In conversation with... Lisanne Brenkman

For this interview, it is alumna Lisanne Brenkman’s turn to talk. She completed the European Master in Health Economics and Management (Eu-HEM) in 2021. Lisanne followed the last track in Innsbruck, wrote her thesis there and then stayed in Austria.

Why did you want to stay in Austria?

I love the nature here very much, the mountains and the snow. I can ski and snowboard here and I also have a boyfriend here now. Furthermore, the lifestyle here is not as hectic as in the Netherlands, where I experienced life more like a rat race. Plus, employee benefits here are super generous with 25 vacation days, 13 public holidays, an end-of-year bonus of 2 monthly salaries, and an annual 500-euro climate bonus from the government!

How did your career take off after completing Eu-HEM?

I immediately started looking for a job. That was quite difficult because I don't speak German at a business level. Since April 2022, I have been working in Vienna at XUND, an IT company working with Artificial Intelligence. We provide digital healthcare solutions for people with a healthcare need who are unable to see their primary care physician. Also in Austria, the demand for care is rising and many people’s health literacy is declining. This is the target group we aim to help. For the first six months, I worked from Innsbruck, and in December 2022, I moved to Vienna.

Twee meiden met een mondkapje op, voor een kerstboom
Lisanne Brenkman in Innsbruck

What is health literacy?

Health literacy entails the skills individuals need in order to obtain, understand, assess and use health-related information to make health(care)-related decisions.

What do you do at XUND?

I am the Business Development Manager. I do business-to-business sales, especially internationally. We try to make existing solutions smarter. We always say: "We are the engine, not the car."

Why did you choose Eu-HEM at the time?

I come from a family of doctors and first studied medicine. So it would have made sense for me to do internships after that. I ended up choosing Eu-HEM because on a national or international level, I think you can make more of a difference as a manager or director in healthcare than as a healthcare professional.

And how did you find Eu-HEM?

COVID-19 has changed studying. I gave up my room during the initial lockdowns and went back to live with my mother. Fortunately, I was able to go to Innsbruck in September 2020. The restaurant industry was closed, but we were able to hike and ski. By the way, I noticed that ESHPM picked up on digitisation right away. Zoom calls were immediately scheduled and the transition to online lectures was smooth and swift (don't tell, but ESHPM actually did that much better than Innsbruck). Moreover, I learned so much at Eu-HEM: diverse and up-to-date knowledge, for example, about HTA, innovation and ethics.  

Een groep skiërs op de piste
Lisanne Brenkman in Tirol

Do you have any fond memories of lecturers?

Absolutely, specifically of Anne Marie Weggelaar and Maureen Rutten-van Mölken. Anne Marie Weggelaar helped me even after my studies. I had videocalls with her on how to strategise my innovation project. I thought Maureen Rutten-van Mölken gave stellar lectures. And regarding MCI Innsbruck, I have fond memories of Stephan Schlögl and Siegfried Walch. Stephan was my thesis supervisor and Siegfried the head of our MCI department and a member of Eu-HEM board. Both have given me great support, both during and after the Eu-HEM programme. I am still discussing future collaborations with them.

What are your plans for the future?

I am starting an AI bachelor’s degree in September, as I would like to stay up to date with the industry. I am closely monitoring developments like ChatGPT. In the future, I want to start my own company focused on digitisation in healthcare. I already have a small business selling English notebooks. These offer guidelines to people experiencing stress. It contains tools to find out exactly what is causing the stress, allowing you to experience more control over your emotions. I would also like to have a Dutch translation developed. And I also have a childhood dream, which is to act and play in musicals. Maybe someday I can fulfil both dreams. In any case, I am very grateful to Eu-HEM for all that I have learned. 

In conversation with... you?

Do you have fond memories of your time at SAG/iBMG/ESHPM that you’d like to share with your fellow alumni? If so, please contact us at

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