European Health Award 2015: Shortlist announced!

Six cross-border health projects have now been short-listed for the prestigious European Health Award 2015. They cover topics such as migrant health, mental health, evidence-based health promotion, the European Patients’ Rights Directive 2011/24/EU, TeleMedicine, cross-border inpatient treatment, and promotion of nutrition and physical activity. The prize-winner will be chosen by a panel of leading health experts, and the award presented at the European Health Forum Gastein, 30 September – 02 October 2015.

The Award 2015 includes prize money of €10.000 and is sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and FOPI, which brings together Austria’s research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It honours projects and initiatives aiming to improve public health or health care in Europe. The criteria: More than one European country should be involved, it should be innovative and sustainable, and results should be transferable to other states while addressing a significant health threat and thus benefitting relatively large patient groups.

“The point of this award is to promote intelligent and effective initiatives and encourage the development of projects that lend themselves to effective trans-national cooperation,” said Prof Helmut Brand, President of the International Forum Gastein.


Last year’s award went to the EpiSouth Plus Project, which is aimed at increasing health security in the Mediterranean Area and Balkans by enhancing preparedness to threats, which can affect health security, and to bio-security risks at national/regional levels in the framework of International Health Regulation implementation.

Short List 2015:

Health with Migrants for Migrants in Europe (Germany, Austria)
ProYouth Initiative (Germany, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, France, Turkey)
Examination of the policy-making process behind the adoption of the European Patients’ Rights Directive, 2011/24/EU and its subsequent implementation in selected member states (Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria)
KSYOS TeleMedical Centre (Netherlands, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Spain, Switzerland)
Cross-border care for children with psychiatric disorders (Germany, the German speaking community of Belgium)
Nutrition and Physical Activity without Borders (Denmark, Germany)


18th European Health Forum Gastein
Securing Health in Europe
Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities
30 September – 02 October 2015 in Bad Hofgastein, Austria

Register now via our online registration platform!

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Hello everyone!

My name is Anna Wiedemaier and I am doing an internship for four weeks at the International Forum Gastein. I will also support the team during the conference.

In September I will start my last year at the Handelsakademie in St. Johann. So I am doing this internship to get some work experience, but also to help me decide what I want to do in my future.

I look forward to working with the team, helping to organise the conference and experiencing the conference behind the scenes.


The ECDC Summer School talking about Public Health Ethics

After spending a full day discussing legal implications in Public Health and sharing our experiences from several countries and continents, it was time to start our ethics journey.

The two excellent teachers (Peter Schroeder-Back from Maastricht UniversityBlog.jpg and Miguel Ángel Royo from Instituto de Salud Carlos III) started by introducing us to the basics of ethics, including the different theories and their meaning. We quickly moved to the concept of Public Health ethics, and its own intersections with the law, the individual freedom of choice, justice and, of course, what applies when there is a disaster. We moved to the ethical principles that should be respected when making a decision, and a decision-making framework was presented.

Then, the truly practical moment started: we were faced with a case study and we had to discuss whether it was ethical to have mandatory vaccination during a measles outbreak. First in small groups, then in plenary, we discussed the ethical principles involved, whether we should allow unvaccinated children to go to school, and if a court order to immunize children was justified. A constructive and interesting debate arose: we were faced with the difficulty of respecting individual choice while ensuring community protection.

At the end, we left the workshop knowing for sure that there are no easy answers. Nevertheless, knowing the ethical principles, the law that applies to the situation we are working on and being in a good team are great steps on that direction.

Personally, this workshop was a great experience for someone like me who works as a Public Health practitioner, and who is already confronted with similar situations in my everyday professional life. Furthermore, sharing it with experienced colleagues made the discussions richer and interesting for those who have a particular interest in public health policy.

This blog entry was written by Young Gasteiner Sofia Ribeiro.

Sofia Ribeiro_picture

The ECDC summer school – let us take a journey into evidence based public health policy!

I have always been interested in the work done at the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC). As an epidemiologist who works mostly in the field of non-communicable disease, the area of communicable disease is quite unchartered territory for me and brings with it unique challenges for an epidemiologist. This was one of the reasons my interest initially peaked when the call for applications for the ECDC summer school arrived. When I saw the programme, I must say I was sold. The summer school covers three individual tracks and Young Gasteiners are invited to participate in the track which looks at translating evidence into policy. You may be wondering why this would be of such interest to an epidemiologist. One of the challenges I find in my work is communicating with policy makers and politicians – making the epidemiological evidence work into a policy. On my first day at the summer school I realised that this sentiment is not something I experience alone and this allowed for four days of sharing between experts from different fields and countries. In fact the interest in our topic from all summer school participants was so high, people from other tracks wanted to join our sessions!

The four day summer school was intensive but I must say the time just flew by because the format of each session allowed for lively debate, group work and real world examples that ground each topic in one’s own reality. The summer school covered four broad areas – evidence to action in public health, ethics in public health, public health law and economic assessment in public health.


Discussing the ethical implications of different vaccination policies in a case study during the summer school

All topics took me out of my comfort zone as an epidemiologist but every session helped reshape my perspective to look at public health with a wider vision and consider other aspects outside of my own niche area. I conducted a stakeholder’s analysis for a new policy, discussed the ethical implications of tough public health issues in a crisis, learnt about the area of public health law and attempted to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis of a real intervention for Ebola in Guinea. I must admit that I became so invested in the discussions that I took them with me to the lunch break to continue them there.

I feel very lucky to have been selected to participate in this event which actually let me learn new skills I can apply in my own work. All the people at ECDC were welcoming and engaging and were more than willing to continue to share their knowledge and experiences over a coffee during the break. So would I recommend that you apply for the summer school? Definitely!


This blog entry was written by Young Gasteiner Dorothy GauciIMG_0717


Out now: 2nd Programme Announcement EHFG 2015

Our second programme publication for the

18th European Health Forum Gastein: 30th September to 2nd October
Securing Health in Europe. Balancing Priorities, Sharing Responsibilities

has been released today!

The Second Programme Announcement for the EHFG 2015 provides you with a comprehensive overview over the content of Plenary Sessions and Parallel Fora as well as over the Workshops.

Topics include: EHFG-2015-1PA

  • Health in all policies at the highest European level
  • Dealing with chronic diseases
  • Access to and pricing of new medicines in Europe
  • Facing multimorbidity
  • The power of data
  • The (European) response to public health threats
  • … and many more!

Among our high-ranking speakers and panel participants are:

  • Vytenis Andriukaitis (EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety)
  • Zsuzsanna Jakab (Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for Europe)
  • Sabine Oberhauser (Federal Minister of Health/Austria)
  • Hans Jörg Schelling (Federal Minister of Finance/Austria)
  • Rudolf Hundstorfer (Federal Minister of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection/Austria)
  • Lydia Mutsch (Minister for Health and Equal Opportunities/Luxembourg)
  • Martin McKee (Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

For more information, download our programme, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Early-bird fees are available until 24th July only! Do not hesitate but make the most out of your EHFG 2015 experience and REGISTER NOW!