PAHO announces 2023 webinar series on the Essential Public Health Functions

25 Jan 2023
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Since 2021 PAHO has been offering webinars to provide the countries of the Region to share experiences and advance in improving their public health capacities as a mechanism to strengthen and transform their health systems.

Washington, DC, January 25, 2023 (PAHO) -  To address new challenges, in addition to those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have significantly affected public health response capacity and outcomes, PAHO Member States adopted in 2021 the "Strategy for Building Resilient Health Systems and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery to Sustain and Protect Public Health Gains" and along with this, entrusted the Organization to provide technical cooperation to strengthen capacities, promote collaboration, and facilitate regional dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experiences.
With this approach and in response to this mandate, the webinar series was designed as a tool of the Organization to facilitate exchange and support countries in strengthening and transforming their systems to be more resilient and support them in getting back on the path toward Universal Health and the achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

2021-2022 Series: The Renewed Essential Public Health Functions
During 2021 and the beginning of 2022, the first webinars were held with seven meetings focused on Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF). The topics focused on its different components, including the training strategy in the renewed EPHFs; the right to health, as one of the pillars of the conceptual framework; the Monitoring Framework for Universal Health; policy development, social participation, and quality health services (EPHF 4, 5 and 9); the results of the quantitative analysis of the access barriers in countries of the Region; and the experiences with the application of the first phases of the exercise of these functions. More info on the Webinar series on Essential Public Health Functions

2022 Series: Policy Options to Strengthen and Transform Health Systems in the Americas
In the second half of 2022, five webinars were held to identify potential policies to strengthen and transform health systems, drawing on the exchange of experiences among countries; the challenges of health financing; the relevance of measuring access barriers; the role of social participation in reform processes; experiences in the implementation of EPHFs and how the results are supporting internal processes. More info on Policy options for strengthening and transforming health systems in the Americas.

2023 series
In 2023, these meetings will continue to promote dialogue, reflection, and the exchange of experiences to consolidate practices and perspectives and generate ideas for developing strategies and the collective and comprehensive construction of policies. It is expected that these meetings will also promote the articulation and integration of regional efforts and generate a call to action to the different actors of society in the face of common challenges and opportunities through an agenda with critical issues that will deepen the strengthening and reforms in health, as well as the link between the EPHF and the establishment of health systems based on Primary Health Care.

Since its inception, this series of webinars has brought together panelists and speakers, prominent decision-makers, academic and technical representatives from various sectors and levels of government, as well as community-based organizations and international cooperation agencies, whose participation and contributions attracted more than 7,000 attendees from 44 countries within and outside the Region.

International panelists and speakers who were part of the 2021 and 2022 series (in alphabetical order):

  • Alejandro Calvillo, Director of El Poder del Consumidor, Mexico
  • Ana María Malik, Professor at the School of Business Administration of Sao Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation, and member of the Brazilian Academy of Quality, Brazil.
  • Andrea Garita Castro, Director of Planning, Ministry of Health, Costa Rica
  • Arnaldo Medina, Secretary of Quality of the Ministry of Health, Argentina. 
  • Carlos Alvarenga, Vice-minister of Health Management and Development, Ministry of Health, El Salvador
  • Carolina Corcho, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Colombia
  • Cherita Moxey, Ministry of Health and Welfare, The Bahamas
  • Daniel Olesker, Senator of the Republic, former Minister of Public Health, Uruguay
  • Daniel Titelman, Director of the Economic Development Division, ECLAC, Chile
  • David Bardey, Researcher at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.
  • Débora Raymundo Melecchi, Advisor, National Health Council, Brazil.
  • Dheepa Rajan, Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing, WHO and the European Centre for Health Policy, WHO, Switzerland.
  • Frederico Guanais, Deputy Director, Health Division, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), France
  • Germán Crespo, Ministry of Health and Sports, Bolivia
  • Hazel Laws, Ministry of Health, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Helen Haskell, Patient Safety Leader for the WHO
  • Hugo Guajardo, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Fundación para la Seguridad del Paciente, Chile
  • Johanna lakhisaran, Ministry of Health, Suriname
  • José Ángel Vásquez, Head of the Management Planning and Evaluation Unit, Ministry of Health, Honduras
  • Kathryn O'Neill, Chief, Health Services Performance Evaluation Unit, WHO, Switzerland
  • Lillian Lewis McDonald, Health Care Associated Infection Prevention Nurse, Victoria Jubille Hospital, Jamaica
  • Lucy López, Director of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad San Marcos, Peru
  • Luis Galicia, General Program Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Uruguay
  • Luis Robles Guerrero, Advisor, Ministry of Health, Peru
  • Luiz Facchini, Senior Researcher at the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil
  • Marcus Vinícius Fernandes Dias, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Health, Brazil
  • María Begoña Yarza, Minister of Health, Chile
  • Mario Fiad, Senator and Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Argentina.
  • Midori de Habich, Abt Associates, former Minister of Health, Peru
  • Mukesh Chawla, Health, Nutrition,n and Population Advisor, World Bank
  • Norma Llenny Cruz Vilcarromero, Regional Coordinator for the Health of Indigenous Peoples, Regional Health Directorate of Amazonas (DIRESA Amazonas), Peru
  • Oscar Cabrera, Director, Healthy Families Initiative, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, USA
  • Oscar Cetrángolo, Researcher at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Political Economy of Buenos Aires (IIEP-BAIRES), Argentina
  • Pastor Castell-Florit Serrate, Director of the National School of Public Health, Cuba
  • Paulo Buss, Director, Center for Global Health and Health Diplomacy, Brazil
  • Pedro Delgado, Vice President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), UK
  • Pedro González Morera, Ministry of Health, Costa Rica
  • Phillip Swann, Registrar, Ministry of Health, The Bahamas
  • Ricardo Melgen, Director of Population Health Management, Ministry of Health, Dominican Republic
  • Theadora Swift Koller, Senior Technical Advisor on Equity, WHO
  • Valentina Alarcón, Director General of Health Operations, Ministry of Health, Peru.
  • Vivian Camacho, General Director of Traditional Medicine, Ministry of Health and Sports, Bolivia.
  • Walter Flores, Senior Advisor, Center for Equity and Governance Studies in Health Systems (CEGSS), Guatemala, and Research Associate, Accountability Research Center, American University, USA