Published: 13-12-2023 11:00 | Updated: 20-12-2023 11:31

Foundation laid for a network of health crises expertise at Swedish universities

Several people sitting around a conference table looking at the camera
Participants at the meeting 5 December 2023 that laid the foundation to the creation of a health crises network Photo: Åsa Svensson

A group with broad expertise in the field of health crises, consisting of people from fifteen Swedish universities, gathered at Karolinska Institutet on Tuesday 5 December, when the Centre for Health Crises hosted a meeting about how universities can contribute before, during and after health crises. During the meeting, experiences were shared and the foundation was laid for a health crises network.

Through the Government's appropriation directions to KI for 2023, the Centre for Health Crises was tasked with carrying out initiatives to collaborate with and support other universities in their work in the field of health crises. As part of this task the Centre conducted a mapping of the activities carried out and the competencies available at Swedish universities. The mapping enabled contact to be established with expertise and initiatives in several health crisis areas, such as CBRNE, conflict, disaster medicine, risk and crisis research, natural disasters and Total Defence (Totalförsvar).   

Meeting meant getting to know each other and sharing experiences  

The results of the mapping formed the basis for the meeting on 5 December, which aimed to increase awareness of other universities' activities and areas of expertise. Participants also shared their experiences of working with other actors, such as regions and authorities, before, during and after health crises. The meeting concluded with a discussion on the formation of a health crises network, with the Centre for Health Crises as the node. This was something that all participants were in favour of and expressed an interest in continuing to work with. All the participants are part of the network in their personal capacity based on their skills and expertise.  

Network to gather and develop interdisciplinary expertise   

The Centre for Health Crises’ idea behind proposing the formation of the network, is to gather the interdisciplinary competence needed to tackle issues related to health crises, and to continously develop that competence together. Moreover, the idea is also to facilitate a means to jointly contribute expert competence to the preparedness, management, and evaluation of health crises.  

The more exact format of the network will be continuously developed based on needs. To remain relevant, the network will constantly evolve and include new members, in addition to those attending the meeting.  

Each member of the network possesses expertise in a subject that is relevant to the field of health crises. The point of the network is that by linking these competences, the interdisciplinary knowledge and capabilities in the field will be even greater than the sum of its individual experts.   

Persons present at the meeting, in addition to members of the team at the Centre for Health Crises at KI:  

  • Mats Koraeus, Senior Analyst, Centre for Total Defence and Societal Security, Swedish Defence University.  

  • Eric Carlström, Professor, Centre for Disaster Medicine, University of Gothenburg.   

  • Erik Wetter, Associate Professor, House of Innovation, Stockholm School of Economics.  

  • Johanna Gustavsson, Lecturer, Director of the Centre for Research on Societal Risks, Karlstad University. 

  • Joakim Jaldén, Professor of Signal Processing, Member of the reference group for the Centre for Health Data, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.  

  • Per Becker, Professor of Risk and Sustainability, Lund University  

  •  Aron Larsson, Professor, Director of the Risk and Crisis Research Centre, Mid Sweden University.  

  •  Magnus Karlsson, Professor, Head of Unit, Centre for Civil Society Research, Marie Cederschiöld University College  

  • Jason Murphy, Senior Lecturer, Kunskapcentrum i katastrofmedicin, Umeå University/ Swedish Red Cross University 

  • Mårten Jansson, Head of Administration, Sophiahemmet University .  

  • Lovisa Lundholm, Associate Professor, Swedish Academic Initiative on Nuclear Technology Research, Stockholm University.   

  • Per-Erik Johansson, Director of The European CBRNE Center, Umeå University.  

  • Anton Westman, Associate Professor, Kunskapscentrum i katastrofmedicin, Umeå University  

  • Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Professor, Director of the Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science (CNDS), Uppsala University  

  • Filip Arnberg, Associate Professor, Programme Director of the National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry, Uppsala University.  

  •  Karin Hugelius. Associate professor, Senior lecturer, Specialist Nurse in Disaster Medicine, Örebro University. 


Caroline De Groot Coordinator