For the 2nd year in a row, the 4-week Summer School on “Health Communication & Health Inequalities Across the Health Professions in Greece & the U.S.” has been completed. (https://global.rutgers.edu/program-search/details/summer-rutgers-health-communication-health-inequalities-across-health).
The purpose of the program was to investigate the factors that lead to health inequalities, based on social factors and more effective interdisciplinary communication with vulnerable populations, which is a necessary condition for maximizing the desired health outcomes.
The 2nd Summer School started remotely on June 1, 2023 and from June 15 it was hosted for 2 weeks at the premises of the School of Health Sciences of the Hellenic Mediterranean University. In parallel with the courses, visits were made to the KAPI Gazi of the Municipality of Malevizi, to the Community Center – Roma Branch of the Municipality of Heraklion and to the Gypsy Camp in Nea Alikarnassos and to the Center for Minor Immigrants of IDENIVIM in Anogeia. The 2nd Summer School ended on Thursday, June 29, 2023, where the groups consisting of Greek and American students presented their work and their overall experience from Crete, in the presence of the General Director of Public Health and Social Care of the Region of Crete, Mr. Spyros Commissioner. The work of the program and the overall hospitality of the participants was carried out with the partial sponsorship of the Laboratory of Applied Social Research and Social Work of the Department of Social Work and its Director Assistant Professor Nicoletta Ratchika.
From the Greek side, the summer school was primarily attended by female students from the Interdepartmental Postgraduate Program “Interdisciplinary Management of Chronic Diseases, Disability and Aging” (https://cdda.hmu.gr) of HMU and from the Interinstitutional Postgraduate Program ” Community Work and Social Economy” (https://sw.hmu.gr/metaptyxiakes/programma-metaptychiakwn-spoydwn/), as well as PhD candidates from the two participating Departments, Social Work and Business & Tourism Management.
The coordinators of the effort from HMU were Assistant Professor Cleo Koutra (Laboratory of Applied Social Research and Social Work of the Department of Social Work) and Assistant Professor Giorgos Kritsotakis (Department of Business & Tourism Management), while on the American side the coordinators were Associate Professor Matthew Matsaganis (School of Communication and Information) and Professor Riva Touger-Decker (School of Health Sciences). The work of the program was carried out with the partial sponsorship of the Laboratory of Applied Social Research and Social Work of the Department of Social Work and the Office of International Relations of ELMEPA.
The Summer School was organized in the context of a wider strategic alliance of the Hellenic Mediterranean University with Rutgers University of New Jersey, one of the oldest and largest public universities in the USA, founded in 1766 and with more than 70,000 students and 23,400 professors. and other staff.
The collaboration was established through the participation of the two institutions in the IAPP-Greece program, an academic “incubator”, created by the Greek and American Departments of Education, the Institute of International Education (IIE) and international institutions, such as the FULBRIGHT Foundation. During the Summer School, the Rector of HMU Professor Nikolaos Katsarakis and the Vice-Rector for International Relations and Outreach Associate Professor Konstantinos Petridis, had the opportunity to discuss extensively with the delegation of American professors about strengthening relations and new cooperation proposals between the two institutions .