Echoes of the International Scientific Conference (on-line) “Public Health – current achievements and new challenges” – 07-08 October 2021

19-th October 2021         The culmination of many events and popular science initiatives associated with the 30-th anniversary of the academic public health in Poland, as well as the establishment of the School / Institute of Public Health of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Jagiellonian University Medical College (FHS JU MC) in Krakow, was the International Scientific Conference “Public Health – current achievements and new challenges”. It was held between 07-th and 08-th of October 2021, gathering several hundred participants not only from Poland, but also from numerous other countries. Among the lecturers, panelists, viewers and listeners there were guests from various Polish centers, as well as Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine the United Kingdom, and the United States. The conference was run in Polish and English, with simultaneous translation provided.

The conference was opened by Prof. dr habil. Tomasz Grodzicki – Vice-Rector for Jagiellonian University Medical College; Dr habil. Piotr Pierzchalski, prof. of JU – Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences; Prof. John Middleton – President The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER); Dr Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat – Director Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, EuroWHO; Dr Andrzej Ryś – Director for Health Systems, Medical Products and Innovation at the European Commission, and Dr habil. Iwona Kowalska-Bobko, prof. of JU – Director of the Institute of Public Health, FHS JU MC. This first part of the conference was run by Mr. Bartosz Kwiatek, a well-known TV journalist specializing in health care issues.

The jubilee conference was organized by the Institute of Public Health FHS JU MC, in cooperation with the international association ASPHER. The partner of this event was the City of Krakow, and the honorary patronage was provided by, among others Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Minister of Health of the Republic of Poland, Vice-Rector of the Jagiellonian University Medical College, and Director of the University Hospital in Krakow. Moreover, honorary patronage and direct, active support for the organization of the conference was provided by the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Jagiellonian University Medical College – the parent unit of the Institute of Public Health within the university’s organizational structure.

The content presented and discussed during the conference (among panelists, but also viewers and listeners, on an on-going basis and via the remote chat function) was divided into plenary discussion sessions:

  • Public health development directions – from the past to the future. Twilight of the old world?
  • Public Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • New challenges for Public Health
  • International experience in teaching public health and competences of public health graduates
  • Forum of Alumni and Employers – public health from the perspective of graduation and the labour market

Each plenary session was wrapped up by two or three Polish or foreign Alumni of the Institute of Public Health FHS JU MC. At the end of the conference, there were 2 sessions with lectures by students and doctoral students in the field of public health, from many countries, under the name:

  • Young researchers’ presentations

The young researchers’ presentations ended with announcing awards for the best presentation, funded by the ASPHER Association and the City of Krakow. The full conference program is available at:

As part of the jubilee celebrations, 7 popular science webinars on various issues of contemporary public health were also conducted between March and October 2021. The substantive contribution to these webinars was provided by the following organizational units of the Institute of Public Health FHS JU MC: Department of Health Policy and Management; Department of Nutrition and Drug Research; Department of Epidemiology and Population Studies; Students’ Scientific Unit “Law in Health”; Department of Health Economics and Social Security; Department of Health Promotion and e-Health; and Department of Environmental Health. Both these webinars and the conference were held on-line and they were open to all interested parties and viewers. Part of the jubilee was also this year’s edition of the educational campaign performed in close cooperation with secondary schools (the “Licea” campaign), run by the Institute, being also part of the “University Close to You” campaign conducted by the Jagiellonian University.

In this way, this year’s jubilee provided an opportunity to popularize public health and raise awareness of its role in the lives of individuals and entire societies, including local communities, as well as to raise awareness about professional career possibilities in the area of public health. The internationalization of activities carried out locally has been facilitated by the participation of the Institute of Public Health FHS JU MC in the This Is Public Health (TIPH) GLOBAL campaign. More about the jubilee and history of the School / Institute of Public Health, as well as the participation of Krakow’s Alma Mater in the TIPH GLOBAL campaign, can be found under the following links in the News and Public Health Blog sections:


Prepared by: Tomasz Bochenek