Support from Potsdam for Faculty of Health Sciences

Potsdam, 25 June 2018

The Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, the University of Potsdam and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg established a joint new Faculty of Health Sciences in Potsdam today. Signatories to the cooperation agreement were Prof. Oliver Günther (University of Potsdam), Prof. Jörg Steinbach (BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg), Prof. Edmund Neugebauer (MHB) and Martin Pangritz as manager of the MHB campus GmbH. The Brandenburg Minister of Science and Research Martina Münch presented the required permission. Financial agreements concerning the joint faculty will be signed in the near future. Annual funding of 6.6 million EUR (1.6 million EUR for MHB) provided from the regional government starts in 2019 and covers a total of 16 scheduled professorships for research and student education in and for Brandenburg.

According to Minister Münch, the agreement is the starting signal for the joint Faculty of Health Sciences as the core element of the Brandenburg Health Campus: “One focus will be on research into age-related diseases, another on the development of models that will enable sick persons to live at home as long as possible within a satisfactory care situation. The planned Health Campus comprising universities, research facilities and clinics will constitute a unique network in Germany and help to secure skilled personnel in medical and nursing care in Brandenburg; in addition it will further strengthen science and research in health care.”

Prof. Edmund Neugebauer, dean of the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, underlines the focus on the federal state of Brandenburg: “Our aim in educating and qualifying physicians and psychologists is to ensure and improve health and patient care in Brandenburg. Our research focus on health and illness of an ageing population, specifically on cardiovascular diseases, tumours and psychological disorders, is a key component of the Health Campus. We welcome the new joint faculty which we also regard as recognition of our achievements in teaching, research and patient care. It stands for a new start in the state of Brandenburg – for us at the Brandenburg Medical School, but specifically for the general population.”

One idea behind the new faculty is to introduce innovative programmes addressing topical issues in health care, and develop new formats of medical and nursing care provision. As a joint university institution and in collaboration with other universities and external research facilities, the Health Campus is intended to improve medical care in Brandenburg, boost health research via research alliances and also promote practice-oriented training and further education in medicine and nursing. A large network of hospitals will form part of the project. A scientific board will monitor the process and give advice and recommendations on, e.g., research priorities.

The three universities involved (Potsdam, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and MHB) had signed a preliminary collaboration agreement in June 2016. In a 2-year pilot stage they drew up concepts for development, personnel and research and regulations for doctoral procedures and post-doctoral lecturing qualifications, and they formed research alliances on “medicine and health for the ageing”. The regional parliament approved these concepts for the joint faculty on 31 May 2018. Several professorships will be advertised this year, among them 4 for MHB. Funds from the Brandenburg government amount to around 2.2 million EUR in 2017, ca. 3.4 million in 2018, and 6.6 million per year starting from 2019, with additional third-party funding as a future option. Prior to the appointment of professors, funds will primarily be used to establish research partnerships and organise the Health Campus with events, workshops and the head office.