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Plenary programme 14th EPH Conference 2021

Opening Ceremony: Public health futures in a changing world

Wednesday 10 November 2021, 14:00 – 14:40 CET

This session is the official opening session of the conference. Prominent leaders from politics and academia will introduce the main themes of the conference. 

'Times change, and we are changed with them’, as the phrase has it. Public health has changed a lot in the last thirty years. Whole subdisciplines, for example health informatics, and genetic public health, have grown up in that time. Has the core practice of public health changed? Does it need to? Should it? If so, we need to lead and shape the changes. We need to identify futures for our discipline. If we don’t, others will, and that is not necessarily for the benefit of our practice, our practitioners, or the public. If we are to be more than well trained technicians (which is not in itself a minor accomplishment) perhaps we need to articulate more forcibly who we are, why we are, and why we are relevant?

Moderator: Anthony Staines, Chair of the 14th EPH Conference 2021


Plenary 1: Public health practice, training and workforces for the future - Lessons from the pandemic

Wednesday 10 November 2021, 14:50 – 15:50 CET

Organised by European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, WHO Regional Office for Europe, ASPHER

What is it that distinguishes us? What is that we do well, that others do not? Future public health, as at present, will have people doing many roles, communication, policy design and evaluation, service planning, monitoring, and delivery, health data, health protection, environmental health, evidence analysis, and more. In all of these areas we work with people from different backgrounds. What value do we bring? Who are we? What skills do we need for now and for the future?

  • Keynote presenting (pre-liminary) study findings
  • Facilitated discussion with young public health professionals
  • Outlook

Moderator and Speakers/Panellists to be announced.


Plenary 2: Communications and public health

Thursday 11 November 2021, 10:10 – 11:10 CET

Organised by EUPHA, EUPHA Public health monitoring and reporting section 

Communications have always been a key part of public health, especially when we felt it advisable for people to change what they do. Communications about the benefits and safety of vaccines date back to the first organised opposition to Jenner’s vaccination in 1805. Communication of key public health messages led to the building of systems to bring clean water and remove sewage form our cities in the 19t century. Florence Nightingale largely revolutionised both nursing and public health by targeted communications, and a keen awareness of the value of her personal brand. Public health needs to look back at some of the tools used by our founders, and bring these to a new media market, led by social media, but still reliant on high quality journalism.

Moderator and Speakers/Panellists to be announced.


Plenary 3: Learning from the pandemic and getting ready for the next one

Thursday 11 November 2021, 16:20 – 17:20 CET

Organised by European Commission, EUPHA 

Moderators: Isabel de la Mata, European Commision and Dineke Zeegers Paget, EUPHA

Covid-19 has shown us that most countries were not focusing their emergency preparedness plans in the correct direction. Covid-19 is a long-term health event, with serious impact on so many different sectors. Preparedness plans were conceived only for health events that are more explosive in initiation and resolution.
Governments of a wide range of levels of competency, and covering much of the political spectrum, all failed to address the pandemic effectively, both from the health point of view and from the social point of view. So, what can we learn from our successes and from our failures?
In a ‘learning from this pandemic’ round, we ask all panellists to reflect on the successes and failures (each five minutes). In a second round, we will be asking the panellists for their ideas on how to be better prepared for future pandemics. The final five minutes are for the next generation of public health professionals, summarizing the ‘take home’ messages.

Speakers/Panellists to be announced.


Plenary 4: Digital health – person centred?

Friday 12 November 2021, 10:10 – 11:10 CET

Organised by WHO Regional Office for Europe, EUPHA Digital health section

Moderators: Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, WHO Regional Office for Europe and Anna Odone, EUPHA Digital health section

Digitalization is permeating all aspects of society, how can be it employed to sustain the public health goals of quality, accessibility, efficiency and equity in health care and prevention now and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic? In this session jointly presented by WHO Europe and EUPHA, we examine the extent to which technology is contributing positively or negatively to strengthening the resilience of health systems and empowering individuals and communities.



Plenary 5: Climate change, justice and public health – a triple role

Friday 12 November 2021, 16:20 – 17:20 CET

Organised by EuroHealthNet

COVID19 is a challenge for public health. Climate change is an existential threat for our civilisation, and possibly our species. Does public health have a part to play in meeting the challenges of climate change, and if so what? Is there a public health of information and lies? Should there be? How do we use the tools and methods of public health to explore futures?

Moderator and Speakers/Panellists to be announced.


Closing Ceremony of the 14th European Public Health Conference

Friday 12 November 2021, 17:30 – 18:10 CET

Moderator: Anthony Staines, Chair of the 14th EPH Conference 2021

Awards ceremony: Best Poster Prize, Best Abstract Prize, Ferenc Bojan Award

Welcome to next year's 15th European Public Health Conference, Berlin, Germany


The Plenary Programme is organised by:

  • EuroHealthNet
  • European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
  • European Commission
  • WHO Regional Office for Europe