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The Association of Schools of Public 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.
Home » Secretariat updates » January-February 2021 ASPHER Newsletter

Secretariat updates

January-February 2021 ASPHER Newsletter
22 Feb 2021

ASPHER Secretariat hopes everyone is finding their footing in the New Year, which is continuing to present the public health community with exceptional challenges. We have already been anecdotally aware of the many ways in which Member Schools have been stepping up to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are now able to provide our membership with concrete evidence of the many roles schools have been playing with the ASPHER Survey Report: The Role of European Schools and University Departments of Public Health in the 2020 Covid-19 Response. You will find ASPHER President John Middleton’s Preface to the Report here in the newsletter and the full report is available to download. The Secretariat applauds the efforts of our Membership – you are doing us proud!

This newsletter also provides you with the findings from the second phase of the ASPHER School Reopening Survey. The situation is continuing to remain dynamic and we are looking toward a third phase survey to see what develops as vaccination campaigns and new variants of the virus change the landscape.

The ASPHER COVID-19 Task Force has been extremely productive since the winter holidays as you will see in the COVID-19 News section below. We encourage all our members to use and share the Task Force materials, including when communicating with policymakers and media. We know from results of the ASPHER Schools’ Response to COVID-19 Survey that many of our Members are engaged with work advising their country officials and we hope the Task Force statements and reports assist our Members in that capacity. 

Meanwhile, the start of the year has been very intense as ASPHER and University College Dublin (UCD) enter a critical period for the ongoing UCCAIDE (Updating Core Competencies in Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology) contract. We have also begun work with the Kick-off of the ERASMUS+ Capacity Building project, SEEEPHI (Sharing European Educational Experience in Public Health for Israel), which involves our four Israeli Member Schools and four of our EU Member Schools. We will report back to you in more detail on recent and upcoming meetings and developments from both these projects in the next newsletter.

The Secretariat is thrilled to be working with three highly motivated Young Professionals this year. We will feature each of them in future newsletters, but for a brief introduction we have: Former ASPHER Intern, Rana Orhan is working with us as our 2021 ASPHER Fellow.  Her report on Climate Change Action in Schools of Public Health was recently published and you can read more about that here. As ASPHER Fellow, she will continue to work on climate health issues working in collaboration with the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education. Ines Siepmann continues to coordinate the ASPHER Young Professionals group, which she is representing during our review of ASPHER Governance as part of the ASPHER 2025 Strategy. Tobias Weitzel is our Young Professional Group liaison with Partners, including the European Observatory Health System Response Monitor. He is also working closely with the Secretariat to make a fresh update to the ASPHER website

We hope the website update will improve your experience with navigating the site. The website statistics indicate that the site is seeing more activity than ever before and we expect to unveil the new look by the time of the online ASPHER General Assembly in June (final dates TBC). We will be getting back to you in March with more details about planning for the GA and the ASPHER Deans’ & Directors’ Retreat.

Please be sure to read about what else our Members and Partners are getting up to, including a webinar with ASPHER President at UAEU and don’t forget to share your news, publications, comments & suggestions with to be included in the next regular issue of the newsletter and on the ASPHER website activity log.

Download the ASPHER January-February 2021 Newsletter here.

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