I was born and grew up in London in the 1960s and 70s, but left immediately after completing school to work in the Swiss-French Alps as a waitress. In the early 1980s I needed change and wanted to understand the world better, so I moved to Southern German where I studied Economics and Sociology at Freiburg University, completing a doctoral degree in Public Finance.
In 1995 I returned to Switzerland and worked for different non-profit organisations, until the health problems which had periodically affected me since my early 20s became too severe to work full-time.
I now work independently as a consultant. My particular interest is the representation of patient interests. I believe that healthcare would be improved by listening more to the people who use it, and giving them a stronger voice in developing and managing healthcare systems. In May 2021 together with three colleagues we established the RheumaCura foundation for patient-centred arthritis research. With this organisation I want to help make the changes that I believe would improve research.
My passion is going to the mountains and I don’t want illness to stop me. In summer 2017 I had a project to climb sixteen of Switzerland’s highest peaks. This adventure is what first prompted me to start writing a blog. You can read in my first blogs how I prepared, and about the tour itself.
Another of my hobbies is photography. The pictures on this blog are my own – unless otherwise stated, or the photos are of me!
My profile on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/judithsafford/
My TED talk with a call for more research into rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
Follow me on Twitter: @JudithSafford
Follow the work of the Sciana Health Leaders’ Network, where I am patient representative.
In The Philanthropist in May 2021, I discuss the launch of the RheumaCura Foundation, which promotes patient-centred scientific research into rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
The NZZ Folio in February 2020 featured portraits of patients suffering from different chronic diseases.
Sensitive portraits about living with chronic disease
Interview with TEDx Zürich in 2020 about living with chronic disease, goal setting and Covid19
swissinfo.ch reported on my mountain tours in 2017 and how I prepared for them.
Article in the Berner Zeitung about my mountain trip and the need for more arthritis research