I am Katja Laine. I am working as an executive director in the Finnish Association for Heart Children and Adults. I got involved with the congenital heart disease via my daughter, who was born in 1996 with a severe heart defect and that lead my way to association, where I have been working from the year 2001.
Our association has been always active on international collaboration and we have seen that work very valuable. Through that, I personally have had an active role also on the European Congenital Heart Disease Organisation, ECHDO, which is an umbrella organization for the European CHD organisations and groups. I have been involved with ECHDO since 2009 when it was officially established and at the moment, I am ECHDO’s president.
I live in Turku, which is the oldest city in Finland, and it is situated on the southwest coast of Finland on the shores of famous Archipelago. It has a very viral cultural life and that is why Turku was chosen European Capital of Culture for 2011.