Where we go
2035? Can anyone foresee what SSPH+ will be in 15 years?
Of course not. In mid-January 2020, the Directorate engaged in a purely fictive exercise more for the fun of it than for the sake of predicting the future! A month later we all witnessed the exponential epidemic and COVID-19 learning curve. We did not predict a pandemic 15 years ago - but now we know: public health will and must be different in the post-COVID-19 era. Enjoy our fiction below for the 30th anniversary report of SSPH+. And let us know how the future of SSPH+ should look! Life is change!
Send your feedbacks to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Peeking into the SSPH+ 2035 Jubilee Report
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic dominated our 15th jubilee. Now, SSPH+ looks back to a highly successful transition into the post-pandemic era. We like to earmark four examples of how the crisis strengthened the SSPH+ community:
- The pandemic opened the eyes of the global science community for the relevance of multi-disciplinary, collaborative, open access scientific work for public health. In realizing this paradigm shift, the Nobel committee decided in 2021 to award all Nobel Prizes in Medicine to public health research teams. The Mid-Swiss Planetary Health Institute (MS-PHI) – a merger of the former ISPM and all other health institutes of the Universities of Bern, Fribourg and Lucerne and the Universities of Applied Sciences of Bern and Lucerne – brought the very first Nobel Prize to SSPH+ last year. Congratulations again! MS-PHI was awarded for their Polymeal regimen innovation which replaced their widely awarded but industry-dependent Polypill. Polymeal succeeded in reducing the average global mortality of two major killers (i.e. myocardial infarction and stroke) by 50%, thanks to World Fund to Fight Cardiovascular Conditions (WOFFICACO), which empowers organic farmers in a regenerative and socially inclusive Polymeal production and distribution. This guarantees global access to Polymeal – including in informal settlements and in former “food deserts”.
- On March 14th 2035, the Dean of SSPH+ delivered the national speech for the 5th celebration of the Swiss Health Holiday. She reminded the audience that this Holiday, established in 2031 by public vote, marked the origin of the Swiss Citizen Study and Biobank (SCSB), namely the workshop organized by the former Swiss TPH in Basel, 20 years before (August 24th, 2011). The 300’000 randomly selected participants of this unique health science platform soon became the largest social media network. It culminated in forming the political party “Science for Health in All Policy” which won 42% of all seats in the land-slide 2027 election of the Swiss parliament. March 14th was chosen for the new holiday to honour the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, courageously initiated by the Ticino County leaders in the 2020 pandemic. Indeed, the now world famous Corona-Immunitas sero-survey launched by the SSPH+ network only one month after the outbreak became a strong catalyst and enabler of SCSB.
- Implemented during COVID-19, the SSPH+ Public Health Resources (PHR) became a highly successful model to link science with policy and decision-making. In its first phase, PHR offered the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) the COVID-19-platform to share data and raise questions for the multi-disciplinary research community. Meanwhile this “open science advisory forum” became the default for all federal and cantonal public health authorities in support of science based policy advice. Many nations copied this Swiss innovation of a structured participatory science-to-policy advisory model. All FOPH initiated research is organized through the SSPH+ PHR system and several counties soon settle contracts with SSPH+.
- The largest and least anticipated public health benefit of the pandemic was the collapse of the global tobacco industry. In the early 2020ies, research proved that non-smoking societies could have managed the health system during corona pandemics without lockdowns due to the substantial reduction of risk groups in need of ICU treatment. More than 150 countries won law suits and class actions against “big tobacco” which resulted in a fast and global bankruptcy (2025) and the elimination of “smoking” from the Global Burden of Disease list of risk factors. SSPH+ research teams with a former focus on tobacco and health found highly innovative ways to shift agendas toward the single most important local and global health threat, namely poverty and inequity. Though true also in the pre-pandemic era, COVID-19 substantially amplified this public health challenge with large consequences, in particular on mental health.
SSPH+ congratulates the Swiss Global Health Institute (Swiss GloHi) for its 5th anniversary! With its co-headquarters in Geneva and Allschwil, the merger of all academic public health institutes of the County Northwest (the merger of former BS, BL, SO and AG) and the County Lemanic (former VD and GE), this world-largest academic global health institution has a prime focus on the eradication of non-communicable diseases (NCD) locally and globally. This turned out to be the single most effective strategy to reduce not only health care costs but also the health impact of the corona epidemics repeatedly seen during the 2020ies. Those first and foremost affected people with NCD’s. Swiss GloHi dedicated its anniversary symposium, however, to malaria, the forgotten disease of the past. The welcome note was delivered by Juba from Nigeria – known as the last adolescent in Africa infected by malaria (confirmed in 2031). With the climate-change driven emergence of an unprecedented malaria epidemic in the U.S., Spain, Italy, Scotland, Iceland and Germany in the late 2020ies, investments into the eradication of malaria increased 20-fold, resulting in a much faster achievement of this ambitious goal than ever predicted.
SSPH+ expansion continues
After having disclosed the result of the vote, Milena Millenia, the new president of the Board of the Foundation SSPH+, born in 2000 and general director of USUPSI – the merger of USI and SUPSI – proposed on the iGlass Faculty Conference to applaud and welcome the 30th member of SSPH+. Since 2030, SSPH+ had decided to cancel onsite meetings to achieve its zero carbon emission goals. With the new solar light powered iGlasses the SSPH+ faculty interacts now through instant audio-visual contact. The 30th SSPH+ Foundation member - BookTubAssay – is our first from the purely private sector. Welcome! As an influential digital multimedia publisher, created in Neuchâtel only four years earlier, they launch each month, in the six official languages of the United Nations, a new e-book dedicated to public health. The last one - edited by MS-PHI about the Polymeal – turned out to be a global bestseller. Milena was optimistic to be able to welcome the 31st SSPH+ Foundation member under discussion at the Board meeting soon, namely the International Council of Nurses. More to come!