Advisory Board

Elena Curtopassi

Elena Curtopassi has an experience of more than 20 years in the field of International and European Affairs, working for the Veneto Region’s Brussels Office and Veneto Lavoro since 1997.

She is in charge of Social and Health Care policies. As such integrated care is part of her responsibilities since the Veneto and Italian models are based on it. Law 328/2000

Her main responsibilities include:

International relations, the links with the EU institutions: European Parliament, Permanent Representations to the EU, Committee of the Region, Social and Economic Committee, Foreign and Italian Regions in Brussels European projects partnerships with the following of the current programmes: Erasmus +, Health Programme, Horizon 2020, EU Union’s Rights, Equality and citizenship program 2014-2020, Youth in action, equal opportunities, Interreg, Europe for Citizens, The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Information and counselling: partner searches, answering requests and supporting Local and Regional authorities (Municipalities, Provinces, Region, Associations, social cooperatives..) in improving the answers to their local needs taking advantage of the European programming opportunities.

Raising awareness to the EU about Social and Health Regional and Local priorities, needs, capacities and innovative models.

Informing about EU policies, and programmes and developing opportunities at local, Regional and national and European level.

Member of the Board and steering of the following European networks:

ENSA, European Network of Social Authorities in charge of the general coordination on behalf of the Veneto Region. The network is divided in 5 thematic working groups: elderly care, disability, childhood, youth, social inclusion transversal to all groups;

ELISAN, European Local Inclusion and Social Action network;

European Covenant on Demographic Change;

Social and Territorial Transversal Working Group of the Conference of INGOS of the Council of Europe on behalf of ELISAN;

Implementation of the SDGs through the project “Inclusive Cities for sustainable Families”.

Xinye Fang

Xinye Fang is a policy researcher from Shanghai Health Development Research Center, which is affiliated with Shanghai Municipal Health Commission. The ultimate goal of health policy research is to accelerate policy transformation. Xinye was graduated from London School of Economics and Political Science, major in International Health Policy and Health Economics.

In 2016, she received funding from China Medical Board for her visiting scholar at the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She contributed to a systematic review of modifiable factors associated with frailty among older people. This was part of The EU funded project ‘Urban health Centers Europe’ that aimed to integrate health and social care for older people in primary care settings in Greece, Croatia, Spain, UK, and the Netherlands.

As a health policy researcher, she not only works with academic staff, but more importantly, she maintains close contact with government officials, and she understands the decision-making needs of policymakers. As the project leader, she has conducted nearly 10 scientific research projects in the past five years. 5 of them were converted into actual policies, which assisted the government to make scientific and reasonable decisions.

Xinye utilized data from the Shanghai Long-Term Care Needs Assessment Questionnaire in 2014 and 2015 to investigate the determinants of formal care use and expenses among in-home older people. Also, she was selected as the main participant for the project on the construction of integrated health care system in one pilot region in Shanghai, which summarizes the development and typical cases of integrated care in Shanghai and in China.

Charlotte Haggren

I trained as a physiotherapist in Oslo Norway after leaving a career as an archaelogist in London. I presently and for the last 12 years I have worked at a management level of homecare, nursing homes both public and privately funded. Presently I work as a manager of nursing home run by a publicly funded private company running nursing homes.

2015- 2018 I also worked at municipality policy level in Nacka MunicipalityI represented Nacka municipality in many international EU health care and social care projects including FILO where Nacka was an active member 2017-2019

In addition I work within my own company as a physiotherapist, help osteoarhritis patients via an application called ”Joint Academy”. For the last 7 years I have worked as a homecare physioterapist.

In my ”spare” time I am in elected office in the diocese of Stockholm i the Church of Sweden and also train for running marathons – my next target is Chicago in 2021 depending on the COVID pandemic.

Yuping Mao

Yuping Mao (Ph.D., Ohio University) is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Long Beach. She has extensive working and living experiences in China, the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands. She has conducted research on health issues in the above countries. Her research has a strong focus on communication and global health. Dr. Mao is passionate about applied research to promote cultural diversity and bridge health inequities in healthcare systems. She has participated in several interdisciplinary and international research teams to apply for funding and/or conduct research in population and community health as a communication specialist.

Dr. Mao has extensive experience of transforming academic knowledge to practices and policies through training and consultation. She played an important role in designing, implementing, and evaluating the 2009 Edmonton Citizen Panel on budget priorities. In this collaborative project between the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta, Dr. Mao worked with the government officials to use innovative ways to recruit diverse citizens and carry out the citizen panels for participants to discuss and provide suggestions for budget priorities for the city’s annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion.

Dr. Mao is the co-editor of two books: Culture, Migration, and Health Communication in A Global Context, and Handbook of Research on Citizen Engagement and Public Participation in the Era of New Media. She has published a dozen of book chapters, and her work has also been published in peer reviewed journals such as, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Communication Research, Canadian Journal of Communication, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Journal of Substance Use, and Advances in Public Health. She has made more than 60 research presentations in regional, national, and international academic conferences.

Prof Viktor Peršić

Professor Viktor Peršić, MD, was born in 1967 in Rijeka. As a specialist of internal medicine which he became in 1999, he became a specialist in cardiology in 2009. Since then, he has been working as a specialist in internal medicine - cardiologist at the Hospital specialized for Medical Rehabilitation of Heart, Lung and Rheumatic diseases - Thalassotherapia Opatija where he is the Head of the Clinic for the Treatment, Rehabilitation and Prevention of Heart and Blood Diseases.

In 2014 he became headmaster of the hospital. In professional work, with continuous training in top European cardiological institutions (Cardiology Institute of the University Hospital in Bologna, Sophia Antipolis Heart House in Nice, Hammersmith Hospital in London, University Hospital in Essen) he independently works in noninvasive cardiology diagnostics with special emphasis on transthoracic and transesphageal echocardiography.

Under the guidance of Professor Peršić, cardiology of Thalssotherapia Opatija has significantly improved the scope and quality of services, gained recognition in professional circles, with a special emphasis on the development of new services, among which is the establishment of a cardiology center by introducing new diagnostic methods: magnetic resonance imaging and multilayer computerized CT angiography.

He actively participated in public health campaigns by popularizing cardiovascular disease prevention measures. He was chairman of the organizing committee of three Croatian echocardiography symposium with international participation and also participated in the organizational and scientific committees of professional and scientific meetings of the Croatian Cardiac Society.With extensive professional work in cardiology, he actively participates in a number of professional and scientific conferences. Professor Peršić has many years of cardiology experience in the field of Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka and Osijek, as well as significant scientific and research results. Since 2008 he has been Head of Department of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka. He is an active member of the Croatian Cardiac Society, a member of his Board of Management and holds the function of President of the Working Group for the Prevention and Rehabilitation of Heart and Blood Vascular Diseases of the Croatian Cardiac Society.

Prof Michael Rigby

Michael Rigby is Emeritus Professor of Health Information Strategy at Keele University, UK.  He is resident in Ireland.

The first half of his career was in the English National Health Service, in policy research, early development of electronic record services, and in service planning. His final NHS post was as Service Planning Officer responsible for all health service planning for a Region of 2.5 million resident population.

He then transferred to the academic world, in the former Centre for Health Planning and Management at Keele University, continuing his research and also postgraduate teaching. He continued with applied projects in the UK, Ireland, and other countries, including advising early developments of integrated electronic mental health and community health records.

He has considerable experience of European research projects, and has designed and led several involving every Member State. He led the work in producing the European Science Foundation report on Developing a New Understanding of Enabling Health and Wellbeing in Europe – Harmonising Health and Social Care Delivery and Informatics Support to Ensure Holistic Care.

He is now retired, and undertakes a number of expert and advisory roles for the European Commission, WHO, other bodies, and research projects. He is a Board Member, and chair of the Standards Committee, of the Health Information and Quality Authority of Ireland; the social science member of the Irish National Screening Advisory Committee; a member of the International Medical Informatics Association Working Group on Technology Assessment and Quality Development; and a member of the Roster of Experts for the WHO Digital Health Technical Advisory Group (DHTAG).

Ester Sarquella

Global Government and Public Affairs Director in Tunstall Healthcare

Ester joint Tunstall as Business Development Director for Digital Health in Spain (2017) launching Tunstall’s Connected Health business in the country, and more recently (2020) she has been promoted to the current global role to lead and support the regions with the Government and Public affairs.

Educational Psychologist and Social Pedagogue with a Master’s Degree in public services management, Ester has developed her career in Health and Human Services.

Before joining Tunstall, she worked for the regional Government of Catalonia (Spain) as Senior Policy Advisor in the Catalan Inter-Ministerial Plan for Integrated Care. In that role she had the opportunity to lead the implementation of Integrated Care Partnerships across a Region with an approved Transformational Plan towards health and social care integration (2016) and participated in other critical initiatives such as the Health and Social care Electronical Records Integration.

She has a proven track record on Integrated Care, Digital health & Care and Social Services and an extensive experience on systems transformation in the EU healthcare environment being member of boards and committees of various initiatives such as the international panel of experts to the Scottish Government Digital Health & Care Strategy; or the Advisory Board of the EU InnovCare project among others.

Previously, she developed a career as social services managing director. She was also an associate professor at the Department of Pedagogy at the University of Vic and still maintain a teaching role for different institutions.