HPH2013 - 21st HPH Conference Gothenburg 2013 - Welcome to HPH 2013

Plenary 1

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 18:30-20:00

Opening Lectures


The Contribution Of Hph To Health 2020

Dr. Hans KLUGE

WHO-Euro (DNK)

Dr Hans Kluge is a Belgian-trained medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health. Having worked in Somalia, Liberia and Siberia (in the prison system), and been based in the WHO Country Office in Myanmar and in the WHO Office of the Special Representative of the Director-General in the Russian Federation, Dr Kluge has a broad background in health systems, public health and infectious diseases.

He moved to WHO/Europe in 2009, beginning as unit head for country policies and systems and has since worked as the Special Representative of the Regional Director to prevent and combat M/XDR-TB in the WHO European Region and most recently as Director, Division of Health Systems and Public Health.


Mind-Body Connection: Psychoneuroimmunology (Pni) - Important Implications For Health Services And Systems

Kavita VEDHARA

Professor of Health Psychology, Division of Primary Care, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nottingham (GBR)

Kavita did her first degree and PhD in the Department of Psychology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Her PhD research was concerned with the role of psychological stress in the progression of HIV infection. Her first post-doctoral position was in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wales in Cardiff. Here she examined emotional, cognitive and immunological responses to polio vaccination (an enterovirus) in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Her interests in the role of psychological factors in health and disease outcomes continued in subsequent postdoctoral positions at the University of Bristol where she examined the effects of upper respiratory illness on mood and cognitive performance and the effects of chronic caregiver stress on vulnerability to infectious disease in older people.

In 1998 she was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bristol. In 1999 she joined the MRC's Health Services Research Collaboration (HSRC) as a Career Track Scientist and was later promoted to a Senior Scientist. During her time with the HSRC she led a behavioural medicine research group which conducted experimental and applied research into the diverse ways psychological factors influence health and disease outcomes and the development of psychological interventions to improve these outcomes. The research at this time included: investigations into the effects of emotional disclosure on disease activity in patients with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis; the role of psychosocial factors in the healing of chronic wounds (diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers); the effects of psychological distress on primary and secondary immunity; the role of early life experiences on stress reactivity in adolescence and studies investigating the emotional responses of men undergoing screening for prostate cancer and the relationship between psychological distress and the diagnosis of prostate cancer. In March 2009, Kavita was appointed as Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Nottingham.

Abstract summary:

Historically, medicine and healthcare services have been ‘disease focussed’. That is, they have been concerned with the biological processes that give rise to and maintain disease; and, in turn, they tend to focus on these processes when considering how best to treat and manage disease. In contrast, Psychoneuroimmunology is concerned with the bidirectional relationships that exist between these biological processes and the mind. The fact that connections exists between the mind and the body is now in no doubt. It is the clinical relevance of these connections which is the subject of much enquiry and will be the focus of this presentation.

This talk will present evidence which illustrates the diverse ways in which the functioning of the mind can impact on both disease and treatment outcomes. It will include details of research which has examined how psychological functioning can alter the effectiveness of vaccinations; and in so doing potentially influence vulnerability to disease. It will also explore how psychological functioning impacts on common disease outcomes such as wound healing; and in so doing, alter prognostic outcomes.

Should we be able to demonstrate that the mind has clinically relevant effects on disease and treatment outcomes, then we can entertain the possibility that healthcare systems which treat the patient, as well as their disease, will achieve better healthcare outcomes than those which focus on the disease alone.


What Do Citizens Expect From More Health-Oriented Health Services?

Monika KOSINSKA

Secretary General, European Public Health Alliance (BEL)

Monika joined EPHA in February 2008 and she leads the Secretariat. Monika represents EPHA and its member in its work with European policy and decision makers and provides an overall steer for the work programme and management of the Secretariat.

Monika also oversees the management of EU and other funded projects, the management of the EPHA team and the Communication and Advocacy strategies.

Background

Monika has a Bachelor in European Studies from the University of Liverpool, Faculty of Social Sciences and received a Masters degree in International Peace and Security at King’s College, University of London.

Monika has experience in managing teams, networking and advocacy in the public and private sector. She has extensive knowledge of public health issues at EU and national level. Her previous jobs have included representing regional health bodies in Brussels, government relations for a major retail group and interim director for an alliance on health and ageing.

Monika is bilingual Polish/English and speaks several other languages.

"Leading the largest network of NGOs working on health in Europe is a real challenge. I am delighted to be working with the EPHA team and its members in putting health on the agenda of the EU institutions."