Photo of Incoming Director Elina Viitaniemi

Cancer Support Switzerland welcomes new director

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Elina Viitaniemi as the new Cancer Support Switzerland director.

At the Cancer Support Switzerland AGM in April we announced that Patsy Allen and Nicola Bowers would be stepping down as co-directors at the end of 2021 and that a search for a new director would begin.

The Board is now pleased to announce that after a rigorous selection process, we have chosen Elina Viitaniemi as the new director.

Originally from Finland, Elina is an experienced global health professional having lived and worked in several countries including the UK, China and Senegal and has spent the last 12 years in Geneva with UNAIDS.

At UNAIDS Elina held a variety of roles covering fundraising, partnerships and innovation, most recently using her talent for creating connections and facilitating partnerships to bring people together around UNAIDS’ Health Innovation Exchange. Passionate about palliative care, Elina also volunteers at Maison de Tara, a Geneva-based hospice also offering training in end-of-life care.

Elina shares her enthusiasm for the role, “I’m looking forward to working with the whole Cancer Support Switzerland community to take the mission forward, I plan to bring a fresh perspective while building on the incredible passion and heart of the organization.
I am excited about strengthening and developing the presence of Cancer Support Switzerland in the local community, helping to ensure that everyone in the region who is affected by cancer has access to the support they need.”

Patsy and Nicola, who have been longstanding supporters prior to their directorship, will be returning to volunteer roles. Nicola will remain a member of the management team as Volunteer Coordinator, a role she has been performing alongside her co-Director position and will also continue as a peer supporter. Patsy will be stepping down from the management team but remains a key part of the donations tracking team.

Ramona Azarnia, Cancer Support Switzerland President, reflects, “The Board and I look forward to working with Elina and would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Patsy and Nicola, who have been co-Directors since 2019, for leading the organisation through some key developments in the last few years namely the search for new premises and the challenging Covid situation.”

Elina will start work with Patsy and Nicola on 1st December to ensure a smooth transfer, officially taking over on 1st January 2022.

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