On 26 November 2008, Health First Europe (HFE) hosted a special farewell dinner to celebrate Mel Read’s glittering reign as HFE’s first Honorary President.
The members of the HFE Executive and Advisory Committees thanked Ms Read for her excellent work and her dedication during the past three years. During that period, Mel has overseen the development of HFE and helped to forge important ongoing relationships with key stakeholders including patient groups, healthcare workers, the medical technology industry, MEPs and other key policy decision-makers in the field of healthcare.
Ms Read was a popular Labour Member of the European Parliament from 1989 to 2004 and has a strong background in trade unions and a keen interest in healthcare issues. She stood down at the 2004 European election and was elected President of the European Cervical Cancer Association in the same year.
The newly appointed Honorary President of HFE is Ms Mary Banotti from Ireland. Ms Banotti spent 20 years in the European Parliament and for 5 years was a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. With a solid background in nursing, Ms Banotti was elected European of the Year in 1997.