Published: 16-02-2023 16:30 | Updated: 03-10-2023 10:14

New expert coordinator, in health system resilience, at the Centre for Health Crises

Helena Nordenstedt Photo: Matthias Ahlm

The Centre for Health Crises at KI is expanding its group of expert coordinators. This time it is the area of expertise is health systems resilience, and it comes in the form of Helena Nordenstedt, associate professor and medical doctor, with an extensive experience. Her research interests span the area of global health and resilience to crises on a systems level.

Helena has been working at KI for several years. She defended her PhD in 2007 and initially she then worked with research on matters related to cancer in the oesophagus, stomach and liver, before she changed direction and began focusing on global health. She has experience of clinical work (as a student and a physician) from health care systems in around ten countries, spanning from Sweden and the US to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The last ten years her research and teaching has focused on global health, with a common denominator being health systems’ conditions and needs to handle and prevent crises. In addition to her research, Helena teaches in global health and is in charge of the very popular elective course in global health, which spans across degrees at KI and includes a study trip to low-income countries.

Clinical work and on the board of Gapminder

In conjunction with her work at KI, Helena is clinically practicing as a specialist consultant in internal medicine at Danderyd Hospital. Moreover, she has been involved with the Gapminder Foundation for several years. Gapminder Foundation was founded by Hans Rosling and work to promote sustainable global development and fulfilment of the UN Millennium Goals, by increased understanding of statistics and other data about social, economic and environmental development on a local, national and international level. Helena has been Head of Research at Gapminder Foundation and is now a Senior Advisor and member of the board.

What makes a health care system work even in a crisis

With her extensive experience and knowledge in global health and health system resilience in various kinds of health care system, Helena contributes to the Centre for Health Crises’ skill and competence in an area of cross-cutting importance: how crises affect, and are prevented, on a systems level. The Centre for Health Crises strives to have both this kind of cross-cutting expertise in areas that are relevant in several different types of health crises, combined with more specific expertise in distinct types of health crises.

Considering her role as expert coordinator Helena says that:  

"I want to contribute to an increased understanding of that makes a healthcare system continue to function during and after a crisis, and that includes how to deal with "ordinary issues", such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other conditions".