Introducing Károly Illy

As of October 1st Károly Illy has taken over the leadership of Michael Rutgers as director of Lung Foundation Netherlands (Longfonds). Illy, a former paediatrician at Rivierenland Hospital in the Netherlands, strongly believes that prevention is always better than cure. He is eager to represent the interests of people with chronic lung disease.

Illy has been working as a paediatrician for almost 30 years. His wealth of expertise and experience in the medical sector and in managing healthcare organisations to Longfonds. Furthermore, Illy has been chairman at the Dutch Paediatric Association until recently and was a prominent member of the Dutch Outbreak Management Team (OMT) during the COVID Pandemic. 

First 100 days intention 

Illy: ‘Longfonds has an important role to play in informing people with lung disease, their relatives, etcetera. In my first 100 days my intention is to listen to lots of different people. My priority is to get to know both the people we represent and the people we partner with, including the scientists that work with Longfonds to find a breakthrough for chronic lung disease.’ 

‘We need to focus on two aspects: preventing lung disease and finding better treatments and, hopefully, cures. It is vital to keep involving people with lung disease to keep that balance. Through their participation and by working with them, we can make better informed decisions on what the right research is to invest in.’ 

Getting acquainted 

After having been an advocate for people who suffer from chronic lung disease for over 17 years, Michael Rutgers retired as director of Longfonds at the end of September 2023. Thanks to him, the importance of clean air and the need for more scientific lung research has received a lot of attention. Shortly before his leave, Rutgers exchanged ideas with Károly Illy on several important topics.  

We heartily invite you to watch the video (in Dutch):