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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.
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ASPHER President's Message - March 2021

Publication date: 12.04.2021
Author: John Middleton

‘More to life than COVID!’

ASPHER has been active this year implementing our 2025 strategy, reviewing our governance arrangements and building our partnerships. Our 2025 Strategy seeks to develop and take forward our core concerns for competency development, curriculum, workforce capacity and professionalisation.

We are concluding a piece of work with ECDC on revising core competencies for infectious disease training (UCCAIDE). We also hope to be announcing a new project on vaccinology and vaccine hesitancy very soon. We are in discussion with the WHO Europe about launching our Road Map on Professionalisation this year.

We intensified our collaboration with the Global Consortium on Climate Change and Health Education and will be seeking schools to take this forward with us soon. Rana Orhan’s excellent paper on the work of European Schools on the climate change agenda has also been published and offers an important snapshot of what is going on and what is possible.

We will be bringing important new governance proposals forward to the General Assembly this June. We are developing the governance and support for and with our young professionals group.

In our partnership work we have had fruitful discussions with the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and plan to launch our new partnership accord at the General Assembly, 4th June. We will also be active in the European Public Health Week, 17-21 May. ASPHER works closely with the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and looks forward to collaborating with the newly appointed Director General Dr Milka Sokolovic when she comes into the post on 6 April. We have signed up to the European Health Union Manifesto.

We have been working closely with APHEA, the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation. Many of our members took part in an extremely successful international webinar on March 4th featuring contributions from schools across five continents. I came away with a tremendous sense of solidarity, comradeship and commitment to improving the health of the public. My thanks go to Julien Goodman Director of APHEA and colleagues who made the event the success it was.

We are active members of the new Global Network for Academic Public Health with sister organisations from the Americas, Africa and Asia and there will be more information on this later in the year.

I have also been active this month with presentations for the British Association of Social Work, the United Arab Emirates University Institute of Public Health and the North American Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). The ASPPH meeting was an opportunity to speak about ‘building and restoring trust in public health’ a theme we will of course be reflecting on greatly in the coming years.

I would like to thank Robert Otok and Lore Leighton the ASPHER Secretariat for their tireless support, and for working to the wire to get the newsletter out before the Easter holiday. Thanks to everyone who has been working with us in ASPHER. We wish you all a Happy Easter, or Happy Spring holiday, whatever you may be celebrating, may it be fun, and may it be safe!

And you can find Dr Harp’s Medicine Band new single on apple and spotify now ‘Walking to New Orleans’ https://music.apple.com/gb/artist/dr-harps-medicine-band/268594577, featuring Dr J on harmonica.

 

John Middleton
President, ASPHER

Read the ASPHER March 2021 Newsletter here.
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