Interview with Nadine Mauvernay: CHUV reception facilities for people with ASD

Johanna Colas

Thanks to the Foundation’s support, the CHUV has set up a reception center for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or intellectual disabilities.

Nadine Mauvernay, Vice-President of the Fondation Philanthropique Next, reflects on this initiative.

Please tell us about how this project originated?

This initiative is the fruit of a close collaboration between the Fondation Philanthropique Next, the Swiss Romandy Austism Association (l’Association Autisme Suisse Romande), the CHUV (Vaud University Hospital Center) Foundation and the CHUV’s Health Care Department. It was born due to the lack of support for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disabilities in need of care at the CHUV. We therefore proposed to establish a team trained to coordinate care and accompany these people throughout their treatment.

We received a very positive response from the CHUV, and the project took off as soon as management gave the go-ahead. I would also like to thank Mr Antonio Racciatti, Director of Human Resources, and Pr Philip Eckert, former General Manager, who opened the doors of the hospital to us, as well as Isabelle Lehn, Director of Care, who worked to launch the project in June 2023.

What are your main takeaways from this experience?

The CHUV Foundation has supported us wonderfully in this project, and I am grateful to the CHUV for agreeing to work with us, a private foundation. I am convinced that working together brings out the best in people, and that public-private partnerships are essential.

The team in charge of the plan is fantastic and very committed to the project. I was impressed by their motivation to make this initiative a reality.

How would you describe the Foundation’s commitment to people with ASD?

As my husband and I have been impacted personally by autism, it seems natural for us to support projects aimed at making life easier for people living with ASD. The Fondation Philanthropique Next focuses on two main areas: frailty and autonomy.

  • Frailty, because people with ASD have specific needs that must be taken into account. They are reluctant to seek treatment for fear of what awaits them. As the mother of someone living with ASD, I know how difficult it can be to seek out help.
  • As for autonomy, we seek to apply it across different areas, including healthcare. For some people, even basic procedures such as a blood test can become an insurmountable obstacle. With the right preparation and support, we can reduce these difficulties and give patients greater autonomy in their care.

Interview by Magali Deppen, CHUV Foundation
Photo ©CHUV- Gilles Weber

Vous pourriez aimer / You may also like