Who is ESTHER

ESTHER Switzerland is a member of the ESTHER Alliance, which brings together government funded IHPs throughout Europe

ESTHER Switzerland is hosted by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern, and its steering committee is chaired by ISPM Director Oscar Franco. Head of Programme is Dörte Petit.

Members of the steering committee represent leading Swiss hospitals and universities, NGO’s, and other international organisations. Here are the members who dedicate their time and experience to ESTHER Switzerland:

Oscar H. Franco

Oscar H. Franco

Chair

Oscar H. Franco is Director of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern. He trained at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia (MD), followed by MSc and DSc degrees in clinical epidemiology and a PhD in public health and cardiovascular disease prevention at the Erasmus University Medical Center. Thereafter he was senior public health epidemiologist at Unilever England, assistant professor of public health at the University of Warwick, and director of the MPhil program and clinical lecturer in public health at the University of Cambridge, before returning to ErasmusMC as professor of preventive medicine and principal investigator of the cardiovascular epidemiology group.

Doerte Petit

Dörte Petit

Head of Programme

Dörte Petit is a Public Health expert with more than 15 years of international experience in different public health areas, including neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and immunisation, with a particular interest in health system strengthening. Dörte received a Master of Public Health from the University of Bielefeld, Germany and a Doctor of Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in which she conducted a qualitative case study on health system recovery after conflict in Liberia. Dörte joined ESTHER in November 2019.

Jodie Freeman

Jodie Freeman

Project assistant

Jodie Freeman completed her Doctorate in Health and Wellbeing in the United Kingdom. She worked mainly in the areas of Public Health both national and internationally, specifically focussing on the areas of Alcohol and Drugs. Her most recent research position was based in the Neurosurgery department, Inselspital, Bern, focusing on the self directed learning of skilled health professionals.

Judith Safford

Judith Safford

Communications and Fundraising

Judith Safford is a non-profit manager with a focus on communication and fundraising. She has worked or served as a board member for aid agencies in Africa and India, and in the health system, where she now engages as a patient advocate. Judith studied economics (PhD) at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany and holds a diploma in non-profit management from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. She is a member of the Sciana Health Leaders Network.

Luc-André Guex

Luc-André Guex

Head of Finance and Controlling

In his role as Head of Finance and Controlling at the ISPM, Luc is also responsible for the financial management of ESTHER Switzerland.

Christian Wyniger

Web Master

As Web Master at ISPM Christian provides his know-how to support ESTHER Switzerland’s website development.

Steering Committee members

Corinne Corradi

Corinne Corradi

Steering Committee Member

Corinne Corradi is Senior Advisor, Global Program Health, at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Previously, she worked for four years with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), as a project leader for the national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy in human medicine. Corinne spent nine years as a researcher and programme manager in bilateral cooperation with SDC, various NGOs, and institutions in the health domain, mostly in West, Central and Eastern Africa. She studied Geography at the University of Zurich and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, earning two MSc degrees.

Jochen Ehmer

Jochen Ehmer

Steering Committee Member

Jochen Ehmer trained as medical doctor in Germany, France and the US, earning qualifications in tropical medicine, epidemiology (LSHTM) and humanitarian aid (Bochum University). After a stint at the European Union Humanitarian Office and some time in general practice, he moved to Mozambique to establish the first HIV program in the Northern region.He is now director of the Swiss NGO SolidarMed. His main interests are linking research and development, integrating HIV and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and improving the health of women. Jochen serves as a guest lecturer at the Swiss TPH and is a member of the John Snow Society.

Jan Fehr

Jan Fehr

Steering Committee Member

Jan Fehr specialises in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and has long-term experience in HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis, with a focus on Global Health Challenges. He is head of the Department of Public Health at the University of Zurich. Jan is senior attending physician at the University Hospital Zurich’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, where his research focuses on HIV-tuberculosis and HIV-hepatitis C co-infections. He is involved in research projects in resource-limited settings and leads the academic partnership between the University of Zurich and Makerere University in Uganda.

Martin Leschhorn Strebel

Martin Leschhorn Strebel

Steering Committee Member

Martin Leschhorn Strebel is director of the network Medicus Mundi Switzerland (MMS), which unites around 50 Swiss organisations and institutions in the field of international health cooperation and global health. Martin is a historian who has been working for the past 20 years for NGOs and joined the MMS team in 2008. Martin serves on the boards of Medicus Mundi International and of the civil society Platform Agenda 2030. He is a member of the local parliament in Riehen and of the commission for development cooperation of the Canton Basel-Stadt.

Thomas Vogel

Thomas Vogel

Steering Committee Member

Thomas Vogel is a health economist and public health specialist active in international cooperation for the last 20 years, working with health authorities, providers and financing institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. He is currently project director at the Division for Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine (DTMH) of the University Hospitals of Geneva, an independent management consultant and guest lecturer in higher education institutions. He serves as a board member of the Swiss World Health Foundation, the European Cleft Organization and expert panel member of the Swiss Society for Public Health.

David Weakliam

David Weakliam

Steering Committee Member

David Weakliam is Director of the Global Health Programme in the Irish Health Service Executive and a Public Health Medicine specialist. His work in global health includes 12 years in Nepal, Liberia, Sudan, DRC and Ghana. He manages bilateral programmes between the Irish health service and Health Ministries in Mozambique, Ethiopia, Zambia and Sudan. He represents Ireland in the ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships, where he was Board Chair from 2015-19. David is Chair of the WHO Global Health Workforce Network, Director of several international NGOs, and Adjunct Professor of Global Health at University College Dublin.

Kaspar Wyss

Kaspar Wyss

Steering Committee Member

Kaspar Wyss is a Public Health Specialist, Deputy Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel. He leads a team of 60 staff focusing on health systems development, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. Kaspar’s research involves both health system strengthening and performance assessment, with a specific interest in the role and importance of human resources for health. He teaches at the University of Basel, directs a number of research and implementation projects in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Switzerland, and has extensive consultancy experience with clients ranging from the World Bank and UNICEF to the German GIZ and KfW.

WHO representation

The Twinning Partnerships for Improvement (TPI) model is at the core of our strategy. ESTHER Switzerland is therefore happy that the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative who developed this approach participates in ESTHER Switzerland policy development, attends Steering Committee meetings, and provides technical support.