For their outstanding commitment to the university, Vera Ehgartner and Michael Brainin received the Ring of Honor during an academic ceremony on 19 May 2021. Both personalities have helped shape the University for Continuing Education Krems for more than 20 years.

In his welcoming speech, Friedrich Faulhammer, Rector of the University for Continuing Education Krems, described the awards as a clear sign for outstanding achievements both honorees have reached in teaching, research and administration and for their close ties to the university.

Alexandra Dachenhausen, Chairwoman of the Works Council gave the laudatory speech for Mag.a Vera Ehgartner.  Prof Stefan Nehrer, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine was the laudator for Prof Michael Brainin.

Vera Ehgartner - Director of Studies and Chairwoman of the Works Council

In 1996, Vera Ehgartner left her job at a law firm for the University for Continuing Education Krems, which at that time had less than 50 employees. Soon after joining the university, Ehgartner took on leadership roles: From 1996 to 2000, she managed the Student Services Center. From 2000 to 2003, she headed Government Relations and Student Affairs. Again, in the leading position she then took over the Service Center for Study Law until 2009. Subsequently, she headed the Service Center for Study Law and organizational law until 2020. In addition, Ehgartner was director of Studies from 2009 to 2018. At the same time, she was Head of the Department for Law and Study Management from 2011 to 2020.

Vera Ehgartner's work was that of a pioneer in many areas. Among other things, she set up the first student and study databases and carried out the procedure for approving the first MBA degree in Austria. Ehgartner was part of the working group embedded in the responsible ministry as well as in the founding convention for the implementation of the University Act 2002. She organized and conducted the first ÖH (Österreichische Hochschülerschaft - Austrian Students' Union) election and supervised the structural set-up of the first PhD programs. She provided an interface between the university bodies and committees, advised and accompanied these bodies for years.

In addition to her management functions, Ehgartner was also active in the works council. Working conditions at the University for Continuing Education Krems are significantly shaped by the contributions of the works council chaired by Vera Ehgartner, such as various social and health benefits, loyalty bonuses, days off and much more.

Michael Brainin - "Father" of the Stroke Units

In 1995, Michael Brainin changed from the Medical University of Vienna to Danube University Krems, to the then Department for Environmental and Medical Sciences. From 1998 until 2006, Brainin headed the Center for Postgraduate Studies in Neuroscience. In 2005, he was appointed full professor of clinical neurology. In 2006, the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Preventive Medicine was established, which he has headed ever since. During this time, several post-graduate teaching programs such as the European Master's Program in Stroke Medicine were founded.

Michael Brainin is best known as the "father" of stroke units, so-called stroke monitoring units. In the course of his many years of activity in the Lower Austrian health care system, Michael Brainin pioneered the establishment of stroke units in Austria. The first stroke unit was opened at Tulln University Hospital in 1997. There are now 38 such monitoring units in Austria. He was also a co-founder of the national stroke unit network. Between 2003 and 2006, he was also the founding President of the Austrian Stroke Society. In 2003, he co-founded the Austrian Stroke Registry, a data collection of acute stroke patients treated in stroke units. Brainin was also instrumental in founding the European Stroke Organization and served as President from 2012 to 2014. At the World Stroke Organization, he served as President from 2018 to 2020, and currently serves WSO as Co-chair of the WSO Global Policy Committee. Furthermore, he has developed guidelines for primary prevention activities. In addition, he authored a "Declaration on the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia" for WSO.

Michael Brainin has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator in numerous stroke-related drug and intervention trials, he has published 237 papers, and has edited three textbooks on stroke. His Scopus H-index is 54, his publications have been viewed 110,000 times, and his citations amounts to more than 32,000.

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