Health Campus coming soon
Potsdam, 4 May 2018
Forthcoming steps to establish the Brandenburg Health Campus were announced today at a press conference in Potsdam. Presenters were the Minister of Science and Research Dr. Martina Münch, Prof. Edmund Neugebauer (dean, Brandenburg Medical School - MHB), Prof. Oliver Günther (president, University of Potsdam), Prof. Jörg Steinbach (president, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg) and Prof. Johannes Albes (MHB professor of cardiac surgery, chief cardiac surgeon at Immanuel Klinikum Bernau and research alliance spokesman).
According to Minister Münch, one research focus at the Health Campus will be on diseases which frequently occur in advanced age: “Another aim is to develop schemes that help elderly patients to live at home as long as possible with access to good medical care. Our plan, a collaboration of universities, other research institutions and clinics within the health campus, constitutes a unique network in Germany; in addition, it offers new chances to provide Brandenburg with qualified specialist staff for medical and nursing care, and to further strengthen science and research in the health sector.” She announced preparations to appoint the 16 new professors involved in the project for this year; four of these, assigned to MHB, have already been approved by the Brandenburg parliament. The Health Campus will also facilitate medical doctorates and post-doctoral lecturing qualifications.
Prof. Edmund Neugebauer, Dean of the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, underlined the declared intention of his institution to contribute to the provision of health and patient care in Brandenburg with the education of physicians and psychologists. The MHB research focus on health and illness in advanced age, so Neugebauer, will constitute a key pillar in the Health Campus. He welcomed the Brandenburg parliament’s approval of four new professorships at the MHB in the context of the Health Campus project.
Prof. Johannes Albes (chief cardiac surgeon at Immanuel Klinikum Bernau and spokesman for the Brandenburg research alliance on heart health) believes the Health Campus with its broad network and significant research projects to strengthen the basis for practice-oriented and science-based education of physicians at the MHB: “We want to enable our graduates to integrate research into their professional activities throughout their working life.”
According to Prof. Oliver Günther (president, University of Potsdam), the new joint faculty construct will form a solid institutional framework for internationally competitive research and teaching in the field of health sciences. The construct is intended to complement the range of services offered by the Charité and address the specific needs of the state of Brandenburg: “Geriatric medicine, nursing science and health services research, rehabilitation science and also cardiology and physiology will play a key role in this context.” The faculty will have the right to award doctorates (in medicine: Dr. med. / with a stronger research focus: Dr. rer.medic.).
The Health Campus, a joint institution of universities in collaboration with other institutes of higher education and non-university research facilities, is expected to improve the provision of health care in Brandenburg, to boost health research at universities in the region via research alliances, and promote practice-oriented education and advanced training for health and nursing professionals. A broad network of hospitals will form part of the project. An academic advisory board will monitor the development process and give recommendations on e.g. how to advance key research areas. A concept for research, development and personnel planning has been completed. The Brandenburg government and parliament have paved the way for further build-up.
As early as June 2016 a preliminary collaboration agreement was signed by the three universities involved in the project: University of Potsdam, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, and Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane. During the 2-year pilot phase the focus was on a joint concept for development and personnel, joint regulations governing doctorates and post-doctoral lecturing qualifications, and a joint research concept. A further aim is to set up research collaborations in the field of medicine and health of advanced age. The Health Campus is scheduled to serve as a roof for a future Faculty of Health Sciences, with the objective to develop new and innovative programmes to address current issues of health sciences, and also to design new service formats in the provision of medical and nursing care. The actual agreement will be signed within the next weeks.
The Health Campus is being implemented step by step: a head office opened in Potsdam in 2016, soon to be assigned to one of the three partner universities as a dean’s office. Research alliances started operations last year, and the first of 16 professorships will be advertised in 2018 (among them 4 for MHB). Funds made available by the state of Brandenburg: ca. 2.2 million EUR in 2017, ca. 3.4 million EUR in 2018, and a total of 6.6 million EUR per year from 2019. In future years the Health Campus is also expected to raise third-party funding. Prior to the appointment of professors, allocated funds were and are used primarily to set up research alliances, for events and workshops, and for operations at the head office.