Aarhus Universitets segl

Human First Focus Areas

About Human First

Human First is a partnership in health care between VIA University College, the Central Denmark Region, Aarhus University and the Municipalities where we work together towards the common dream of making central Denmark the healthiest place on earth. For the people who live here. But also for the people who don’t.

The vision and foundation for our collaboration is described here.

This page describes the four focus areas that have been chosen for the first period to contribute to the realisation of the vision. The focus areas are to function as beachheads for the long-term cooperation and contribute to experience gathering and development of new knowledge within the specific area, as well as intersectorial cooperation in health care in general.

For each focus area there will be established an organisation to ensure the formulation of action plans and continuous reporting on progress.

The action plans will elaborate the focus areas and describe the specific objectives, and initiatives will be made in cooperation with relevant stakeholders such as municipalities, private and public foundations, private companies as well as international institutions within research and education.

Focus areas

Currently we will focus our cooperation on these four areas:

  • Brain disease and brain injury
  • People needing rehabilitation
  • Correlation between the theoretical and practical education courses
  • Mental health for children and youth

These focus areas are chosen, partly, because here we already have a strong position that we can work together to lift up to an even higher level, and partly because these are areas where we want to promote further development.

The vision is to create unique results that will benefit the citizens in central Denmark and that can achieve international recognition for the ability to better health for all people in the world.

It is our ambition, within all four areas, to ensure a strong connection between research, education and practice and to cooperate with municipalities, general practitioners and strong international institutions within research and education.

Brain disease and brain injury

The challenge

Brain disease is a global problem that increases as the average life expectancy grows. Health promotion and prevention are thus more important than ever.

When people are afflicted with disease or injury to the brain, it often implies substantial functional impairments and limitations that affect the person in question as well as his or her relatives.

It also affects society economically because of reduced ability to work and expenses for long-term treatment and rehabilitation. Often, people with brain disease are not only challenged by the functional impairment in itself, but also by a society that does not always understand.

A stronger effort for people with disease and injury to the brain is thus not only about treatment and prevention, but exactly about focusing on the person and not the disease.

The ambition

Central Denmark will be a centre of excellence in education and developing new knowledge and new practices that can prevent disease and help people with disease or injury to the brain.

Our special strength is that we, by combining our knowledge and working with others, possess the skills and insights to practice an approach that starts with the person and not the disease.

Together we can start a knowledge-based movement that contain both basic research in the laboratories, clinical research, patient treatment, public health and rehabilitation.

A movement where the diving force is a desire to know more about the functional impairments experienced by people with disease and injury to the brain, across diagnoses.

Human First will bring the ambition a strength and openness that will promote cooperation with other organisations, municipalities and private companies, who invest effort and resources in promoting health for people with disease and injury to the brain.

People needing rehabilitation

The challenge

As more and more diseases are treatable, the number of people living with the consequences is increasing. People can, due to chronic disease, critical illness or injury be challenged in their ability to function physically, mentally or socially.

The diagnoses are many and often people are struggling with several diseases at the same time. But for the individual person it is not about the names of these conditions, it is about the challenges that comes along with them.

Across diagnoses and conditions are a set of common functional impairments that rehabilitation effort aim to remedy. There have been substantial progress in treatment of both chronic and critical illness but there has not been sufficient focus on the life after – and with – disease.

We need more research, development and education to change this.

The ambition

Together we have the necessary skills and resources to do research, development and education in rehabilitation. But knowledge from the scientific setting, on how to promote physical healing as well as the rapidly increasing number of technological solutions with the ability to compensate for physical impairments, needs to meet the people in question faster than today.

These are people needing rehabilitation as well as their relatives and the professionals who are helping. By focusing on function instead of diagnose we want to create groundbreaking new knowledge with relevance across conditions and diagnoses.

The amount of new knowledge and technology is increasing significantly, with a great but unresolved potential to help people. We want to release this potential and give people the best possible terms to overcome or live well with the challenges their condition has brought about.

To put people first and make notable results for people needing rehabilitation is both a professional and organisational challenge that extends beyond our organisations.

This focus area therefore implies an effort to overcome sharp organisational distinctions between for example prevention, patient care and treatment, research and practice and between sectors.

Correlation between the theoretical and practical education courses

The challenge

The transition from theoretical education to practical educational courses is a challenge for many professionals. But especially the transition from education to practice is a challenge for many.

Recently qualified professionals bring the newest knowledge and the best intentions with them, but they meet an everyday life with a high workload, complexity and competing considerations. These are the conditions and all must try to navigate.

At the same time, there seems to be a need to investigate how practice can become even better at receiving the recently qualified people and the ideas and new knowledge they bring.

Furthermore, in the future working life will be longer, and frequent changes caused by progress in technologies and practice fields will influence people's work and job situations.

Transitions will be the rule and not the exception, and thus the ability to adjust and learn becomes more important. At the same time, opportunities for further and continuing education becomes crucial.

This is not something each department, unit or health education should handle separately. We will do it together.

The ambition

A stronger effort to ensure the correlation between the theoretical and practical education courses is a common focus area where we, as educators and employers of the professionals, will work together to support focused initiatives creating more correlation and interplay.

This applies to the students' clinical practice courses as well as the staff's further and continuing education later on. At the same time, we will focus on making the transition from the educational setting to the work setting easier, and we will create opportunities for relevant further and continuing education.

Through cooperation, students and professionals must and learning to develop the necessary general competencies that will allow them to, proactively, handle transitions in education and in the practical education courses.

The ambition is also to support the students in navigating through and between multiple considerations and conflicts of interest.

Mental health for children and youth

The challenge

The new focus area in Human First, "Mental health for children and youth," addresses the issue of increasing distress in the form of mental health problems, with more and more young people being diagnosed with a mental illness before they turn 18.

The distress among children and youth particularly affects those from low-income and low-education families, thus creating significant social inequalities in health at an early stage in life.

The ambition

The ambition of the focus area on mental health for children and youth is to contribute to improved mental health for children and young people, as well as to change the agenda in society regarding children and youth, making it more positive for the benefit of children and young people.