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Charité assumes Presidency of the European University Hospital Alliance

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Consolidating and advancing capability and expertise

Video conference: EUHA General Assembly and handover of the chairmanship to Prof. Kroemer. | Photo: A. van Santen | Charité

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has assumed the Presidency of the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA). For the next six months, Charité, represented by its Chief Executive Officer Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer, will be setting the joint health policy agenda of the association of Europe’s nine leading university hospitals. The Presidency will be underpinned by the motto ‘Rebuilding healthcare post-COVID-19: Integrating Europe’. The EUHA members’ shared aim is to consolidate and advance their capability and expertise in the areas of health care provision, research and teaching.

During a videoconference held to mark Charité’s accession to the presidency, Prof. Kroemer emphasized the following: “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted – once again – how much remains to be done. We must develop shared European health care standards, strengthen biomedical research collaborations, and work together to develop a concept for the training of tomorrow’s physicians.” He added: “This consolidation of resources is essential, particularly given the major challenges facing us today. It is the only way for us to develop innovative approaches which are capable of addressing these challenges.”

Explaining that there is a particular need in the area of Digital Health to further develop systems and structures as well as intelligent tools, Prof. Kroemer said: “Readying the health care sector for the digital age means enabling it to process large quantities of clinical data which can then be utilized to support innovations in the field of medical technology and patient-centered medicine.” How these challenges can be addressed and implemented across Europe is the responsibility of the EUHA’s ‘Digital Health and Data Network’ working group, whose launch in 2019 was led by Charité.

The EUHA partners were in agreement: Countering fake news and conspiracy theories requires a consistent strategy of robust research and good communication. For this reason, the EUHA’s ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ working group, which is jointly led by Charité/the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan, is committed to developing common standards for clinical studies and the recruitment of research staff. One recent example of the EUHA’s work in this field was the launch of a COVID-19 Task Force to coordinate research projects into the novel coronavirus. Charité’s Dean, Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries, who also attended the general assembly, summarized the Alliance’s potential as follows: “The EUHA network of outstanding research institutions enables us to approach the current challenges with confidence and success, through research collaborations at the EU level.”

Outlining his aims for Charité’s Presidency, Prof. Kroemer emphasized that, to ensure the success of this agenda, Charité will want to use the term of the German EU Council Presidency to forge new contacts between the EUHA and the institutions of the European Union, as well as strengthen existing ones.

About the EUHA

Formed in 2017, the European University Hospital Alliance represents nine of the largest European university hospitals. In addition to Charité, these are: Vall d‘Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, UZ Leuven, King’s Health Partners in London, Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset in Stockholm, the Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital. The aim of the network is to represent, share and consolidate the capability and expertise of the European hospitals in the areas of health care, research and teaching. All of the EUHA members also act as advisors on the European health care system.