IANPHI Secretary-General resigns to concentrate on NCDs and injury prevention and control in Mongolia

IANPHI bids farewell this month to IANPHI Secretary-General Pekka Jousilahti, who has resigned his position as of the end of August to work as senior expert on noncommunicable diseases and injury prevention and control in Mongolia, a project of Finland’s National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) and the German consulting company EPOS. The project is funded by the U.S Millenium Challenge Corporation. Dr. Jousilahti participated in IANPHI’s earliest gatherings in Bellagio and Helsinki and was a founding organizer of the group. As IANPHI’s first secretary-general, he oversaw the IANPHI Secretariat in Finland and coordinated communications and meetings for the Executive Board.

“During my four years here, I have seen the building and growth of our IANPHI network from fewer than 40 members at our first meeting to more than 70 members and have enjoyed working with the top public health experts of the world,“ he says. “And we can all be proud of IANPHI’s role in creating NPHIs in low-resource countries such as Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.“ Jousilahti also played a major role in developing the IANPHI Summer School/Visitors Week program at THL. Funded by IANPHI, it brought together public health leaders from around the world to learn from the experiences of THL experts.

Pekka Jousilahti graduated from medical school in 1979 and then specialized in general medicine (family practice) and health care administration. He has PhD degrees in epidemiology and public health. In 1991 he joined the Finnish National Public Health Institute – KTL (now known as the National Institute for Health and Welfare – THL) as research professor. He has published nearly 200 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals – mainly on the epidemiology and prevention of noncommunicable disease, particularly cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and respiratory diseases. Dr Jousilahti works as an expert and short-term consultant for WHO and other international organizations and has participated in and coordinated international collaboration of national public health institutes since 2002. When the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) was formally launched in 2006, he was named secretary general of the association. 

IANPHI wishes Dr. Jousilahti much future success and thanks him for his many contributions to IANPHI.