Health Management: managing the present and shaping the future – Part 1

7 December 2021


Over the last years, health systems across Europe have encountered the most difficult times for a generation. In this webinar, the conference rapporteurs presented the insights discussed during the 2021 EHMA Conference to address the current and future needs of health management in Europe and worldwide. This event was an opportunity to reflect on the interesting, at times novel, ideas that were presented around the main topics of the conference, specifically Governance & Leadership, Managing the Digital Transformation, and Health Workforce. Part 2 of the conversation took place on Thursday, 9 December on the topics of Person Centeredness & Integration, Improving Healthcare Access and Outcomes, and Sustainability.


13.00 – 13.10 – Welcoming & Introductory remarks by Mr. George Valiotis, EHMA Executive Director & Dr. Axel Kaehne, EHMA Board President.

13.10 – 13.17 – Governance and Leadership part 1: value-based healthcare by Dr. Patricia Vella Bonanno, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Health Services Management at the University of Malta.

13.17 – 13.24 – Governance and Leadership part 1: leadership and COVID-19 by Prof. Paulo Boto, Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management Department, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Lisbon.

13.24 – 13.32 – Health Workforce by Ms Patricia Lourenco Soares, Head of Innovation and Partnerships, NOVA Health, NOVA University Lisboa

13.32 – 13.40 – Managing the digital transformation by Ms Anna Kafkoula, Postgraduate alumni, Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

13.40 – 13.50 – Q&A with the audience

13.50 – 13.55 – EHMA 2022: what’s next from here? Discover all the upcoming EHMA activities

13.55 – 14.00 – Closing remarks


Dr. Patricia Vella Bonanno
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Dr. Patricia Vella Bonanno

Dr. Patricia Vella Bonanno

Dr. Patricia Vella Bonanno is graduated as a pharmacist and continued with post-graduate study in clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutical policy and regulation and in management, in line with the developments of her career. She has worked in various sectors of the pharmaceutical public sector in Malta including hospital and clinical pharmacy, national medicines formulary management and reimbursement, pharmaceutical policy, pharmaceutical regulation and public health.

She is currently an Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner with the Superintendence of Public Health at the Ministry for Health in Malta and her current work includes health care regulation and membership and secretariat of the Valletta Technical Committee. She has experience with participation and presentation at various fora and meetings at European level. She is active in research and is a Visiting Professor with the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Prof. Paulo Boto
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Prof. Paulo Boto

Prof. Paulo Boto

Prof Boto is Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Systems Management at ENSP – National School of Public Health. He has a medical degree from the School of Medicine of the University of Lisbon; a Master’s in Health Services Management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; a post-graduate degree in Hospital Administration from the NOVA National School of Public Health, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa; and a PhD in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Hi research focuses on care pathways, chronic disease management, vaccine cost-effectiveness, primary care financing and the restructuring of hospital networks. Prof Boto is Member of the Public Health Research Centre (PHRC). He was assistant to the State Secretary for Health (2011-2015); representative of the Directorate-General for Health in the OECD’s Health Care Quality Indicators project (2011-2015); Member of the National Council for Quality in Health Care (2009-2015).

Ms Patricia Lourenço Soares
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Ms Patricia Lourenço Soares

Ms Patricia Lourenço Soares

Patrícia Lourenço Soares is the Head of Innovation and Partnerships for NOVA Health Campus at NOVA University, with six years of experience working alongside stakeholders within the health sector. Patrícia specialises in developing impactful programs for citizens, from patients to health professionals. She is committed to writing the stories that we all want to live as her work expands from business development to community building including communication and storytelling.

Ms Anna Kafkoula
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Ms Anna Kafkoula

Ms Anna Kafkoula

Anna Kafkoula has an educational background in health economics and management and experience in project management.


EHMA 2021 Conference Report

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What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain