Geneva Health Forum Archive

Browse and download abstracts, posters, documents and videos from past editions of the GHF

Dr. Jakob Zinsstag

Jakob Zinsstag graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine (Dr. med. vet.) on Salmonella diagnosis at the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Berne in 1986. After his studies he worked in rural practice and as post doctoral fellow on trypanosomiasis research at the Swiss Tropical Institute. From 1990 to end of 1993 he led a livestock helminthosis project for the University of Berne at the International Trypanotolerance Centre in The Gambia. From 1994 to 1998 he directed the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Since 1998 he leads a research group at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel on the interface of human and animal health with a focus on health of nomadic people and control of zoonoses in developing countries under the paradigm of  “one medicine”. He holds a PhD in Tropical Animal Production from the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp, Belgium. Since 2004 he is Assistant Professor and since 2010 Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Basel. He is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) and member of the scientific advisory board of the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp, Belgium. Jakob Zinsstag has been elected president of the International Association for Ecology and Health in 2012.

Dr. Sunoor Verma

Dr. Sunoor Verma is the Executive Director Geneva Health Forum.As a senior development expert, Sunoor Verma has worked in emergency, conflict and post-conflict situations. He has led the establishment of complex partnerships and coalitions by negotiating strategic agreements and their implementation plans. He has set up programs across sectors, including, Education, Health, Protection, Injuries, Sanitation, HIV/AIDS, Harm Reduction, Conflict Resolution, Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, Environment, Culture, Gender, Minority issues etc. He has worked in various locations, including Western Europe, South East Europe, South Asia, South East Asia, North Africa and Australia. Among others, he consulted and worked with UNHCR, UNICEF, and the European Centre for Minority Issues, Cambridge University and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. Sunoor Vema has been the principal consultant of the strategy consulting practice 'ProCube' and is the founder of

He is a seasoned speaker on the topics of strategy, partnerships and leadership. He is also sought after for his skills as an effective moderator on high-voltage panels. In a previous avatar, Sunoor Verma was a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon.

Dr. Shams Syed

Dr. Shams Syed is responsible for overseeing African Partnerships for Patient Safety (APPS), based at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. He has led the development and implementation of the programme since its inception in 2008. He assumed responsibility for global partnership development in the newly formed WHO Department of Service Delivery & Safety in 2013. Dr. Syed received his medical degree from St. George’s, University of London, and subsequently practiced as an independent General Practitioner in the UK. He received postgraduate public health training at the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, he trained in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, is US Board Certified in Public Health & Preventive Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. His previous experiences include: involvement in a future-focused multi-country health systems research consortium; working at the Pan American Health Organization with seven Caribbean countries on strengthening health systems with a focus on surveillance systems; and working as the Advisor on Family and Community Health at the WHO Country Office in Trinidad and Tobago with a focus on quality of care. Dr. Syed has a focused academic interest in reverse innovation in global health systems.

Dr. Suzanne Suggs

Professor Suggs is an Assistant Professor of Social Marketing and Head of the BeCHANGE Research Group in the Institute for Public Communication, Faculty of Communication Sciences, at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), in Lugano Switzerland. She is also Director of the USI Sustainability Incubator (USI-SINC). She received a BBA in Marketing at University of North Texas (USA), a MSc and PhD in Health Studies at Texas Woman’s University (USA), and a Post-doctoral fellowship at McMaster University (Canada).

Suzanne’s research focuses on behavior change communication through information and communication technologies. She examines the determinants of behavior and tests innovative digital communication strategies, delivered through ICT, and the influence on health behaviors. The majority of her work focuses on eating and physical activity behaviors, but also does research on alcohol, tobacco, decision-making, vaccination uptake, hand washing, HIV testing, medication compliance, self-management of conditions and therapy, and consumption behaviors.

Prior to joining the faculty in Lugano, she was Assistant Professor of Health Communication, Department of Marketing Communication, at Emerson College and Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, Massachusetts, USA). She has a wealth of industry experience, working with pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, foundations, organizations, and multi-media communication companies. She is a Co-Founder and on the Executive Board of the European Social Marketing Association and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. She teaches graduate level courses in Social Marketing, Focus Group Methods, Research Methods, and Media Skills. And for the second year in a row, Suzanne will teach a course on ” m-Health: Mobile Communication for Public Health”, in the Swiss School of Public Health+ Summer School this August in Lugano.

Dr. Greg Martin

Dr. Greg Martin is a South African doctor with a masters in public health and an MBA degree. Dr Martin’s involvement in global health has spanned a wide rang of subject matter including maternal and child health, cancer prevention, access to medicine and the treatment and care of people living with HIV, amongst others. He recently stepped down from the role of Director of Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission at the Clinton Health Access Initiative in order to move to Ireland where he recently got married. He is currently with Editor-in-Chief of the journal Globalization and Health and runs a Global Health YouTube channel as well as working as a clinician in a local hospital in Dublin.

Dr. Jan De Maeseneer

Professor Jan De Maeseneer is a family physician and Head of the Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care of Ghent University. His research at the university focuses on Education, Health Promotion, Health inequity, Health Services Research and Global Health. He published more than 100 articles in scientific journals.

In 2013 Jan De Maeseneer was appointed to the Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health of the European Commission. In 2012 Jan De Maeseneer became a member of the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education at the Institute of Medicine in Washington.

Jan De Maeseneer is also Chairman of the European Forum for Primary Care (, the Secretary-General of the Network: Towards Unity for Health ( and since 2010 the Director of the International Centre for Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, designated by the World Health Organisation as a “WHO-Collaborating Centre on Primary health Care” (

Since 1996 he is a member of the Wonca International Classification Committee (WICC), which produced the International Classification of Primary Care, and of the Research Committee of the World Organization of Family Doctors. ( and in 1997, he started an international cooperation “Primafamed-network for the development of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine in Africa (

Dr. Nick Goodwin

Dr. Nick Goodwin, CEO, International Foundation for Integrated Care & Senior Associate, The King’s Fund, London, UK

Nick is a social scientist, academic and policy analyst with a specialist interest in investigating the organisation and management of primary, community and integrated care. Nick is co-Founder and CEO of the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC), a not-for-profit membership-based foundation dedicated to improving the science knowledge and application of integrate care across the World ( and is Editor-in-Chief of its scientific periodical the International Journal of Integrated Care ( Nick also works as a Senior Associate at The King’s Fund, London supporting its programme of research and analysis for improving and integrating care to older people and those with long-term conditions (LTCs).

In addition to his role in leading and developing the various work programmes at IFIC, Nick continues to be very active in research, development and support for integrated care at both a political and practical level. Nick’s current portfolio of work includes UK, US and European-based research and development studies examining the impact and deployment of integrated care to people with complex and long-term health problems.  Nick continues to work with the UK government to support its policies on integrated care, including the evaluation of its Health and Social Care Integration Pioneer Programme and the Commission on Whole-Person Care. Nick’s international commitments include the EU FP7 Project INTEGRATE ( and the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. Nick is working with the World Health Organisation to support the development of a Global Strategy to develop person-centred and integrated care, and is on the Expert Advisory Team to WHO Regional Office for Europe’s Framework for Action Towards Coordinated/Integrated Health Services Delivery (CIHSD).