Next Tuesday, 30 June, the University of Girona (UdG) will formally confer an honorary doctorate on Dr Ilona Kickbusch. It will be formally presented to her by Dr Dolors Juvinyà, Professor of Nursing at UdG and senior member of the Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Social and Health Services (ITESSS) Forum, who will also pay tribute to her.
Dr Ilona Kickbusch is internationally recognised as one of the leading figures in health promotion, because of the impetus she has given to work on this new movement since it started in 1986.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of her career has been her active involvement in the World Health Organisation. She was the driving force behind the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986), a seminal document for public health, which led to the holding of the eight world health-promotion conferences that have taken place. It should also be stressed that she played an active role in these worldwide meetings, with involvement in drawing up the Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalised World in 2005, the Adelaide Recommendations in 1988 and the Jakarta Declaration in 1997, as well as taking part in the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health in Brazil in 2011, and the latest conference held in Helsinki in 2013.
Dr Kickbusch’s career has taken place in the field of public health, including roles in the World Health Organisation and various European setups. The most significant posts during her career in Europe have been Chair of the World Demographic & Ageing Forum (St Gallen, 2005); Director of the Global Health Programme of the Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (2008 to date); Chair of Global Health Europe (2009); member of the Executive Board of the Careum Foundation (2009); and teaching at various academic institutions, including the University of St Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland.
She has stood out for playing a leading role in the field of health promotion, highly committed to global health governance, empowering people, increasing health literacy and developing the “Health in All Policies” movement. As such, she advises organisations, government agencies and other institutions on policies and strategies to promote health at national, European, and international level. As part of “Health in All Policies”, she was in charge of the study Governance for health in the 21st century for the WHO Regional Office for Europe, which is the cornerstone of Europe’s new Health 2020 policy, and she participated in drafting the latest Charter for Health Promotion in Helsinki in 2013.
What stands out about her scientific output is that she has published over 200 articles in prestigious scientific journals and 24 specialist books, which have had a decisive influence on the development of health promotion in the last 27 years.
She was the founding editor of the journal Health Promotion International (Oxford University Press) and currently serves as chair of its editorial board.
Dr Ilona Kickbusch has a major academic profile, which makes her one of the foremost health-promotion authorities in the world today. Her career and scientific output are particularly important in the following areas: health-promoting environments, health in all policies, health literacy and global health governance.