Speakers Veselības projekti Latvijai

Speakers and panelists

Yannis Natsis, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).
Yannis has studied EU affairs and conflict-resolution in Greece and the UK, has worked as an investigative reporter on award-winning Greek TV news program “Fakeli”, at the European Parliament, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the private sector.  Since 2013 when he started working for the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue, an NGO based in Brussels, Yannis has focused on access to medicines and intellectual property. In January 2016 he joined EPHA as Policy Manager Universal Access and Affordable Medicines and is an expert in policy developments in the field of medicines, issues of medical innovation and access of patients to their treatments.  He is a member of the Patient and Consumer Working Party (PCWP) of the European Medicines Agency. Yannis is committed to promoting transparency and public scrutiny of EU decision-making and believes strongly in a public-interest pharmaceutical model.

Raf Mertens (born 1956) graduated as a medical doctor at the K.U.Leuven in 1981. 
During the next 4 years, he practiced in The Kivu (Congo). 

From 1985 to 1997 he was in charge of the national programme for nosocomial infections surveillance and epidemiology at the Scientific Institute of Public Health in Brussels. Meanwhile, he obtained a diploma in medical and social hygiene (1986, K.U.Leuven) and in epidemiology (1989, London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and got his recognition as a specialist in health data management. 

During 4 years, he was the coordinator of the European HELICS programme for the harmonization of nosocomial infections registration networks.

In 1997 Raf Mertens became in charge of healthcare data analysis and feedback and of the development of (hospital) quality of care improvement programmes at the Christian Sickness Fund. From 2001, he was also actively involved in the development of the Intermutualistic Agency, treating the pooled data of all Belgian Sickness Funds.

He was vice-president of the National Council for Quality Improvement (NRKP-CNPQ) and member of the Belgian Healthcare Knowledge Centre (KCE) board.

From 2006 to 2009 he was heading the R&D department of the Christian Sickness Fund.

As of December 2009 he is director general of the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE).

Erki Laidmae

Erki Laidmae graduated University of Tartu as a pharmacist and shortly after started his 11 years long career in international pharmaceutical company. He worked in various positions in sales and marketing. In 2007 he joined Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). From 2008-2010 he was a project manager for national e-prescription project, which has now been successfully in live for more than 7 years. Main responsibilities after the e-health projects were connected to promoting rational use of medicines and appraisal of reimbursement dossiers of medicines. He has also been involved in introducing and implementing the managed entry agreements of pharmaceuticals in EHIF. He is a representative of EHIF in ministerial advisory body, medicines reimbursement committee, starting from 2012.

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Romualds Ražuks is a Member of Latvian Parliament, Chairman of Public Health Subcommittee of the Social and Labor Affairs Commission. He is Doctor of Medicine (1993) and from 1986 – 2000 has worked as a neurosurgeon in Riga city hospitals and as Scientific research fellow at Riga Institute of Medicine.  During 1989 – 1992 Romualds Ražuks has actively participated in the work of Latvian Popular Front. In 1998 he was first elected in Latvian Parliament and since then has been involved in decision-making regarding healthcare, finances and defense. 

Beate Wieseler

Beate Wieseler is Head of Drug Assessment at the German HTA Agency, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). At IQWiG she is responsible for the scientific assessment of pharmaceuticals, the development of assessment methods as well as in the Institute’s collaboration with external parties. Prior to joining IQWiG in 2005 Beate worked in clinical research for about 10 years with a focus on planning, analyzing and reporting of clinical trials. Before moving to clinical research she worked in basic research in the areas of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology at the universities in Bonn, Freiburg and Munich. Beate holds a MSc in Biology from the University of Bonn and a PhD from the University of Freiburg, Germany.  

Alessandra Ferrario is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute where she conducts research on the intensity of end-of-life care for breast cancer patients. She has been working as a Research Officer at London School of Economics (LSE) from 2011 to 2017 on pharmaceutical policy issues and non-communicable diseases. Alessandra’s PhD investigated issues around access to new cancer medicines in Europe. In particular, cross-country variations in access, the use of risk-sharing and managed entry agreements. Alessandra has worked with the World Health Organization on pricing and procurement at global and European level and on availability, affordability and quality use of medicines in Estonia, the Republic of Moldova and Tajikistan. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing (LSE/LSHTM), MSc in Epidemiology (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel) and BSc in Molecular Biology (University of Basel)

Juris Bārzdiņš, MD, PhD, Assoc. professor in Health sciences at University of Latvia, Faculty of Medicine. Besides teaching healthcare management, economics and informatics aspects to future medical professionals he currently also leads a joint applied research project with a Center for Disease Prevention and Control “Transparency and healthcare data – towards public monitoring for quality and efficiency”. His other research activities could be followed at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Juris_Barzdins2

He graduated university Riga Medical Academy as medical doctor in 1994 and next 5 years practiced as physician and later also as head of department for Spinal cord injuries at National Rehabilitation Center Vaivari. Then he started his 11 years long career in pharma companies and during that period also obtained MBA degree at Concordia International University in Estonia. He left pharma industry as responsible manager for marketing at local Sanofi-Aventis office and moved to Liepaja to take a position of Chairmen of the Board and managing director for 500 beds regional hospital. In parallel he started his PhD studies at Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Latvia. For 11 months period in 2010 – 2011 he was Minister for Health of Latvia.

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Igors Trofimovs, Director for Development of Riga East University Hospital, is responsible for the strategic planning, project management and quality assurance in the biggest hospital in Latvia.  He is lecturing on healthcare quality management and development and healthcare management at Riga Stradins University.

He graduated Riga Medical Institute as medical doctor in 1985.  From 1997 until 2008 he was the deputy director of the Health Statistics and Medical Technology State Agency, responsible for a development and management of mandatory conformity assessment (certification) of health care institutions system in Latvia.

He has completed his studies in Public Health master’s program at Nordic School of Public Health (Gothenburg, Sweden) and in Health Technology Assessment and Management International Master Program at University of Barcelona (Spain), McGill University, University of Montreal, Ottawa University (Canada) and Rome Catholic University (Italy).

Igors Trofimovs has participated in a several international projects as an expert in healthcare quality, healthcare planning and health technology assessment. 

Ancel.la Santos, Senior Policy Advisor at Health Action International, leads HAI European work on regulatory issues, the rational use of medicines and good governance. Before joining HAI in 2013, Ancel.la worked as Policy Advisor healthcare for Siemens AG in Brussels. She also completed internships at the European Patent Office and at the newspaper La Vanguardia. Ancel.la holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Administration, a Master of Science in International and European Politics, as well as a Master of Arts in Journalism.

Ellen't Hoen

Ellen ‘t Hoen, LLM. is a lawyer and public health advocate with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies.

From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. In 2009 she joined UNITAID in Geneva to set up the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an initiative that negotiates patent licenses with pharmaceutical companies to ensure access to affordable generic medicines for the treatment of HIV. She was the MPP’s first executive director until 2012.

She has published widely and is the author of several books. Her latest book “Private Patents and Public Health: Changing intellectual property rules for public health.” was published July 2016.

She is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Policies and Management, the Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines, the Advisory Board of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Health Policy.

In 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 she was listed as one of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property by the journal Managing Intellectual Property.

Ellen ‘t Hoen is an independent consultant in medicines law and policy to a number of of international organisations and governments and a researcher at the Global Health Unit of the University Medical Centre at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Anda Kivite is Assistant Professor (2014) at Riga Stradins University in Latvia. Since 2007 she is lecturing on epidemiology, evidence based practice and public health issues.

Anda has a Doctoral degree in Medicine, Master and Bachelor degrees in Public Health. Since 2003 and now parallel to the academic work she is involved also in projects led by civil society organizations as an expert in dug related infectious diseases and sexual and reproductive health. Anda is currently leading a national team of ERA-NET project on mathematical modelling of HIV epidemics in Latvia. She has led bio-behavioural research among different target groups – people who inject drugs, prison inmates, sex workers, men having sex with men, Roma population etc..

Anda is the national expert in public health at Latvian Academy of Sciences and the national DRID (drug related infections) expert at national Reitox focal point of EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction).

Signe Mezinska is currently Associate Professor at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Medicine. She holds PhD in Sociology (Riga Stradins University) and MSc in Bioethics (Union Graduate College, US), and is teaching medical ethics, bioethics and sociology of health and illness for more than 15 years. Her scientific interests include research ethics, rational use of medicines and ethics of patient/physician relationship. Signe is a board member of NGOs Health Projects of Latvia and Health Action International (HAI) Europe Association. 

Antons Mozalevskis is working as a Medical Officer at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark since 2015. As a regional focal point for hepatitis, he is responsible for all viral hepatitis-related activities at the Regional Office and technical support to the Member States in the WHO European Region.

He completed his medical training and residency in Family Medicine at Riga Stradins University, Latvia. He worked as a clinician for seven years and was involved in a number of civil society, professional organisations and regional expert networks active in the field of HIV/viral hepatitis prevention and research. In 2012–2014, he completed the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) and received a Master Degree in Applied Epidemiology from the National School of Public Health in Madrid, Spain.

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Kristaps Kaugurs is the Head of Latvia Hepatitis C patients organisation where he is on the forefront of HCV patients rights advocacy in Latvia since 2012. He is one of the activists who in close collaboration with legislators and institutions has managed to make significant changes in HCV treatment process in Latvia: tripled the funding for new gen treatment, advocated for introducing the patient's registry and helped with planning for Hepatitis free Europe by 2030.

In his professional capacity, Kristaps is the consultant on communications, advocacy and urban & regional planning with a combined MSc from Netherlands and Sweden at Urban and regional planning, MSc in Communication, and BSc in Business administration.