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

About us

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: )

20 December 2017
Various courses for medical post-graduate education, edited and published by Marinela through , have been (re)accreditated for the next two years.

17 December 2017
Wim met with his two daughters in Vianen for a ‘family talk’, which is needed if one does not meet each other for a long time. We all were glad we could ‘caught up’.

12 December 2017
Snow in the Netherlands in the first half of December did surprise all companies responsible for transportation. The consequences were felt in East Asia, where flight were delayed and cancelled. We were lucky that we reached Schiphol Airport after 24 hours travelling, but the Airport was still not ‘recovered’ so leaving the airport was not ‘comfortable’.

4 December 2017
Marinela presented successfully her study on healthy ageing in Europe during the session on ‘Public Health and Health for Older People’, showing the big difference in healthy ageing  between European countries as well as in methods of assessing healthy ageing. Wim presented – in the same session – his study on the relationship between happiness and ageing societies, including 31 countries worldwide.

29 November 2017
On our way to the congress in Japan, we made a short break in Hong Kong to recover from the time lag in time. And we succeeded.

17 November 2017
Wim has been appointed as member of the programme committee on ‘Long term care’, financed by the Dutch Ministry of Health.

14-15 November 2017
A former student of Wim, Dr. Stynke Castelein, was appointed as professor at the University of Groningen. The title of her inaugural speech was ‘Recovery from serious mental illness’. Being back in Groningen is always worthwhile, especially after 4 years. Still, the old student cafés exist and the hotels become better.  

2 November 2017
We have sent in our abstracts for the Annual World Congress of Geriatrics and Gerontology  2017 to be held in Japan begin December 2017. Within the Forum on Social Gerontology and Elderly Health Care, Wim will present outcomes of a research project, entitled:  An Ageing Society a More Happy Society?  Marinela will present an analysis on factors affecting healthy ageing, based on 31 European countries, entitled: How Do Social Policy Affect Healthy Ageing?

31 October 2017
During our stay in Romania our house in Spaubeek was visited by not invited neither welcome ‘guests’. They tried to break into our house twice, smashing two windows. Rather a shock when coming home. The police did not find any traces.

28-30 October 2017
Travelling from home to home (Craiova-Spaubeek) we experienced a pleasant, quiet drive through Hungary, Austria, and Germany. We stayed in a recommended pension in Tatabanya and a well-known hotel in Geiselwind. In both places the diner was excellent.

17-23 October 2017
In a few days, it is predicted the summer comes to an end and rain will come (at last!). So, time to prepare the Craiova garden for the winter and to start to store the ‘summer equipment’. To do so, Wim first build a small storage place back in the garden.

13-14 October 2017
After the most of the grapes was tapped for fermentation, the residue is kept for its own fermentation process. After 20 days the process was ready to distillate ‘tuica’ (Romanian grappa). We ‘produced’ 60 litters of high quality.

10 October 2017
Both of us were invited to participate in the World Congress Geriatrics and Gerontology 2017 with the theme: Moving towards an era of Healthy Ageing, to be held in Japan. We still have some questions about the theme, but the invitation fits very well in our ongoing research and recent publications.

6 October 2017
Nr 4 (2017) of PALIATIA has been published: see  Wim wrote the Editorial ‘Access and image of palliative care: a celebration?’

1-5 October 2017
After restoring our summer cottage inside (we are very satisfied with the result and proud) we prepared the garden and the house for the winter. We cannot wait to stay there next summer.

26-27 September 2017
Some time ago we decided to redesign our offices in Craiova, but not before now we could not find the time.  We have now two well equipped, separated places to write articles, to execute scientific analysis, and to fulfill our professional duties.

25 September 2017
Our article ‘Do changes in welfare and health policy affect life satisfaction of older people in Europe?’ is published in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research (see: )

21-23 September 2017
In two days we picked are grapes in Craiova, not all but enough to start making wine, three different kinds. After smashing the grapes and resting for one day, we extracted the most for fermentation: 80 litter italianer, 30 litters chardonnay, 25 litters moldova.

18 September 2017
Our article ‘How to prevent preventable death?’ is published in ‘SM Preventive Medicine and Public Health’ (see: )

6-9 September 2017
The heat continues as does the work in Varvor. We started cleaning the ‘summer cottage’, making a parking place for the car, and designing the garden connected directly to the cottage. We are not ready yet for the opening party! But we invited already the first guests (Sebi, Veronica, Corina, Dan) for it during a nice dinner at Galaxy on Saturday evening.

5 September 2017
After 4 months maturing on oak, we bottled our wine Crama Casa Alba 2016. We counted to need 100 bottles, but we came 50 too short. Fortunately, we saved enough 2 liter plastic bottles. Next step is to clean the oak barrel and to prepare it for the new wine. 

31 August – 2 September 2017
We deserve a break. Together with Dragos and Olga we made a wonderful trip along and on the Danube around the ‘Iron Gate’.  First, we stopped in Strehaia to visit the Monastery ‘Sfante Treime’ from 15th century. We stayed for one night in Eselnita (Pension ‘Septembrie’ recommended!) and went with the catamaran through ‘cazanele mici si mare’ impressed by the views, the nature, tabula Traiana, and Decebal. The next day we passed the border (a dam in the Danube between Orsova and Turnu Severin) and drove through Djerdap National Park (visiting Lepenski Vir and Golubac castle) to Pension Dunavski Raj (in the woods close to Golubac). The next day we took the Serbian countryside, having lunch in Negotin and back – taking the 2nd dam in the Danube – to Craiova. It was a real break (see also 'Personal').

21 August 2017
After weeks of hard work in the heat of Varvor – building, reconstructing, replacing, and painting our ‘summer cottage’ – we felt some rain drops. Another week to go with cool weather (about 30 C) and we may have an opening party!  And then we need a short holiday on our holiday.

14 August 2017
Together with our colleague Prof. Ioana Dana Alexa (University of Iasi) we executed a study, including 31 European countries, to analyse the effect of changes in welfare and health policy (because of the economic crisis) in European countries on life satisfaction of older European citizens. It is accepted now for publication in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research.

4 August 2017
The heat wave (canicula) does not stop. We are now 4 weeks in Oltenia and we had one day with 25 degrees Celsius and a good rain shower. The last days the temperatures reach 37 to 38. So, today the siesta has been introduced! Work until 13.00, lunch and ….. we show ourselves outside not before 17.30. Another life style, not bad!

3 August 2017
After years of searching for a suitable place to be buried, we have ordered to construct a grave for both of us in Varvor de Sus, behind the graves of Marinela's grandfather, grandmother, and over-grandmother (see also personal). A place on the edge of a forest with a beautiful view over a valley with a lake at the end. Today the grave is ready. We will enjoy that view as long as we can!

23 July 2017
Today we visited Cetate and Maglavit in South Dolj and Vidin in Bulgaria with Dragos and Olga as guides. All three places are located next to the Danube. The monastery of Maglavit is the Fatima for Romanian orthodox. Vidin was an ancient Celtic settlement known as Dunonia and fortified by the Romans, called Bononia. The Baba Vida Fortress, built from the 10th to the 14th century, is the main landmark. Cetate - an old, rarely used port on the Danube – is well-known for Port Cultural Cetate: a place on the banks of the Danube to enjoy art and gastronomy (and do not forget the wines) (see also personal).

19 July 2017
Today we started making the garden in Varvor de Sus accessible. A job that will take several weeks.

11-14 July 2017
It has taken some time and more energy to make the garden in Craiova accessible. In the coming weeks we will let the pickled weed - a mountain - slowly disappear.

7-9 July 2017
In the course of the morning we started our journey to Craiova. Driving on Friday in Germany means many delays. Neumarkt in der Obernpfalz brought us the rest we needed after 8 hours. The trip the next day to Arad was even more exhausting. But on Sunday afternoon at 13.00 we were in Craiova: 32 degrees Celsius. Pfff ...

24 June 2017
Today, for the first time, we are participated in the annual members' meeting of the ‘Vereniging Rembrandt. An interesting meeting with well presented, interesting plans for the coming years and afterwards, a visit to 'De Stijl' in the municipality of The Hague.

12-22 June 2017
Scientific knowledge is important, but its application in practice is not self-evident. For a profession as a nursing science this is of great importance. Wim visited 5 research programs together with colleagues to learn how to implement new knowledge and interventions. One thing is evident: it is not easy.

9 June 2017
Today, we join the meeting of the nurses network, build around the programme “From Knowledge to Action II” in Utrecht. The programme is promoting the quality of nursing and care by carrying out research, developing and testing innovations, and implementation and guaranteeing of improvements and innovations in daily practice. Today, the future research agenda will be discussed.

12-30 May 2017
We used some time not only to check our health condition, but also to ‘repair’ what was needed. After some discomfort we feel better again. Time to return to ‘work’.

30 April -2 May 2017
Leaving Craiova at 9 o’clock in the morning (Romanian time) arriving in Mosonmagyarovar (called Ad Flexum by the Romans) at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A historical town near the Danube with thermal water  and on the international cycle path (EuroVelo No 6). Interesting place to visit. Next day we stopped in Bessenbach situated in natural park Steigerwald and stayed in a real guest-house. We arrived the next day in Spaubeek, shortly after noon.  We had a speedy quiet travel.

18 April 2017
Wim published a blog on respect for fundamental values of other people, wondering why Dutch politicians put on EUthanasia  (see:



Marinela en Wim write colums and comments on various subjects, related with health care. Some are in Dutch, other in Romanian. Most of the Romanian ones are published in Viata Medicala. Recent ones include:

- Waar investeren in gezondheidszorg? (11 November 2016)ănătate.html*articleID_12503-dArt.html

- Liever happy dan healthy oud worden (Medisch Contact 6 april 2016)

- EU burger niet gezonder of wijzer, wel armer. (Trouw dinsdag 21 October 2014)