On Monday 1 April, prof. dr. Willy Spaan, chair of the Dutch Federation on University Medical Centres (NFU) presented the plan 'Research and Innovation with and for the healthy region ('‘Onderzoek & Innovatie met en voor de gezonde regio’) to minister Bruins (Medical care). The plan outlines an active and uniting role of the academic medical centers (umc's) in solving health issues close to home. In the report some examples are listed of good collaborations involving the UMCG on the Healthy Ageing Campus in Groningen: the collaboration in the field of cardiac care Hartnet Noord-Nederland and the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health.
The current challenges in health care and prevention demand a joint effort of the parties involved in the region. "Umc's have a unique role with their scientific research', according to Willy Spaan. 'We have both a knowledge and care function.'
Working together on innovation
The plan describes how umc's in the region can use their knowledge and expertise, together with fellow hospitals, civilians, patients, caregivers, knowledge institutions, companies and health ensurances. It outlines how parties can draw up an inventory of the most urgent and regional problems in prevention, healthy ageing and health care. Questions and needs of citizens and patients are thereby leading.
Academic foundation under the prevention policy
According to Jos Aartsen, chairman of the board of the UMCG, the movement towards sustainable, regional networks has been ongoing for a longer time now. In the NFU-plan some examples of successful regional cooperation are given. Aartsen: 'The joint approach enables us to organise the care of the future for the patient close to home and to guarantee the quality of health care. The HartNet Noord-Nederland, started last year or the Pathology Network Noord-Nederland, started this year are striking examples of this. Furthermore, the UMCG has the responsibility to give a further impulse to the regional use of academic research and innovation. Our Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health combines the efforts to ensure that we can add more healthy years to everybodies' lives. You can say that put an academic foundation underneath the prevention policy of the cabinet.'
A call to join
Innovation is more than doing research and publishing the results. It also involves implementation, monitoring and evaluation. To realize the ambitions in this plan, an extra impetus is needed, also financially.
Source article and copyright photo Jos Aartsen: umcg.nl