How can universities collaborate better before and during health crises?
The Centre for Health Crises has received funding from the Swedish government to increase and support collaboration across the country’s universities on the topic of health crises. Initially, the Centre completed an online mapping of ongoing activities and existing health crises competences at a majority of the universities. We have also recruited Caroline de Groot, who is coordinating the work and is in the process of reaching out to key groups and individuals to learn more.
In late December 2022, the Centre for Health Crises received funding from the Swedish government to increase and support collaborations with other universities in the field of health crises, as well as to increase awareness of the topic. Hence, the Centre has initiated an exploration of tangible ways in which people and groups that work with matters related to health crises could collaborate. The aim is to better define universities’ role in a health crisis, and better coordinate and make use of all the knowledge and skill available.
At present, the Centre for Health Crises is mapping what is already ongoing in areas related to health crises and crisis preparedness at Swedish universities. This is done both via online data collection and by meeting with people and groups who work with health crises related topics. The focus is primarily to initiate a dialogue and then identify needs and gaps as well as to identify formats for collaboration.
Positive response from colleagues across the country
Coordinating the Centre’s work on university collaboration is Caroline de Groot. A former KI student herself, she has worked extensively on missions abroad with Médecins Sans Frontières. She is keen to use her experience of working in coordinating roles in health crises abroad to now look at health crises in a Swedish context and especially to continue to formulate the role of universities in health crises.
– So far, we have met such enthusiasm and positive response from colleagues around the country when we discuss these questions. I see a truly interdisciplinary initiative taking form and I look forward to being part of the journey, says Caroline.