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 50 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

Chair of the International HPH Network

Bożena Walewska-Zielecka, Prof MD PhD (Poland)

Bożena 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 competencies in healthcare management and quality assurance. She is a graduate of the Medical Faculty, Medical University of Warsaw and is a practicing heptologist and travel medicine doctor with special interests in health promotion, immunology of diseases of hepatotropic viruses, aetiology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology.

Vice-Chair of the International HPH Network

Heli Hätönen, PhD (Finland)

Heli Hätönen is a Ministerial Advisor for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health where she is responsible for the promotion of health and wellbeing. Heli has over 20 years of experience in the management, development, and research of social healthcare, including health promotion and prevention. Heli earned her PhD in 2010 from Turku University. She is the National Coordinator for the HPH Network in Finland.

Nicolas Bonnet, MD MPH (France)

Nicolas Bonnet is a Pharmacist and is the Director of RESPADD, the coordinating institution of the national French HPH network. Dr. Bonnet specializes in the study of addictions and has specialties in institutional, associative, hospital, and university settings. He previously worked as a National Coordinator for Médecins du Monde in a drug analysis mission and as a Head of Studies at the French Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addictions. He currently leads the addictions consultation unit for young adults and teenagers at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.

Ralph Harlid

Ralph Harlid, MD PhD (Sweden)

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

Cristina Iniesta Blasco, MD PhD (Catalonia, Spain)

Cristina Iniesta Blasco is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Parc de Salut Mar in Barcelona Spain. She has held several positions in policy governance in public health and health care policy in addition to numerous positions as a hospital manager in the Hospital General Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona. Christina Iniesta Blasco obtained a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Barcelona and was awarded a doctorate at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She also has a master’s degree in Organizational Development Health and Social Institutions.

Margareta Kristenson​, MD PhD (Sweden)

Margareta Kristenson is a specialist in Family Medicine and in Social Medicine and Public Health. She is a professor emerita in Social Medicine and Public Health at Linköping University, and Chief Physician in Region Östergötland, Sweden. Margareta is the Head of the Life Conditions, Stress and Health research programme, which explores psychosocial factors and psychobiological mechanisms as determinants for inequities in health. She was the National Coordinator for the Swedish HPH Network for many years and is presently a Senior Advisor for the Swedish HPH Network. Dr. Kristenson served as the Chair of the Governance Board of the International HPH Network from 2017-2020.

Ilaria Simonelli, PhD (Trentino, Italy)

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. 

Yanhui Zou Hunan

Zou Yanhui, Prof PhD (Hunan, China)

Zou Yanhui is a Professor and Supervisor at the Health Service Center at the Hunan Cancer Hospital and the Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya Medical College at Central South University. She is the Regional Coordinator of the Hunan HPH Network and Director of a science-based cancer prevention program in the Hunan province in China. Additionally, Dr. Yanhui is a Vice Chair for the Chinese Association for Health Promotion and Education, Health Promotion Hospital Alliance. She is a graduate of the Flinders University in Australia and has studied in Singapore and the United States. 

Standing Observers

Antonio Chiarenza, PhD (Emilia- Romagna, Italy)

Antonio Chiarenza holds a university degree in Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy, a masters degree in Promotion and Governance of Health Research from the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Leicester in the UK. As of 2001, he is the Head of the Research and Innovation Unit of the local health authority of Reggio Emilia in Italy (AUSL-RE). He leads the international HPH-Task Force on Migration, Equity and Diversity and the Regional Health Promoting Hospitals Network of Emilia-Romagna. Antonio Chiarenza is a member of the Steering Committee of the migrant health section of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA).



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.



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

Keriin Katsaros, MPH

Project Coordinator   

Oliver Gröne, PhD


Helmut Hildebrandt, Dr. h. c


Lena Jessen


Anneka Grunert


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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