Vida Augustinienė was a member of the International Diabetes Journal Committee. In 1998 and 2001 she organised in Lithuania the meetings of the diabetes associations of Baltic States.

Vida Augustinienė already served as Board Member of the IDF European Region from 2003 to 2009, actively cooperating with national diabetes associations and proposing in 2004 the „DEPAC“ project - Diabetes Experts‘ Panel from Accessing Countries – through whichrepresentatives of patient organisations participated on an equal foot with professionals in EU-related discussions. In 2006 Vida Augustinienė performed an analysis of rights and social status of patients from Central and Eastern European countries and new members of European Union. She is a regular participant in summit meetings of diabetes organisations of Eastern European countries.

As member of the Board of the IDF European Region, Vida Augustinienė wishes to contribute her knowledge and experience to help Members further develop institutionally; to promote prevention and healthy living; to develop education and diabetes plans; to defend human rights and fight against discrimination.