This is the News page of
Marinela Olaroiu and Wim van den Heuvel

About us

17-19 October 2019
Another invitation came some time ago to participate in the National Conference on Palliative Care in Romania, to be held in Poiana Brasov. The title of the conference 'MISIUNE, VIZIUNE, VALORIS. Marinela and Wim were asked to prepare a workshop on the impact of (top) research on (clinical) palliative care practice. A challenge we accepted with pleasure.

10-12 October 2019
The annual conference on family medicine is a real event each year, with when - you are lucky - a beautifull boattrip on the Danube. We were lucky. Marinela presented one lecture on 'Palliative care in familiy medicine' and Wim one lecture in English (translated by Marinela for participants who doubted about their English) on 'From frailty to resilience'.

3 October 2019
Today is time for tuica. Wonderful weather, we start at 9.00 in the morning. We plan to distillate 3 ‘kazans’, but the gas supply is inefficient today (actually for the last months): we reach 8 liters at 19.00. The good news: the quality is +++++. And the help of Mihai was really needed. (See also Personal)

29 September 2019
We organized a diner in a Lebanese restaurant in Craiova with friends and family. The quality was good, the taste provoking, the service was poor. We enjoyed the wonderful evening with Nela, Tatiana, Lucy and Gaby ……….… We almost forgot Teo? Of course not!

25 September 2019
A day for relaxation with Dragos, who came to visit a football match in Craiova and to support us to solve some technical ICT related problems. Now we feel ‘protected’ again.

23 September 2019
RAIN! Not much, but after 2 months it seems like a miracle. We had never thought – after living so long in the Netherlands – that we were excited about rain!

14-19 September 2019
Still no rain, but we cannot wait longer: we had to pick all the grapes. The quality of the ‘most’ is good; the quantity of wines is small: all together (various red and white wines) we will have about 150 liters. The remains are preparing to become a good tuica.

3-11 September 2019
For some medical consultations and planned meetings, we had to travel (by air) to the Netherlands. Unfortunately, it was also the time of strikes at KLM, which resulted in some annoying delays. Also, one of the planned meetings was cancelled. All together, we had full agenda and were happy we had some time to visit friends in Schildwolde and Spaubeek.

1-2 September 2019
We started to pick the first grapes. These are some nobles ones. The heat threatens to dry them out. We expect about 15 liters of nice wine. The other grapes have to wait a few weeks (hoping for rain).

6-17 August 2019
The rain has stopped a week ago and now the heat (canicula) is ruling our life. We spend days in Varvor – in the forest – to clean it, to make some walking space and to build a few terraces.

29 July 2019
Time for a second medical consultation. The advice is again a treatment with electrotherapy

25-27 July 2019
In a few weeks our garden in Varvor has turned into a jungle. We need help to find our way. Fortunately we have Mihai!

12-22 July 2019
Our friends from Spaubeek - Margot and Fons - have honored us with a visit. We enjoyed being together and exploring Oltenia a bit, urban and rural parts. At the end we made a small tour and visited Sibiu, Shigisoara, Brasov, Sinaia and Bucharest (see also personal).

29 June 2019
Today a special day: Teo's hair needs to be cut. The honor is up to Nasu. After the ceremony, which included cutting the first piece of hair and a prediction about the future profession of Teo, there was a festive barbecue with friends. A beautiful tradition!

24 June 2019
Traveling and working in the garden have a price: back pain. A medical consultation is required, including an X-ray. The advice is - as a first step - a treatment fan for two weeks: physical therapy. Fortunately there is another distraction in between: a farewell concert for Alexandru Racu by the corala academica a filarmonicii “OLTENIA” Craoiva led by Florian-George Zamfir and 3 violin concerts (Bach, Beethoven and Brahms) by the symphony orchestra "OLTENIA"
with Gian Luigi Zampieri as conductor and Florin Croitoru as soloist

21-23 June 2019
When we are back in Craiova after 6 weeks, the garden looks very different. High temperature and lots of rain have been successful: wheelbarrows full of weeds (see also personal).

18-20 June 2019
After some busy weeks in the Netherlands we are on our way to Craiova again. We have partly taken a different route: we visit and spend the night in Leoben (Austria) and Belgrade (Serbia).

25 May 2019
After 10 days being back in the Netherlands, the garden is ‘presentable’ and we are ready for a barbecue, just in time.

21 May 2019
After 4 years we meet again with Wim’s sisters (in law) and brothers (in law). This time the place to be is Nuenen, where we also met 10 years ago. A warm and pleasant meeting which showed evidently, that we are getting old.
Afterwards, we met Vincent in the park.

14 May 2019
Wim had an inspiring meeting with the committee on ‘Long-term care and support’  in Groningen, followed by an interview with former colleagues of the department of sociology to document ‘narrative history’. Walking through the city of Groningen we meet people, which we did not see for 20 years; a special experience.

10-13 May 2019
Today we leave, going back to the Netherlands. How will our garden look after 6 weeks? For our way back, we choose a road we have explored for the last time 15 years ago. First stop at the baroque city of Oradea. The next day along the Tartar mountains to classic Cracow. Our last stop is in amazing Dresden.

7 May 2019
Pomana today, to remember the death of Marinela’s mother 7 years ago. We start at the graveyard and afterwards we bring her favorite dishes and drinks to family and friends.

27-29 April 2019
King day followed by ‘Orthodox Easter’: days for relaxation and meditation in our garden and visiting friends.

20 April 2019
In preparation for 'western Easter' a concert visit is appropriate: Placido Domingo jr and friends in Polivalente in Craiova. And what kind of friends: Irina Polivanova and Laura Bretan.

9 April 2019
A wonderful daytrip with Luminita and Lauer to Polovragi, a pearl in Romania: an impressive landscape, a wonderful nature and caves. A slippery walking tour through the main cave and throughthe women's cave - partly crowling - where a colony of bats lives. A visit to the 500-year-old monastery of Polovragi is a must (see also personal).

1 April 2019
A wonderful day to prepare the ‘garden’ around our cottage in Varvor for the summer: cutting some trees, cleaning the garden and plant some flowers.

21-23 March 2019
We attended the multidisciplinary, international conference on ‘Oncology in Medical Practice’ in Bucharest. Marinela presented two invited lectures: one on palliative care and one about ‘stop smoking alternatives’. Wim’s invited lecture dealt with ‘National screening programs on cancer: 40 years Dutch experiences’.

14-18 March 2019
In preparing the garden for spring and summer, the highest priority have the grapes. So pruning the grapes plants first in Craiova, followed by the plants in Varvor and Varvor de Sus. Four days of hard, but nice work in real spring time weather.

6-9 March 2019
Three days to travel quietly – along the highways and places we know so well by now – and enjoying as usual from our stops (in Ried in Inntal and Arad this time) to arrive around 1 o’clock in a sunny, warm Craiova. Welcome home!

23-24 February 2019
Each year around this time it is time to look back to the year, which has been passed by. The best way to do so is to collect and select all pictures we had made during 2018. The selection is placed by hand in a classic ‘foto album’.

20 February 2019
The first meeting of the last year of the Committee ‘Between Knowing and Doing’ dealt with the ‘self-evaluation’ the committee wants to execute before it will be discharged (1 November 2019). An intensive discussion between the committee members opened an interesting plan for a critical view back and suggestions for future improvements and opportunities. There is still work to do!

14 February 2019
Valentine, a day for a gift to a beloved one. A new car (Volvo XC40) is not a problem. Getting an insurance for the car is, when computer systems and/or insurance employees fail.

13 February 2019
We 'celebrate' the Rembrandt Year each month; today, in the Mauritshuis, The Hague. A museum visit once per month is a medicine for eye and mind.

5-8 February 2019
We started two new research projects. One is working on the issue of ageing and life expectancy, a follow-up of former projects, but looking from a new theoretical perspective. The other, also a continuation of our former interest in frailty, is looking at frailty in geriatric wards.

2-3 February 2019
The (former) Northern Centre of Health care Research of the University of Groningen  organized a reunion for its former workers. Of course, Wim had to go there. It was very special to meet so many ‘old colleagues’ after so many years.
We used this occasion to stay some days in Northern Netherlands (in peaceful ‘Prinsenhof’) and visited the colorful exhibition in the Groninger Museum of the US artist Chihuly (GRRROM).
Of course, we made a stop at the Fries Museum for historical exhibition ‘Rembrandt and Saskia’ and took time to walk through beautiful Leeuwarden. (see also personal)

22-26 January 2019
For some time we are working on a study on healthy ageing, i.e. looking for determinants of healthy ageing in European countries. The results are interesting, scientifically as well as politically. We have finished and submitted a manuscript  and wait.

12-20 January 2019
Some time ago, we decided to go for a real winter experience and booked a trip to Lapland. It is an extraordinary experience. The temperature of – 35 Celsius, which does not feel that cold. The darkness for 19 hours, which does look like darkness. Walking for hours through immaculate snow, in a crystal clear air, just meeting a few reindeer. And for amusement  (it should forbidden): sledding with the husky dogs and also taking a snowmobile ride (see also personal).

9 January 2019
The next issue of PALIAŢIA – Journal of palliative care has been published, see

5-6 January 2019
We were invited before, but now we had the time to visit ‘Caravaggio en Europa’ at the Central Museum in Utrecht. We combined it with a stay for a few days in peaceful Utrecht, enjoying the hospitality of Karel V.

28 December 2018

The next issue of the Romanian Journal of Family Medicine is published. See ISSN 2601 – 4874


Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous 2019.


Christmas 2018

20 December 2018
There was a time when we cut the Christmas tree from our garden with the grandchildren. Those were the days, my friends! But we managed (see personal) and we wish all our friends
Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous 2019.

11-13 December 2018
Now the autumn storms have done their work, we start to clean up the garden and prepare it for the winter. Any chance for a white Christmas? Maybe after 2030 …..!?

7-9 December 2018
We were invited to discuss ideas for an European research proposal (maybe EU funded?) on ´Aggression towards health care professionals´ in Oostende, Belgium. A stimulating meeting in an inspiring environment (storm at the seaside and fresh fishes for diner). And it offered the opportunity to visit family!

30 November 2018
Having a meeting next to the national park ´de Veluwe´ to evaluate research proposal, which intend to improve long-term care in the Netherlands makes the way to go there a pleasure as well as the objective.

19-21 November 2018
After 6 months (after the flood of mud and water) we could refurnish the souterrain. It is especially protected for flooding again (it was the first time since we moved here 20 years ago), but we decided to have our offices upstairs. The souterrain is now prepared for art exhibitions.

15-16 November 2018
It may be unbelievable, but still we eat the grapes, directly picked from our garden. They taste wonderful. But now we harvested all because winter is coming. So, we prepare the walnuts, a lot which we picked in Varvor, for consumption in the next months.

9 November 2018
The 5th network meeting of Dutch research groups, participating in the research programme ‘Between Knowing and Doing’, was held at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. Wim attended the meeting , being the chairperson of the programme committee. It was – again – a inspiring, worthwhile meeting, showing the progress of evidence-based nursing interventions and the need for continuity in stimulating nursing research, essential for quality of health care.

6 November 2018
A meeting of (vice)chairpersons of the programme committees of The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development was held in The Hague, visited by Wim. Central point of the discussion was about the assessment of the impact of programme outcomes.

31 October 2018
An expert meeting was organized by the research programme of The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development on ‘Long-term care and support’ in Utrecht. We both were invited to participate and we enjoyed the presentations as well as the discussions on what is needed to improve long-term care and support in the Netherlands. Evidently, a lot is needed.

29 October 2018
Today, we have the last meeting with the insurance-expert to summarize the complete damages and restorations after the flood disaster in May. We have appreciated the involvement and openness of the expert. We miss and will miss various documents, instruments, paintings etc. in the coming months, but we are happy with what has been restored.  

26-27 October 2018
Still it is summer in Craiova, but other work is waiting in the Netherlands. So, we drove the road we know so well by now. And, we were lucky this time: not to much traffic. We made it in 20 hours.

18-19 October 2018 The fermentation of the white and rose wine stopped. The wines’ taste is ‘encouraging’, so we bottled 30 bottles of wine (chardonnay – galbena de odobesti) and 16 bottles of rose wine (pinot grigio).

12 October 2018 After the traditional start of the Academic year in Romania and the start of the concerts and opera cycles of the Filharmonica Oltenia Craiova, we attended concert for strings ‘Melancolie’ of the Romanian composer Constatin Arvinte, concert for two horns of Joseph Haydn, and serenade for strings of Piotr Tchaikovsky.

1 October 2018. Volume 11, no 4 of PALIAŢIA – Journal of palliative care has been published. See

20-22 September 2018The harvest of the red grapes was much less than in other years (about 180 liters now) with about 50 liters of most from the grapes in Craiova. We also have some rose grapes in Varvor with 20 liters of most. The most tasted very good. The fermentation process has started … patience now ……

16 September 2018 We attended the ceremony of the graduation and swearing in as dentist of Alina Roventa at the University of Craiova (see also personal). Congratulations Alina!

14 September 2018 We have picked the white grapes in Varvor and Craiova. The coming days it will be clear whether the wine will be as good as last year.

9-10 September 2018 The return journey to Craiova by plane takes 24 hours (i.e. 2 days): Spaubeek - Schiphol - Bucharest - Craiova. We made it.

2-3 September 2018 We started a short journey to the Netherlands for various meetings (on research, insurance, restoring, planning), feeling to be ‘on the move’ all the time.

30 August – 1 September 2018 We both were invited to the regional conference of family medicine in Constanta (see also personal).
Marinela presented a lecture on palliative care, entitled ‘Palliative care, between high tech and high touch’.
Wim’s presentation was about the relationship between Family Medicine and Geriatrics ‘A happy couple?’ It should be.

21-24 August 2018 Hard work in Varvor: cleaning the wood, cutting sick trees and constructing an outside toilet in the bush.

19 August 2018 A special day: The baptism of Teodor Mihai. A beautiful ceremony in the church, full of symbols, songs and blessings. And in the evening a big party with music, dancing, and fairy and fortuneteller. The next day in the afternoon an after party (see also personal).

3-5 August 2018 A cosy weekend with Dragos and Olga in Craiova, where we discovered a ‘frietkraam’, called ‘Holland friets’, but we went to a nice Turkish restaurant with good food in an old historic building.

27-28 July 2018 The old cow barn in Varvor (good for 90 cows in communist times) has fallen into disrepair. After a lot of paperwork and taxes, it must now be broken down. A job for large machines and after 2 days a large, flat field with new visitors (see also personal).

16-19 July 2018 Time to go to Varvor, where another challenging work is waiting: getting the garden (jungle) in order.

9-13 July 2018‘Back to normal’ again: Marinela publishing the next issue of the Romanian Journal of Family Medicine and together we start a pilot study on cooperation between general practitioners and medical specialists in Romania in cooperation with the University of Iasi.

3-7 July 2018 It is not garbage, but it needs again a lot of physical work: cleaning the garden from weeds in Craiova, which have profited from our 5 weeks absent.

30 June-2 July 2018 Spaubeek-Craiova: a familiar route by care by now. It brings relaxation after a ‘busy month’.

21-27 June 2018 Live is coming ‘back to normal’. Marinela revises a post-graduate course on Parkinson disease and prepares the next issue of PALIATIA. Wim has meetings in Utrecht and The Hague. Together, we attend the ‘fare-well’ symposium of Dr. Ruud Halfens, the founder of LPZ.

29 May-19 June 2018 Over 3 weeks of cleaning, selecting what still maybe usable, throwing away what has become rubbish (a lot with emotional value) and discussing reinstallation. The later will start after about 6 weeks, because first the basement has to been dried after it is completely cleaned.

27 May 2018 After two days driving we arrived in Spaubeek on Sunday evening. The mess and smell were indeed shocking. The water and mud had destroyed almost everything in the basement: the furniture, the bureau, bookshelves and books, paintings and porcelain sculptures, the central heating, the sauna, the Jacuzzi, the was machine, the wine cellar (see also Personal)…… We had to stay in a hotel for some nights.

22 May 2018 Being in Craiova we got an urgent message: our neighbourhood in Spaubeek was over flooded with water and mud. The outcome for our house: water and mud had taken over the complete basement. How to reach home as soon as possible with still a range of appointments abroad?

10-18 May 2018 Staying abroad for some weeks doesn’t mean that ‘regular work’ (reviewing research proposals, draft manuscripts, contribute to the development of new programmes and projects) ‘stops’. On the contrary, so Wim has been very busy to comment, judge, add, propose etc. ‘on distance’, which is sometimes not so easy. Direct discussions and meetings are preferable.

8 May 2018 In cooperation with various GPs and chair holders of Medical Schools in Romania, we started a project on quality of health care. The objectives include to analyse which factors affect quality of care and to propose policies to improve this quality. The project has an international part (comparing European countries and developments) and a national one (comparing regions and facilities).

2 May 2018 Marinela plans a new journal on family medicine, directed to General Practitioners and Health Care Centres in Romania. It will publish original research, facts and opinions on developments in primary health care, a special section on medical practice, and news. Summaries will be available in English.

23-31 April 2018 Travelling around historical borders between Ottoman Empire, Polish Kingdom, Austrian Empire, and more – old and recent ones – is travelling between territories occupied and/or claimed by many nations. It means visiting at least three countries: Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, admiring castles (build for defense, so many times attacked and conquered), medieval cities, and various main rivers, especially Danube and Dnister  (used to trade, travel and fight for centuries), and experiencing difference in cultures and infrastructure (especially roads), and enjoying local cuisine and nature. We enjoyed this well planned trip by Dragos with Olga. See also: personal.

16-17 April 2018 Time to travel to the country site to prune the grapes in the countryside and to clean the garden at the cottage in Varvor ‘above’.

14-15 April 2018 Two exciting days: what is the quality of the wine harvest 2017. We have three 'flavors': white chardonnay, red sec moldova, and red demi-sec cepage. Beautiful wines and in total 140 litters bottled.

1 and 8 April 2018 Western and Eastern Easter means a lot of free days, even more eggs and best wishes: Xristos inviat! And of course, the in between traditional Eastern diner with Nela, Gabi and Tatiana!

21-23 March 2018 On the way to Craiova; first stop in a place which is in between familiar: Ried i.O.; second stop the same: Arad. The night brought the surprise: half a meter snow! Fortunately, the main road was cleaned, so we arrived in time in Craiova. To reach the house we needed to clean the entrance first and to heat up the very cold house was second. We did it!

19 March 2018 When research outcomes show that new interventions are effective and efficient, it does not mean that these are introduced in practice. Wim had a meeting in Utrecht to discuss how to develop strategies to implement new research outcomes in nursing science. A real challenge!

18 March 2018 Family visits in Rijswijk and Amsterdam. In the next weeks the oldest and youngest granddaughters celebrate their birthdays: more than 10 years difference, and the oldest becomes 18 years: a special age!

14 March 2018 A new journal is launched today: Romanian Journal of Family Medicine.  It is initiated by Marinela and with help of family and friends the journal is now available on line: . An article entitled ‘Family medicine: does it matter?’ is written by Wim. Does it matter? Yes, but to understand why you have to read the article (

11 March 2018 A long planned meeting, i.e. Lisette, Maartje and Wim, was realized today. We started with coffee at Blue Hotel Nijmegen about 11.00, walked around the neighborhood where Thea was living and drove to the neighborhood Groenewoud where Lisette and Maartje were born and walked around between 1970 and 1977. At Grameystraat 6, the house lady invited us inside. A nice gesture, which we fully enjoyed. Next, we went for a walk to Estate Brakkestein as we did 45 years ago. Still a nice place to relax and … there is a nice restaurant ‘Beau’. A wonderful day with lovable memories.  

6 March 2018 Wim attended the second meeting of the program committee ‘Long-term care’ in Utrecht to discuss the draft of the five year program. The discussion was stimulating bringing forwards interesting perspectives by highly motivated program members.

8 and 22 February 2018 We took the time, but now it is time: we need new glasses. But what to choose;  there is so much to choose; it feels there is too much to choose. But we succeeded and now we have to get used to it. It will take some time.

26 January 2018
The research programme committee ‘Between Knowing and Doing’ aims to stimulate nursing research as well as creating a infrastructure for such research in the Netherlands. The committee discussed today the progress of the various programmes with special attention on how to implement the research outcomes and to realize continuity in the built network.

22 January 2018 Last year we started a research project on Healthy Ageing, which is a logical follow-up of our recent publications on life satisfaction in old age and determinants of life expectancy in Europe. After collecting data, we started to analyse these and write a manuscript.

19 January 2018 Wim attended the invitational conference ‘Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research’ in Utrecht. The first ten candidates of this leadership program received their certificate and experts discussed the need for investments in evidence-based nursing.

5 Januari 2018PALIATIA nr 1 of 2018 is published, with news and articles on technical innovations as well as involvement of health care professionals. See:

3 January 2018 Although we have a lot of space at home, we made a ‘New Year plan’ to clear away or sell off things we did not use for years like some pottery, a bike, a lot of (scientific) books, maybe even golf-clubs. Other things like small furniture and crockery we may take to our place in Craiova.

24 December 2017
We wish all family, friends and business relations:
Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous 2018

21 December 2017
Wim was interviewed as ‘expert’ by the Universiteit Krant University of Groningen abou the rising number of suicides in older people (see: )