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The Association of Schools of Publich Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
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Ambassador visits to Upper Silesia in Poland and to Pleven in Bulgaria

Publication date: 13.12.2015
Author: Ulrich Laaser

Brussels, October 26, 2015

Ref: ASPHER‐01/cc2015

Ambassador visit to the SDPH in Bytom & Zabrze, Poland 17/18 September 2015 by Professor Ulrich Laaser

Participants: Dean Prof. Elzbieta Grochowska-Niedworok, Prof. Jerzy Jochem, Tomasz Holecki PhD, Dr. Piotr Romaniuk, PhD Joanna Kasznia-Kocot, Prof. Andrzej Fal, Dorota Kiedik

Short resume: Bytom/Zabrze is one of the youngest but largest SDPHs in Poland. There are two tracks offered: Public Health and Dietetics. The following topics were discussed in more detail: 1) Because of the high emigration rate of graduates the formation of an alumni network may be considered as urgent in order to link back the graduates to Poland and not to miss their experience and professional networks. 2) The cooperation with the Vishegrad countries should be intensified studying the models of FPH-SEE and SEEHN in South Eastern Europe. 3) Because of the historical contamination of soil the cancer incidence has been studied, a research cooperation regarding the contamination in Pancevo/Serbia after bombing the chemical industry there will be explored.

Ambassador visit to the SDPH in Krakow, Poland 1st October 2015 by Professor Ulrich Laaser

Participants: Vice Dean Prof. Malgorzata Schlegel-Zawadzka Prof. Christoph Sowada Prof. Jacek Sitko (JS) Dr. Roman Topor-Madry

Short resume: The following proposals JS has made in the past were renewed i.e. to build a database for ASPHER, profiling public health researchers in ASPHER and its environment according to a standard scheme, which allows searching for suitable partners (e.g. for common applications to the European research programmes). Also JS proposed again mapping SDPHs and other public health organizations (e.g. Public Health Associations, Institutes of Public Health etc.) suitable to support ASPHER activities. The following research options were discussed: a) Cancer mortality in Upper Silesia and in Pancevo/Serbia; b) Hospital management; c) Cost-Benefit analyses and insurance coverage.

Ambassador visit to the SDPH in Pleven, Bulgaria 1st October 2015 by Professor Ulrich Laaser

Participants: Rector Professor Slavcho Tomov Dean Assoc. Professor Sylviya Aleksandrova-Yankulovska Assoc. Professor Gena Grancharova; Present from other Bulgarian SDPH: Vice Dean Assoc. Professor Gergana Petrova, Faculty of Public Health, Plovdiv Vice Dean Assoc. Professor Klara Georgieva-Dokova, Faculty of Public Health, Varna

Short Resume: After a short introduction to ASPHER’s Ambassador Programme the discussion concentrated on the difficulties for Public Health in Bulgaria. The main problem seems to be a closer cooperation between all SDPHs in Bulgaria. The public health professionals are not a regulated profession and the governmental support for the public health services and correspondingly the SDPH is limited. Therefore graduates of the multiprofessional programmes of Public Health (and Management) have not sufficient options to get a position in their field of expertise. CE is more or less voluntary and insufficiently formalized. The role of social media and initiating public debates was not considered to contribute sufficiently to a major game-change. However, the proposal to intensify the work with alumni (most of them abroad) was considered promising.

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