The International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH) works towards incorporating the concepts, values, strategies and standards or indicators of health promotion into the organizational structure and culture of hospitals and health services. We aim to better health by improving the quality of health care, the relationship between hospitals and/or health services, the community and the environment, and the conditions for and satisfaction of patients, relatives and staff.

This includes steps such as

  • setting up a specific HPH management structure.
  • informing and involving clinicians and staff in health promotion communication.
  • developing annual action plans, including specific projects for implementation and development of issue- or population-specific policies.
  • introducing procedures to measure and monitor health outcomes, health impact and health gains for patients, staff, and community populations over time.

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Our network was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a settings approach for the reorientation of health organisations. We promote and disseminate internationally-acknowledged principles, recommendations, and standards for health-oriented hospitals and health services defined in the Ottawa Charter (1986), Budapest Declaration on Health Promoting Hospitals (1991), Vienna Recommendations (1997), Bangkok Charter (2006), and the Standards for Health Promotion in Hospitals (2006).

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The HPH Community

Our network currently includes 20 National/Regional HPH Networks and 52 single HPH members who collaborate to reorient health care towards the promotion of health. In total, almost 600 hospitals and health service members from 30 countries have joined our community.

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We promote and assist the advancement of the concept of health promotion in hospitals and health services and support implementation by developing structures, cultures, decisions, and processes.

We aim to

  • provide leadership on matters critical to health promotion in hospitals and health services and engage in partnership where joint action is needed.
  • shape the research agenda and stimulate the generation, translation, and dissemination of knowledge.
  • set norms and standards and promote and monitor their implementation.
  • articulate ethical and evidence-based policy options.
  • provide technical support, catalyse change and build sustainable institutional capacity.
  • monitor the development of health promotion in hospitals and health services.


1988 the WHO initiated the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals as a pilot project in order to support hospitals in placing more emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention rather than on diagnosis and curative services alone.​ Later, HPH became a non-governmental organization (NGO) on its own. Meanwhile, the network changed its name to include health services to expand the scope of the network to include non-hospital services and strengthen vital links between primary health care and other health services. Following this, our network aims to secure cooperation between and amongst hospitals, other health service providers, and other institutions and sectors.

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Governance Board

Ralph Harlid

Ralph Harlid, MD PhD (Sweden)

Chair of the International HPH Network

Ralph Harlid is a Strategic Advisor in health-promoting healthcare in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden. He has 25 years of clinical experience in anaesthesia and intensive care and 30 years of leadership experience. He works with politicians and decision-makers to advocate for health-oriented healthcare systems and people-centered care. He is the National Coordinator of the Swedish HPH Network.

Ilaria Simonelli, PhD (Trentino, Italy)

Vice-Chair of the International HPH Network

Ilaria Simonelli is a health sociologist and the current Regional Coordinator of the Trentino HPH network. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Italian and International HPH networks and the Italian Health Sociology Association. Dr. Simonelli is a researcher in health sociology at the Italian NHS where she works in health promotion, and project management of vulnerable groups, with a specific focus on children and the elderly. Additionally, she is the Leader of the HPH Task Force on Children and Adolescents. 

Bożena Walewska-Zielecka, Prof MD PhD (Poland)

Past-Chair of the International HPH Network

Bozena Waleska-Zielecka is a medical doctor and Professor in Public Health at the Medical University of Warsaw, Faculty of Health Science. Since 2011, Dr. Waleska-Zielecka has acted as the Coordinator of the National HPH network in Poland and has served as a Public Health Committee member of the Polish Academy of Sciences since 2020. In addition to her terms as the former HPH Governance Board Chair (2016-2018) and  Board member (2014-2016), Dr. Waleska-Zielecka has gained valuable healthcare management and quality assurance competencies. She is a graduate of the Medical Faculty, Medical University of Warsaw. She is a practising hepatologist and travel medicine doctor with special interests in health promotion, immunology of diseases of hepatotropic viruses, aetiology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology.

Ming-Nan Lin, MD PhD (Taiwan)

Ming-Nan Lin is the Vice Superintendent at the Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation in Taiwan. He has a master’s degree in Public Health and has devoted himself to community outreach and international disaster relief. Dr. Lin is an assistant professor at the Hualien Tzu Chi University, where health promotion focuses on a holistic approach. As a family medicine practitioner for more than 25 years, he is passionate about promoting a plant-based diet as the optimal choice for enhancing health and protecting the environment. Ming-Nan Lin is in charge of the Green Hospital Program in the Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, President of the Taiwan Vegetarian Nutrition Society, and Chair of the Task Force on Health Promoting Hospitals & Environment, where he aspires to facilitate hospitals in achieving goals of health and environmental protection. Dr. Lin previously served on the Governance Board from 2019 – 2020.

Jae-Kyung Lee, MD PhD (South Korea)

Dr Jaekyung Lee is a specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. She graduated from the College of Medicine, Seoul National University, finished medical training and got a PhD from SNUH & SNU. She is a clinical faculty member of gastroenterology in comprehensive health care, cancer screening, and endoscopic procedures. With an interest in health literacy and health-related behaviour, since 2019, she has been in charge of supporting Public Health Services at SNU-SMG Boramae Medical Center. She also served in the COVID-19 rapid response team in the Seoul Metropolitan Government during the pandemic’s peak. Since 2020, she has been the National Coordinator for the HPH Network of Korea.

Cristina Aguzzoli, MD, MA (Italy)

Dr Cristina Aguzzoli is a physician in charge of Health Promotion at the Health Directorate of the Regional Authority for Coordination of Health Trust – ARCS- in Friuli Venezia Giulia, coordinates the HPH network of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy) and leads the HPH Italian networks since 2022. She is a specialist in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine with a Master’s in Psychoneuroimmunology at the La Sapienza University of Rome, cooperates with the Open Academy of Medicine in Venice and the National Institute of Health. Since 2020, she has led “Taking Care of Those Who Care”, a project to recover the psycho-physical well-being of the staff.

Marianne Hochet, MSc (France)

Marianne Hochet is a Resource and Development Manager at the Addictions Prevention Network (RESPADD). She earned a degree in Public Health Engineering from AgroParisTech and a Diploma in Addictology. As the French HPH Network Coordinator, she organized the 28th International HPH Conference in Paris, France. Previously, she was employed by the French National Public Health Agency and has experience working on several projects focusing on tobacco-free hospitals, international and European projects on prevention and health promotion, and determinants of health. She has been a Board Member of the Global Network of Tobacco-Free Healthcare Services since 2021.

Nina Peränen

Nina Peränen, MSc (Finland) 

Nina Peränen is a Service Director in Health Promotion and Participation at the Wellbeing Services County of Central Finland. She earned a Master of Science in Health Science from the University of Jyväskylä and has over 15 years of experience working in municipal hospital and health service settings, including 13 years as a midwife and later as a welfare coordinator. She works to support population health and disseminate best practice and support welfare locally, regionally, and nationally. She is the national Coordinator of the Finnish HPH Network

Standing Observers

Birgit Metlzer

Birgit Metzler, MA (Austria)

Birgit Metzler is a sociologist and coordinator of the Competence Center for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care (CC-HPH) at the Austrian National Public Health Institute. Together with the team of the CC-HPH, she is also responsible for the scientific coordination of International HPH Conferences. With a research focus on health promotion in health care organizations, she provides scientific and strategic support to the Austrian HPH Network and the Vienna Alliance for Health Promotion in Health Care Facilities.



Christina Dietscher, PhD (Austria)

 Christina Dietscher is a medical and health sociologist and worked for the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care for more than 20 years before she joined the Austrian Ministry of Health where she now heads the department of non-communicable diseases, mental health and geriatric medicine. She chairs the Scientific Committee of the International HPH Conference 2024. Christina is also a specialist in organizational health literacy. She is chair of the Austrian Health Literacy Alliance and co-chair of the WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL). She has widely published and frequently speaks at conferences.

Jürgen Pelikan, PhD (Austria)

Jürgen Pelikan is a Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Sociology of University of Vienna in Austria and Head of  the WHO-CC Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care at the Austrian Public Health Institute. He was involved in establishing and developing the International and Austrian Networks of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH) and served as Chair of the scientific committee for all international conferences. Dr. Pelikan has directed international projects on HPH, has linked HPH to quality, sustainability, salutogenesis, and health literacy and produced numerous publications on these topics.

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HPH Secretariat

The International HPH Secretariat is hosted by OptiMedis AG in Hamburg, Germany. OptiMedis is a management organisation that sets up regional integrated care networks in which public health, health promotion, and disease prevention strategies are put into practice.

Keriin Katsaros

Fatima Häring

HPH Network Coordinator

Oliver Gröne, Prof PhD


Helmut Hildebrandt

Helmut Hildebrandt, Dr. h. c


Lena Jessen


Anneka Tiede

Christina Berner, MA


The International HPH Secretariat is based out of the Office of OptiMedis

Burchardstrasse 17
20095 Hamburg

Telefon: +49 40 22621149-0
Fax: +49 40 22621149-14

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