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EUPHA president column: EUPHA–ASPHER collaboration will strengthen European public health

Ilmo Keskimäki
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckn057 432-433 First published online: 21 July 2008

In the EUPHA News column in the previous issue of EJPH, Dineke Zeegers wrote about intensifying collaboration between EUPHA and ASPHER (the Association of Schools of Public Health of the European Region). As Dineke wrote ASPHER and EUPHA have been good friends. The contacts between the organizations have been tight at the personal level—the schools represented by ASPHER have educated a substantial part of public health experts who EUPHA is representing. Also ASPHER and EUPHA have worked together at projects, such as the latest one on the accreditation of public health training programmes in Europe. Now the two organizations have taken the collaboration one step further by organizing their 2008 and 2009 annual conferences together: this year in Lisbon and in 2009 in Cracow.

Related to the collaboration of the organizations, I was invited to attend the ASPHER Conference on core competencies of public health education. The conference was organized in Aarhus, Denmark, on 10–11 April 2008. It was a part of a 3 year programme in which ASPHER is developing a list of intellectual and practical competencies (knowledge and skills), which are essential qualifications for public health experts in their work. In the end, such list is meant to support public health schools in developing their training programmes and to communicate to students as well as public health stakeholders what can be expected from the training programmes.

The core competencies programme is a good example on important work ASPHER has carried out since its foundation in 1966. ASPHER was founded for a forum of communication between schools and university department of …