Speakers

Claudia Stein

Claudia Stein MD, MSc, PhD, FFPH is a German trained medical doctor and epidemiologist with the World Health Organization (WHO), which she has been serving since 1998, and since 2010 as Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at the WHO Office for Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Claudia qualified from Essen University Medical School in Germany in December 1989 after spending several semesters abroad (including in Vienna, Spain, the United States and Australia). Her areas of post-graduate training include Internal Medicine, a Master's degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Southampton (MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit), UK, and a further residency in Public Health Medicine with Specialist Certification at the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians, London, UK.

 

Prior to her career at WHO she worked for several years as public health physician and epidemiologist at country level in Europe, as well as for a couple of years in India and China, the latter two under the auspices of the Medical Research Council, MRC.

 

Claudia first joined WHO in 1998 as a secondment from the United Kingdom; in 2000 she became a fixed term staff member to work in the Information, Evidence and Research Cluster at WHO HQ in the area of burden of disease and health information. Following this, she became Unit Head of the Leadership, Management and Fellowships unit which housed the Health Leadership Service. Subsequently, she established and led the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases initiative in the Department of Food Safety at WHO headquarters.

 

In 2010, Claudia took up her current position as Director of the Division of Information, Evidence and Research at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen.

 

Claudia possesses a private pilot’s licence and flies small fixed-wing aircraft in her (limited) spare time. Claudia loves skiing and also enjoys singing - she has received professional voice training and sings in her church choir as soprano. Claudia speaks 6 languages and is currently learning her seventh, Russian, which she says is her greatest challenge yet.

Cindy Brach

Cindy Brach is a Senior Health Care Researcher at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Cindy is the Co-Chair of the HHS Health Literacy Work Groups and serves on the HHS Language Access Steering Committee. As the lead for AHRQ’s health literacy activities, Cindy’s projects have included the development of the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, CAHPS® Item Sets for Addressing Health Literacy, AHRQ Informed Consent and Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk Research, Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training Modules for Health Care Leaders and Professionals, and the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT).

 

Cindy is also AHRQ’s point person for cultural and linguistic competence and served on the National Project Advisory Committee to enhance the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. In addition to overseeing the development of the TeamSTEPPS Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Module, Cindy commissioned and co-authored the Re-engineered Discharge Toolkit to address the needs of diverse patients. Cindy served on the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, where she led an effort to define the ten attributes of a health literate organization. Cindy is a founding Editorial Board member of the journal HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and on webinars, and has published book chapters, blogs, and in journals such as Health Affairs, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal for Healthcare Quality, Journal of Health Communication, and Medical Care.

Gill Rowlands

 

Gill Rowlands is a General Practitioner and a Professor in the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Her main research interests are in the area of health inequalities, particularly the role of health literacy in health, and the role of GPs in identifying and addressing the problems faced by patients with lower health literacy. She is committed to developing and implementing evidence-based policy and practice to promote equity and equality in health. She founded the Health Literacy Group UK and has authored, and co-authored, over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-edited a book ‘Health Literacy in Context: International Perspectives’.

Freek Spinnewijn 

Freek Spinnewijn is the director of FEANTSA. FEANTSA is the European umbrella of NGOs working with homeless people. FEANTSA has member organisation in 30 European countries. Since many years FEANTSA works on the link between health and homelessness and concentrates on the issues that are most relevant for homeless people such as access to health, mental health, and certain communicable diseases. FEANTSA runs an expert group on health with health professionals working in the homelessness sector.

 
Christina Dietscher

Christina Dietscher is a trained sociologist with expertise especially in health promotion and health literacy. After a career in applied social research at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Healthcare, she joined the Austrian MoH in 2015. Currently, she is acting head of the department of health promotion and prevention, chair of the Austrian health literacy platform, and co-chair of the European Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL) under WHO-Europe’s Health Information Initiative (EHII). She has published in the fields of health promotion and health literacy and is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.

Cecily Kelleher

Cecily Kelleher qualified in Medicine at University College Dublin, held the foundation Chair in Health Promotion at NUI Galway, the Chair of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology at UCD and is now College Principal in the new College of Health and Agricultural Sciences at UCD.  She has a long track record of research in the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, in nutrition surveillance and in lifecourse and cross-generational transmission of factors influencing health and wellbeing. She has many years’ experience as a medical practitioner, university academic, public health sciences researcher and public policy advisor and has served on a number of public bodies, including Safefood and the Food Safety Authority, and has chaired two statutory bodies, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety and the Women’s Health Council, from 2001-2008.   

Jürgen Pelikan

Jürgen M. Pelikan, Dr. phil. is Professor emeritus for sociology at University of Vienna /Austria and Director of the Competence Center for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care at the Austrian Public Health Institute in Vienna / Austria. He has co-initiated the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) and was its PI for data analysis and reporting. Later he was directing further research on health literacy of specific populations (adolescents, migrants) and on health literate health care organizations in Austria and was PI in an EU-Project on diabetes health literacy.

 

He is a co-editor of the WHO publication Health Literacy – The Solid Facts. Actually he is co-chairing a working group on “Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Literate Health Care Organizations” of the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services and also is co-chairing the Action Network for Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL) of the European Health Information Initiative (EHII) of WHO-Europe. He is a member of the Executive Board of the International Health Literacy Association (IHLA) and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Asian Health Literacy Association (AHLA).

Cathryn E. Gunther
Vice President, Global Population Health, MSD

Cathryn is a health care strategist, innovator and collaborateur, working across public and private sectors. She founded a boutique consulting agency directed at enhancing the performance of organizations dedicated to improving population health. She specializes in developing strategies and delivering transformational collaborations that create greater health impact for patients, health care consumers and populations in need. 

 

Recently, Cathryn launched MSD’s Global Population Health, establishing the corporate framework for innovative population health approaches that create sustained social and business value. This work includes advancing the company’s thought leadership to improve patient and community health literacy through the application of evidence-based health literacy principles. Cathryn leads the company’s workforce wellbeing strategy and supports a number of population health advancements in antimicrobial stewardship, prevention through immunization, women’s health and non-communicable diseases.

 

She serves on the Boards of the National Business Group on Health and the Grand View Health Foundation and is a member of the Global Chief Medical Officers Network. She serves on the Health Evolution Summit Leadership Committee and the George Mason University Center for the Advancement of Wellbeing. Cathryn is married, a mother of 3 and a practicing equestrian.

Cathryn is a health care strategist, innovator and collaborateur, working across public and private sectors. She founded a boutique consulting agency directed at enhancing the performance of organizations dedicated to improving population health. She specializes in developing strategies and delivering transformational collaborations that create greater health impact for patients, health care consumers and populations in need. 

 

Recently, Cathryn launched MSD’s Global Population Health, establishing the corporate framework for innovative population health approaches that create sustained social and business value. This work includes advancing the company’s thought leadership to improve patient and community health literacy through the application of evidence-based health literacy principles. Cathryn leads the company’s workforce wellbeing strategy and supports a number of population health advancements in antimicrobial stewardship, prevention through immunization, women’s health and non-communicable diseases.

 

She serves on the Boards of the National Business Group on Health and the Grand View Health Foundation and is a member of the Global Chief Medical Officers Network. She serves on the Health Evolution Summit Leadership Committee and the George Mason University Center for the Advancement of Wellbeing. Cathryn is married, a mother of 3 and a practicing equestrian.

Laura Magahy

Laura Magahy is the Executive Director of the Sláintcare Programme Implementation Office. Previously she has led some of Ireland’s most significant and transformational public-sector projects on behalf of government including the €1 billion urban renewal of Temple Bar and the Global Irish Forum initiative, Irish Design 2015.

She has led change management and physical development projects in healthcare and has a particular interest in population-based planning and citizen engagement.

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Laura Magahy is a Fellow and past President of the Institute of Directors and is one of Ireland’s top Level A Project Directors. She is an honorary member of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland and has served on numerous public, private and plc boards as Chairman, Non-Executive Director, and Executive Director.

Inez Bailey

Dr Inez Bailey is the Chief Executive Officer in NALA. She is responsible for the Agency, focusing on its strategic work programme, promotional strategy and human and financial resources. She assists and advises the Agency’s Board on fulfilling its functions and monitor developments in the external environment, which may impact on the Agency’s work. She has been involved in policy making, research and securing additional funding for adult literacy services in Ireland. She is a member of the Upskilling Pathways working group in Ireland, as well as the Strategic Implementation Advisory Committee for SOLAS the Further Education and Training Authority. She is a Board member of EU Basic Skills Network (EBSN). Inez completed her doctoral studies with the University of Sheffield where she conducted a critical policy analysis of lifelong learning.

Michael Power

Michael Power is a student ambassador for the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA). He is from Tipperary and returned to learning in the local adult literacy service which opened doors to change his career and his life. He is a full-time care assistant working with people with intellectual disabilities. He is a great advocate of adult literacy and health literacy and sits on the National Patients’ Forum, National Audit Forum and National Drugs Forum in the HSE.

Anne McCusker

Anne is Programme Manager with Belfast Healthy Cities, a partnership organisation working to deliver the World Health Organization healthy city requirements in the city of Belfast.  Leading the development of the Health Literacy programme, recent work includes the delivery in Northern Ireland of the IROHLA developed Health Literacy Focused Communication Training for European Health Professionals, as part of a pilot led by University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands. Introducing and leading the theme of health literacy in Northern Ireland through awareness raising and capacity building training with health professionals. Current work includes scoping a regional framework on health literacy and accreditation mark for health professionals as part of the transformation agenda within health and social care.

 

Other areas of work include managing the delivery of the Health Inequalities and Healthy Ageing programmes. Supporting the development and delivery of Reducing Inequalities: Getting Results Flagship Training Programme, Health Inequalities Screening Tool and the Walkability Assessment for Healthy Ageing tool. Anne joined Belfast Healthy Cities in 2013 as Policy and Project Officer.  Prior to this she worked for voluntary sector organisations developing and delivering programmes on health and wellbeing.

Leena Paakkari

Senior lecturer, Adjunct professor in health promotion, The Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

 

Leena Paakkari is a senior lecturer and a researcher in health education teacher training within the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research interests relate to adolescents’ health literacy and health disparities, ethical aspects in developing health literacy among the pupils, and school health education and health education teacher training. She is a researcher in Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study.

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