University at Albany, United States
Keynote Speech: Lessons learned from COVID-19 on Helping People to Communicate about Health
Professor in Health Policy, Management and Behavior, School of Public Health, University at Albany, United States of America
Jennifer Manganello is on the faculty of the University at Albany School of Public Health. She is a health communication scholar who incorporates theories, concepts, and methods from the fields of public health and communication. Her research focuses on health literacy, especially as it relates to adolescents and young adults. She also studies the influences of media and technology on health. She has published her work in journals such as the Journal of Health Communication, Public Health Management and Practice, Journal of Children and Media, and Public Health Nutrition. Before starting at UAlbany, Dr. Manganello was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
This talk will address lessons we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic about how to communicate about public health. The talk will include a look at the current media and information landscape. Who uses what, and how should we disseminate messages? The talk will also cover how to consider the target audience and the importance of thinking about cultural competency and health literacy in message design. Ideas for best practices for using social media will also be discussed.
University of Sydney, Australia
Keynote Speech: Neglected Hypertension: How does the Environment Positively and/or Negatively Affect your Hypertension?
Professor of Medicine, Academic Director Westmead Applied Research Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
Professor Clara Chow is Academic Director of the Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC), Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. She is a cardiologist and the Program Director of Community Based Cardiac Services at Westmead hospital and is also a member of the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Governing Board, Sydney, Australia. Professor Chow has also been appointed the Director of the Australian Stroke and Heart Accelerator (ASHRA). She currently holds honorary appointments as the Charles Perkins Centre Westmead Academic Co-director and President of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Professor Chow’s research focuses on the prevention of cardiovascular disease, innovation in the delivery of cardiovascular care and the evaluation of digital health interventions. She has expertise in the design, delivery and implementation of clinical trials. Her PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia was in cardiovascular epidemiology and international public Health and her Postdoc from McMaster University, Canada in clinical trials and cardiac imaging. She is supported by a NHMRC Investigator grant.
Despite the World Health Organisation amongst others recognising that hypertension is a leading modifiable cause of global morbidity and mortality, the global prevalence of hypertension, at about 40%, has been stagnant for the last 20 years, with prevalence dropping in some high-income countries but remaining the same or increased in many low- and middle- income countries. The reasons for this are multi-factorial with barriers at the individual, health care, and larger system and environment levels. Some of these barriers are surprisingly consistent globally, for example treatment inertia. Yet there are other barriers such as availability and affordability of medicines that are variable. The solutions are also not straight forward. There has been some innovation in interventions and ideas that could address the burden of hypertension globally. These include better use of fixed dose combination therapy as well as system level interventions, some that involve different ways of engaging the health and non-health work force in management of blood pressure, others involving digital solutions. The use of fixed dose combination greatly improves the likelihood that blood pressure will be controlled, with evidence from clinical trials supporting this, and international clinical guidelines also recommending combination therapy as first line for control of hypertension. However, the implementation of this evidence has not been anywhere near universal. This talk will discuss hypertension globally, where we are now, how we have got here, and what we could do to reduce the burden of hypertension globally.
University of Derby, United Kingdom
Keynote Speech: Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature and Biodiversity
Prof. Sheffield is the Associate Head of Centre for Psychological Research. He is a Registered Health Psychologist and has trained students to be Health Psychologists (stage 1 and stage 2 training). He supervises PhD and Doctorate students, leads Psychology of Illness and Research Project in Health Psychology modules on the MSc Health Psychology programme, and teaches on BSc Psychology. His research interests are: Pain and Pain Management in Patients, Athletes, and Healthy Adults; Cardiovascular Responses to Stress in healthy adults and patients with heart disease; Performing under Pressure: Challenge and Threat responses in athletes; Nature Connectedness: correlates and interventions to increase how people relate to nature; and Maths Anxiety.
Over three decades ago the biophilia hypothesis was postulated by EO Wilson to account for our intrinsic bond with other living organisms. This sparked the first wave of scientific research into human-nature interactions by providing a hypothesis that could be tested. Nature affords a range of resources to directly promote wellbeing and facilitate problem solving as Wilson recognised. These benefits are not restricted to rural environments as I will describe in this keynote.
The strength of an individual’s connection with nature is related to both hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing in adults and children. In a series of studies, we have demonstrated how nature connectedness can be increased in urban environments by tapping into aspects of biophilia. In our initial studies using a noticing nature intervention delivered online and via an app, we find that nature connectedness can be increased and that these increases are sustained. Relatedly, well-being and pro-environmental behaviours were increased; It was good for people and for nature. Considering other aspects of biophilia lead us to test which biophilic values are related to nature connectedness and how they might be used to increase nature connectedness and, consequently, wellbeing. Our research indicated that five of the nine values proposed by Wilson were important and interventions that focused on them increased nature connectedness and wellbeing. Interestingly, although these approaches can benefit individuals in a range of environments, greater biodiversity is associated with greater benefits. Recent attention has begun to turn towards the human-nature relationship as a route to limiting environmental damage, acknowledging that information is insufficient to produce environmentally responsible behaviours. Our relationship with nature may be key to saving humanity from a harm of its own making and avoiding the ultimate loss of other species along with ourselves.
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Keynote Speech: Al and Games for a Better Life of an Aging Population
Associate Chair – Academic, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Jung, Younbo (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Academic) at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University Singapore. His research interests include socio-psychological effects of interactive media such as video games, virtual reality systems, and human-robot interaction, and their applications in medical and educational fields. Dr. Jung’s current project addresses various issues emerged from the ageing and modern society, known as Gerontechnology, Heath Tech, or Age Tech.
University of Washington, United States
Keynote Speech: Risks of and Responses to Climate Change: What's Next?
Professor, Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), University of Washington, United States
Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., MPH is a professor in the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington, USA. She has been conducting research and practice on the health risks of climate variability and change for 25 years, including estimating current and future health risks of climate change; designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce risks in multi-stressor environments; and estimating the health co-benefits of mitigation policies. She has been an author on multiple national and international climate change assessments, including the fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment and the IPCC 6th Assessment Report.
Climate change is causing injuries, illnesses, and deaths worldwide, with increases in global temperature projected to further increase morbidity and mortality from most climate-sensitive health outcomes if actions are not taken to rapidly increase adaptation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude and pattern of future risks will depend not just on climate change but also on development choices. Adaptation can reduce the current and projected burdens of climate-sensitive health outcomes over the short term in many countries, but the extent to which it could do so past mid-century will depend on emission and development pathways. Under high emission scenarios, climate change will be rapid and extensive, leading to fundamental shifts in the burden of climate-sensitive health outcomes that will be challenging for many countries to manage. Unmanaged disease burdens could erode gains made in public health, economic development, and living standards worldwide. Sustainable development pathways could delay but not eliminate associated health burdens.
Norfolk County Council & University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Keynote Speech: Environmental Influences on Population Health - Measuring the impact of poverty on human health in natural rural environments
Expert Advisor in Public Health, Norfolk County Council
Honorary Professorial Fellow of Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Prof. Andy Jones works as an Expert Advisor in Public Health at Norfolk County Council and a Honorary Professorial Fellow of Norwich Medical School at University of East Anglia. He has wide ranging expertise in public health, including the pragmatic evaluation of public health interventions, the role of the environment as a determinant of health and related behaviours, and the impact of access to services on health outcomes. He has keen interests in policy and delivery and has worked closely with a range of key organisations including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Cancer Research UK. He heads a prolific research group, has won £25 million of research funding as lead or co-applicant, and has published over 270 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has an impact (h) index score of 61, which is classified as “exceptional” and places me in the top percentile of academics worldwide.
Whilst it is generally accepted that living in more natural environment may bring a range of health benefits associated with contact with nature, the residents of rural areas face several potential challenges not encountered by their urban counterparts including social isolation, a lack of skilled employment opportunities and greater distances to travel to health services. All of these might adversely impact their health, raising the need to understand how the health benefits of living close to nature are balanced against opportunity deprivation for those outside urban areas. Deprivation indices have been widely used to understand geographical variations in poverty in healthcare research and planning in many countries since the mid-1980s. However, urban areas tend to dominate the deprived end of these indices because of the methods that are typically used to generate them, meaning it can be difficult to understand the impact of rural poverty on health. This research examines issues around the measurement of multiple deprivation in rural areas and, using a case study approach of a rural setting in part of the UK, it provides a series of recommendations about how this might be better done.
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Keynote Speech: How Best to Re-connect Nature and Humans to Save the Planet?
Distinguished Professor and Director, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Prof. Fang is currently serving as a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University and is the Presidents of the Society of Wetland Scientists Asia Chapter and Taiwan Wetland Society. He received a BA degree in Land Economics and Administration from National Taipei University, received his first master's degree in Environmental Planning (MEP) from Arizona State University, second master's degree in Landscape Architecture in Design studies (MDes.S.) from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA. He obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Ecosystem Science & Management, Texas A&M University, USA.
The impact of human activities on Earth are sufficient to form a new geologic epoch. The Industrial Revolution was the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch, but to date neither the International Commission on Stratigraphy nor the International Union of Geological Sciences has approved this slice of geologic time. Nonetheless, soon after this concept was put forward, many scholars posited that the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch should be earlier and based on science. Scientists have documented 50% of the biota that once lived on Earth have become extinct since humans arrived. The continued increase in human population and excessive consumption of the planet’s natural resources may lead to the Earth’s 6th mass extinction event. Promoting sustainable development should be a goal pursued by governments of all countries.
If environmental problems exist, then environmental protection at all levels of government and society are needed to reconnect Nature and Humans to save the planet. The ecological problems humans face today comes from the loss of traditional knowledge, values, human behavior, and ethics. Pro-environmental behaviors (PEB), therefore, promote both the intrinsic value of nature and the protection of nature and its sacredness. Therefore, we need to address environmental issues through advocacy, education, and activism. The environmental education (EE) learning elements include concepts such as natural resource conservation, environmental management, ecological principles, environmental interaction and interdependence, environmental ethics, and sustainability. The goals for environmental education are lofty, but all are aimed to cultivate human environmental awareness and sensitivity, knowledge, values and attitudes, and mobility skills, and experience.
Environmental education shoulders the responsibility of cultivating national level, and socially based environmental protection programs, such as education, restoration, and conservation. The sustainable development talents of the students that are related to environmental quality, environmental resources, and sustainable development relationship that are cultivated through university programs may contribute to the economic and social development of various countries. Understanding the ecology of the environments within which we live and protecting the environment is a common thread through all people and cultures.
Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany
Keynote Speech: Healthy Schools, Healthy Students: Advances and Challenges in Health Education and School Health Promotion
Professor, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany
Prof. Kevin Dadaczynski is full professor at the Public Health Centre Fulda of Fulda University of Applied Science. His research focus is on health promotion and education with special interest on educational settings, digital health and health literacy. He is involved as principal investigator and coordinator in national and international projects on school health promotion (e.g. evaluation of complex and holistic interventions on health promoting schools, Health Behaviour in School Aged-Children Study, HBSC) and health literacy (e.g. COVID-HL Survey, digital health literacy of pupils). He formerly held positions at the German Federal Center for Health Education, Leuphana Univeristy Lueneburg and Flensburg University.
Around 41% of the world's population is 24 years of age or younger, representing a total 3.31 billion young people (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2019). Although duration of compulsory education differs substantially across countries worldwide, schools are a setting that play a significant role in the daily lives of young people. Schools are ideal places to support young people in their healthy development and to empower them to take responsibility for their own health and that of their environment. In this context, holistic approaches that focus on different topics, target groups (students, teaching and non-teaching school staff, parents) and levels within and outside of the school are considered to be particularly promising. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted schools, resulting - amongst other consequences - in school closures that lasted from 6 weeks (Iceland) and 82 weeks (India) (UNESCO, 2022). Given this background, it is not surprising that emerging evidence suggest the COVID-19 pandemic is a disruptive event for schools, impeding the implementation of holistic activities on health promotion and prevention (Dadaczynski et al., 2022). By contrast, an increasing number of studies report an increase in health-related problems among students and school staff, indicating a greater need for health promotion activities in schools. Notably, the most vulnerable children and adolescents (e.g., those with low socioeconomic backgrounds) are the most affected, thus widening health inequalities. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce current challenges and needs in school health promotion as a strategy for societal recovery and resurgence. Special attention will be given to health literacy as an emerging public health issue, including considerations of how to integrate health literacy into the holistic Health Promoting School approach.
Nippon Medical School, Japan
Keynote Speech: Nature and Forest Medicine as a Public Health Strategy: Beneficial effects of forest bathing/shinrin-yoku/forest therapy on human health
Professor at Nippon Medical School
Vice-President & Secretary General of International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM)
President of Japanese Society of Forest Medicine
Dr, Qing LI (MD, PhD) graduated from Shanxi Medical University in China and got PhD from Kagoshima University. He is professor at Nippon Medical School, President of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, Director of the Forest Therapy Society, Vice-President and Secretary General of INFOM. He has studied at Stanford University. Prof. Li is the world’s foremost expert in forest medicine and immunology. He received Society Award from the Japanese Society for Hygiene in Forest Medicine in 2021 and University Award from Nippon Medical School in Forest Medicine in 2011. His book: Shinrin-yoku (https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/308285/shinrin-yoku/9780241984857.html) has been translated into 26 languages. His book: Forest bathing (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/579709/forest-bathing-by-dr-qing-li/) was ranked in the bestseller list in the US.
Researchers in Japan have tried to find a new method to reduce stress by visiting forests and have proposed a new concept called “Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing”.
Shinrin in Japanese means ‘forest’, and yoku means ‘bath’. So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
Shinrin-Yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.
In Japan, since 2004, serial studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of Forest Bathing/Shinrin-Yoku on human health. We have established a new medical science called Forest Medicine. The Forest Medicine is a new interdisciplinary science, belonging to the categories of alternative medicine, environmental medicine and preventive medicine, which studies the effects of forest environments (Forest Bathing/Shinrin-Yoku/Forest Therapy) on human health. It has been reported that Forest Bathing/Shinrin-Yoku (forest therapy) has the following beneficial effects on human health:
1. Shinrin-Yoku boosts immune function by increasing human natural killer (NK) activity, the number of NK cells, and the intracellular levels of anti-cancer proteins, suggesting a preventive effect on cancers.
2. Shinrin-Yoku reduces stress hormones, such as urinary adrenaline and noradrenaline and salivary/serum cortisol contributing to stress management.
3. Shinrin-Yoku improves sleep.
4. Shinrin-Yoku shows preventive effect on depression by improving positive feelings and serotonin in serum and reducing negative emotions.
5. Shinrin-Yoku reduces blood pressure and heart rate showing preventive effect on hypertension.
6. Shinrin-Yoku may apply to rehabilitation medicine.
7. Shinrin-Yoku in city parks also has benefits on human health.
8. Shinrin-Yoku has preventive effect on lifestyle related diseases by reducing stress.
9. Shinrin-Yoku shows preventive effect on COVID-19 by reducing stress and boosting immune function.
10. Phytoncides play an important role in Shinrin-Yoku.