Living conditions and health situations become more and more complex. The technological evolution offers great opportunities, but the implementation of those technologies is far from evident. There is an increasing need for a multidisciplinary and multisectorial approach in public health, but financial resources to achieve this are often limited.

Collaborations in public health may have different purposes: solving common problems, sharing resources, bridging the gap between preventive and curative approaches, making a link between research and fieldwork. Collaborations may be organised between geographical units (local, regional, national, international), around a common theme, between health professionals, at the level of different institutions, etc.

Partnerships may also involve different dimensions, ranging from a loose, informal network to a well organised professional network.

The objectives of a network may vary: exchange of information, opinion building, rationalisation of resources, attaining common objectives next to specific objectives for each partner. The concept of “a network” itself, – and more specifically “a network in public health”, is complex and involves different aspects. It covers networks of practices, but also the practice of networking, research networks but also research on networks,… During this symposium we would like to progress in the definition of “a network in public health”, but also identify the added value, constraints, factors that lead to success or failure when trying to build a network.


Explore the concept of a network in public health in all its dimensions

Provide a forum where health professionals from the field and researchers can meet

Bridging the gap between curative and preventive medicine

Present different networks of public health through a stand on the symposium


During the symposium various themes in relation to networks in public health will be discussed. Researchers will also get the opportunity to make presentations for a professional audience on other themes.

Themes to be covered:

1. Themes related to the process of networking

  • Different types of networks
  • Constraints, opportunities, evaluation
  • Multisectorial and multidisciplinary approach
  • Purpose, expectations, objectives of a network

2. Thematic networks, e.g.

  • Networks on health promotion at school
  • Transnational networks on health care
  • Networks of health trajectories
  • Health insurance networks
  • Networks for the promotion of breastfeeding
  • Mental health networks
  • Registration Networks of epidemiological data
  • European reference network of rare diseases
  • Healthy Cities Network
  • Hospital networks
  • Networks for chronic diseases

3. Free scientific communications (free podium)

  • Possibility for communications other than the main theme of the symposium


Programme (pdf)

The following persons are members of the scientific steering group of the symposium:

Mr Gaëtan Absil – Université de Liège (Ulg)
Dr Willem Aelvoet – FOD Volksgezondheid, Veiligheid van de Voedselketen en Leefmilieu
Mme Martine Banduelle – Education et Santé
Prof Johan Bilsen – Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Dr Olivier Bruyère – Université de Liège (Ulg)
Mme Jamila Buziarsist – Institut Scientifique de Santé Publique (ISP)
Mme Nathalie Chaidron – Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Prof Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij – Universiteit Gent (Ugent)
Prof Pierre Debusschere – Université de Mons Hainaut (UMH)
Prof Christel Faes – Universiteit Hasselt (Uhasselt)
Mr Olivier Gillis – Mutualités Chrétiennes
Mr Gie Goyvaerts – Ziekenhuisnetwerk Antwerpen (ZNA)
Dr Isabelle Heymans – Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Mevr Béatrice Jans – Wetenschappelijk Instituut Volksgezondheid (WIV)
Mme Cathèrine Lucet – Mutualités Socialistes
Prof Jean Macq – Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Dr Christian Massot – Observatoire de la Santé Province de Hainaut (OSH)
Prof Robert Muller – Université de Mons Hainaut (UMH)
Mevr Veerle Stevens – Vlaams Instituut voor Gezondheidspromotie en Ziektepreventie (VIGeZ)
Dr Véronique Tellier – Service Publique de Wallonie
Dr Johan Van der Heyden – Wetenschappelijk Instituut Volksgezondheid (WIV)
Prof Guido Van Hal – Universiteit Antwerpen (UA)
Prof Herman Van Loon – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL)
Mme Chantal Vandoorne – Université de Liège (Ulg)


Keynote lectures

Networks in Public Health (Ouimet M)

Thirty years Registration Network of Sentinel General Practitioners (Van Casteren V)


Parallel session 1Health Information and Health Policy

Creation of a Walloon Health Observatory (Billiet A)

Case-management by the GP of domestic violence: an example of the results from a sentinel network of general practitioners (Bossuyt N)

Establishing a longitudinal health information system based on a network of health data providers and users (Ingenbleek A)

Reinforcement of National Reference Centers for Human Microbiology in Belgium (Litzroth A)

Superior Health Council: bridge between science and public health policy (Cauwerts K)

European Science Advisory Network for health (Van Hoof E)


Parallel session 2: Health Promotion and Lifestyle

The general practitioner: a potential partner in a collaboration’s network to build with the associations working in health promotion? (Couteau M-J)

Energising an exchange network between trainers in health promotion in the long term (Giot C)

Evaluating a Local and Regional Community of Practise on Healthy Living, Weight and Health (Royer A)

Building a netwerk for services of health promotion at school (services de Promotion de la Santé à l’école-SPSE) of Hainaut – Belgium. When the evaluation gives a new boost to the network! (De Jonghe K)

A multilevel framework to support long-term breastfeeding (Noirhomme-Renard F)


Parallel session 3Mental Health and Environment

Indicators on children’s health and the environment for Europe: an update for Belgium (Brits E)

A network on mental health and ageing. Practice of networking and health promotion (Houioux G)

Is Brussels’ mental health care delivery integrated? A study of the interorganisational network and focus on the “Plate-forme de concertation” (Lorant V)

A case of institutionalization of local mental health networks: the Belgian therapeutic projects (Schoenaers F)

Human biomonitoring of heavy metals in the vicinity of non-ferrous metals industries in Ath, Wallonia (Rebolledo J)

Mental health and social services collaboration for socially marginalised people: a social network analysis of inter-organisational partnerships in Brussels (Nicaise P)


Workshop 1: Clinical pathways

D’un programme de formation à un Réseau ? Le cas du Réseau Itinéraires Cliniques (Chaidron N)

Clinical pathway’s methodology. Concrete use of the 30 activities’ plan (Dierckx de Casterlé R)

The network and its evolution: the perspective of a coordinator of clinical pathways (Stevens M)

Prise en charge du patient coronarien depuis le cathétérisme cardiaque jusqu’à la revalidation après une intervention cardiaque (Vandamme AB)


Parallel session 4 : Health Programs

Deprived population in Hainaut: a network of health education for care professionals (Bizel P)

Participating in the Walloon network of sustainable food: opportunities and stakes for Health Observatory of Hainaut (Demarteau M)

Networking health care practitioners and occupational prevention services for early rehabilitation of low back pain workers (Mairiaux Ph)

Evaluation of the implementation of the 10.000 steps whole-community project in Flanders (Van Acker R)

The Consortium of Flemish breast cancer screening centres: networks can work (Van Hal G)

Parallel session 5: Child health

Network organisation: the impact of dominant paradigms? (Absil G)

Computerization of medical data of school-aged children in the French Speaking Community: results of an exploratory research (Decant P)

School 21 network (Lorenzo Ph)

Health promotion as a guideline for the ‘GO!’ school network of the Flemish Community (Moens O)

Evaluating the impacts of a network on the practices relating to promoting good quality nutrition in schools (Vandoorne C)


Workshop 2Developing a health information system (HIS) and a health information dissemination system (HIDS)

The North East Public Health Observatory (NEPHO) and its place in the English health information system (Wilkinson J)

The French Regional Health Observatories (ORS) and their Federation (Trugeon A)

Health information system in Wallonia : a progressively structured network (Tellier V)

Health inequalities indicators in the Regions of Europe (Berghmans L)

10th Symposium on Public Health Networks in Public Health: at the Crossing of Practice and Research