Trustee Board


Thomas Föringer studied law in Augsburg, Hamburg and Munich before focusing on licensing and merchandising. Since then he has also been a board member of several companies while at the same time acting as a partner, consultant and self-employed lawyer. He has lectured at the FH Würzburg-Schweinfurt and has published articles on his key competencies licensing and merchandising. 

Since 2008, his main focus is renewable energy. He and his partners developed and constructed some of the largest photovoltaic plants in Europe, i.e. in Spain, Italy, and Germany. Believing in the necessity of a change in acting as well preventing environment for the next generations, beginning in 2012, he and his partners started to diversify by developing and financing other renewable energy projects, ideas, and technologies too. He has been involved in several non-profit fundraising, developed a pre-paid-charity card which will be launched in Germany at the end of 2016, and acts as a business angel, too. 

Thomas Föringer has been involved with EFCNI as a co-founder right from the beginning.


Silke Mader is the Chairwoman of the Executive Board and co-founder of EFCNI. In 1997, her twins were born in the 25th week of pregnancy, and were not given the appropriate care. Unfortunately, one of them died a few days after birth, leaving the parents and the sibling behind. During her time in hospital and afterwards, she was faced with the non-existence of support of any kind, the absence of public awareness and the lack of information and education for parents during pregnancy. She felt that no parents should ever undergo such an awful experience again. 

As the situation throughout Europe is distressingly similar and preterm children urgently need a voice not only within Europe but also worldwide, she decided to take on the role of chair on the Executive Board of EFCNI.

Silke Mader is co-editor of the EFCNI Benchmarking Report “Too little, Too Late? Why Europe Should do more for Preterm Infants”, “Caring for Tomorrow” – the EFCNI White Paper on Maternal and Newborn Health and Aftercare Services” and technical editor of the “Born too Soon” Global Action Report on Preterm Birth”.

In 2012 Silke Mader was awarded the “Prix Courage” by ZDF television programme “ML mona lisa” in cooperation with the cosmetics company Clarins. 2013 she received the Medal for Particular Services to Bavaria in a United Europe. Since 2014 she is Honorary Lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 2015, Silke Mader has been awarded as social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow. Since then, she has become a member of the organization’s global network.

At the ALL Ladies League (ALL) – Women Economic Forum 2016 in New Delhi, India, Silke Mader received the “Iconic Innovative Trailblazer of the Decade” award.

In October 2016, she was awarded with the Bavarian State Medal for Services concerning Health and Long-term Care by Melanie Huml, the Bavarian State Minister for Health and Long-term Care.

Head of Department of Paediatric & Neuro orthopaedics, Schön Klinik München Harlaching, Germany

As Head of Department (Schön Klinik München Harlaching), Dr Michael Poschmann is an expert in paediatric and neuro orthopeadics.  

After his studies of Human Medicine at the Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg im Breisgau, Dr Poschmann started his professional career in hospitals in Freiburg and Karlsruhe. In 2004, he moved to Munich and started working at the Schön Klinik München Harlaching. He underwent specialty training in orthopaedics, specialising in paediatric orthopaedics and neuro orthopaedics as well as trauma surgery. In 2011, Dr Poschmann was appointed senior physician for the department of paediatric and neuro orthopaedics. Since 2012, he is head of the same department.  

Dr Michael Poschmann has a particular interest in paediatric orthopaedics and is an active member of several organisations e.g. Association of Paediatric Orthopaedics and German Association of Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery. He is the author of many publications in international journals and a coveted speaker at congresses and conferences.

Head of Obstetrics Department, Vivantes Klinikum Neukölln, Berlin, Germany

PD Dr Dietmar Schlembach (MD) is Chairman of the EFCNI’s Trustee Board. He is an expert in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics and Head of the Clinic of Obstetrics (Vivantes Clinicum Berlin-Neukölln) as well as faculty member of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany), Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He studied medicine in Giessen and Thessaloniki and was trained as an Obstetrician and Maternal-Fetal Specialist at the University of Erlangen until 2002. During that time he also started his scientific career mainly on the field of pregnancy complications (such as hypertensive disorders and intrauterine growth restriction) and prenatal diagnosis and therapy.

In 2002 he moved to Galveston, TX, USA, where he was working as a research fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch with Prof. RE Garfield, one of the world’s leading expert in preterm labour.

In 2004 PD Dr Schlembach became head of the division of prenatal diagnosis at the University of Graz, Austria. 

From 2009 until 2011 he held an appointment at the Prenatal Medicine Center Munich. 2012 to 2014 he was Professor for Prenatal Diagnosis and Fetal Physiology at the University of Jena. Since May 2014, he is Head of the Department of Obstetrics in Berlin-Neukölln (the Clinic known as the “Birth Place of Perinatal Medicine”).

PD Dr Schlembach addresses the specific problems and treatment of pregnancy complications and prenatal diagnosis. His clinical and research focus is screening, diagnosis and treatment of hypertensive disorders and intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth and prenatal diagnosis and therapy of fetal abnormalities.

He is currently chairman of the Working Group on Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy / Preeclampsia of the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics and secretary of the Working Group Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine (both working groups of the German Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology).

The Netherlands

Professor Zimmermann became MD in 1984 at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and did his residency in paediatrics at the same university, in the University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven, Belgium (1984-1989). He trained as a Fellow in Neonatology at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto Perinatal Fellowship Program in Toronto, Canada from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 2003 he was a staff neonatologist at the Erasmus Medical Center – Sophia in Rotterdam (Netherlands), where he was Chief of the Division of Neonatology a.i. from 2000 to 2003. His PhD thesis (in 1995) was titled “Regulation of CTP: phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase in fetal type II cells”. In 2003 he became a staff neonatologist at the Academic Hospital Maastricht, in 2004 Professor in Paediatrics and in 2005 Chief of the Division of Neonatology.

In 2006 he became Chairman of the Department of Paediatrics and Director of the Residency Program in Paediatrics, as well as Division Leader in Research Institute GROW (Oncology and Developmental Biology). He is past president of the European Society of Paediatric Research (ESPR).

Honorary Member of the Trustee Board

Serviço de Neonatologia, São João Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Porto University – Portugal

Professor Hercília Guimarães is professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Neonatology Division of the São João Hospital, Head of Paediatric Department of Faculty of Medicine of Porto University, Porto, Portugal Former president of the Union of Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS) and former president of Portuguese Neonatal Society.

Her research interests are in the field of prematurity and pulmonary neonatal pathology.  Additional research interest fields are ethics in perinatology, family-centred care and neonatal palliative care. She has directed numerous research projects in the Faculty of Medicine of Porto University and has collaborated in multicentre studies. More than twenty studies received prizes in International Scientific Congresses.

Professor Hercília Guimarães is author of about 200 scientific publications in international journals with IF (Journal of Pediatrics, Clinics, Acta Pediatrica, Neonatology,  Archives Diseases in Childhood, Biology of Neonate, Early Human Development  and others). Currently she is one of the associate editors of the Journal of Pediatric and Neonatal Individualized Medicine (JPNIM). Professor Guimarães has been strongly committed to EFCNI since its beginnings and supported the foundation with her appreciated expertise and advice in the following positions: 2008 to 2012, member of the Executive Board, 2012 to 2017 member of the Trustee Board and for the period 2018 – 2022 as Honorary Member of the Trustee Board. The function of Honorary Members of the Trustee Board does not contain any voting rights among the Trustee Board.