The 2018 edition: our 27th!

27 August – 1 September

Courses | Plenaries | Networking activities

At the Lugano Summer School public health professionals, researchers and graduate students learn together through mutual exchange in a stimulating and beautiful environment. The Lugano Summer School places health, disease, and health systems thinking under one common framework of coherent concepts and practical implications. The focus on public health policy, economics and management combined with the diversity of students and facilitators has provided for a rich learning environment for over 2 decades so far. The insights gained and networks created serve as an opportunity to reduce and prevent the gap between public health theory and practice.

We have two pricing structures; one for participants from low income countries and another for those from middle and high income countries. All can benefit from early bird rates. Discounts are available for those enrolling in two 3-day courses and for SSPH+ students.

You can download the full programme here:

SSPH+ LSS 2018 programme details

SSPH+ LSS 2018 programme overview


Two 6-day courses & eleven 3-day courses from 27 August – 1 September

6 day course =  2 ECTS. 3 day course = 1 ECTS.
To earn credit, participants must attend courses &  plenaries and pass the final assessment.

6 Day Courses: Monday-Saturday

3 Day Courses: Monday – Wednesday

3 Day Courses: Thursday – Saturday


9-10:30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Four mornings start with plenary sessions in the auditorium.  These consist of two experts and a moderator who discuss a pressing topic in public health today.

Attendance is required for students. These plenaries are open to the public.

Monday: What is a healthy diet today? From a global to a personalized nutrition perspective
Moderator: Karin Gross, Health Policy Advisor, Global Programme Health, SDC


  • Dr. Francesco Branca Director of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization
  • Prof. Dr. Hannelore Daniel Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan für Ernährung, Landnutzung und Umwelt, Technische Universität München

What is a healthy diet today? Looking at the media there seems not to be an easy answer on this question. The plenary therefore aims to provide an overview of the existing debate by including two different perspectives.
On the one hand, the global normative perspective would be presented by WHO; the responsible for international normative guidelines. For WHO “a diversified, balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on the individual needs (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs. But basic principles of what constitute a healthy diet remain the same”. In this sense WHO guidelines are based on the principles of breastfeeding, the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes, and a moderate consumption of products containing sugar, fat and salt.
On the other hand, there are increasing trends towards a personalized nutrition with nutrition recommendations based on a person’s unique biology, metabolism and personal goals with the aim to enhance a healthy living. A specialist in nutrigenomics will illustrate current trends and challenges there.

Questions to be addressed through the plenary will turn around the definition of a healthy diet today.

  • Who has the normative “say” today (is it really WHO)?
  • What’s the role and influence of the private sector?
  • How do individuals orient themselves in the “jungle” of recommendations?

Tuesday: Health systems at the crossroad between sustainability, value creation and affordable care for all.

In memory of Prof. Gianfranco Domenighetti

Moderator: Prof. Luca Crivelli SUPSI, USI, SSPH+


  • Dr. Laurie Corna Lecturer King’s College London, Director PGT Programmes in Ageing
  • Prof. Felix Gutzwiller Emeritus professor of public health at the University of Zurich, former senator (member of the Council of States) past president of SSPH+
  • Prof. Alberto Holly Emeritus Professor,Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC Lausanne) University of Lausanne

Thursday: Vaccination: Choices that influence uptake

Moderator: L. Suzanne Suggs, Università della Svizzera italiana, Imperial College London, and SSPH+


Vaccines may be the next best thing to clean water. Yet, most countries leave it up to individuals to decide if they immunize. Challenges to vaccination uptake vary by vaccine and by cultures, and are often related to acceptance issues or sub-optimal policies.

This session will answer questions including: Why do rates vary so much within and between countries? What role does social media play in beliefs and opinions about vaccination? What role does government have? How can healthcare providers support smart decision making while respecting individual choice? How can public health researchers and practioners support healthcare providers and policy makers in making vaccination accessible and desired?

Knowing the answers to these questions, together we can design effective communication, programs, and policies that serve the interest of the public’s health.


Friday: Public Health policy, economics and management in low resources settings

Moderator: Axel Hoffman, Swiss TPH, SSPH+


  • Dr. Biljana Lakić, Mental Health Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Case Management in  Community  Mental Health Centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Respicius Shumbusho Damian, Department of Political Science & Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), Doctoral Research Fellow
    • Making Community-Financed Primary Healthcare Accountable in Rural Tanzania: Some Policy Imperatives
  • Dr. Yolanda Müller, University for Family Medicine, Lausanne
    • Home visits made by general practitioners in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, between 2006 and 2015
  • Dr. Bajram Maxhuni, Accessible Quality Healthcare Project, Kosovo
    • Accessible Quality Healthcare Project
  • Mohamed Abdirashid Kusow, ICRC Health Field officer, Somalia
    • ICRC/SRCS Primary Health Care Program South Central Somalia

Networking events

Each morning particpants meet over coffee and healthy snacks in a covered space where posters of projects from around the globe are also displayed. On Monday and Thursday evenings cultural events at the lake and LAC offer exciting opportunities to exchange knowledge and experiences, bulid networks, and enjoy the sights in Lugano.

Every morning: 10:30-11:00

Coffee & Snacks in the outdoor space

Monday: 18:00

Apero at the shore of Lake Lugano

Thursday: 18:00

Apero and guided tour at the LAC

Institute of Public Health and Institute of Communication and Public Policy