Department of Environmental and Occupational medicine
Department of Hygiene and bacteriology was founded at 1922 in Lithuanian University. First head of the department was professor A.Jurgeliūnas. From 1934 up to 1968 the Hygiene Department head was professor J. Šopauskas, who formed the main research and methodological directions of the department. From 1968 up to 1980 head of the department was associated professor J.Rauba. In 1977 Department of Hygiene was united with department of Social hygiene and Health care organisation. Head of this department from 1980 up to 1986 and from 1990 up to 2004 was professor V.Obelenis, from 1986 up to 1991 professor J.Petrauskienė. At 1991 Hygiene Department, which later, in 1995 was renamed into Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine was restored. From 2004 the department is headed by associated professor Rūta Ustinavičienė
The main research areas of the Department scientists are investigations of hygienic work conditions, the evaluation of the psychophysiological changes in working organism, the analysis of general and occupation - related morbidity at textile, metal processing, chemistry enterprises, transport, wood processing plants and other industries. Research works are also concentrated to analysis of cancerogenesis, cancer epidemiology in various occupations, health effects of computer work, occupational medicine at health institutions, work ergonomic and musculoskeletal problems.
Department is in collaboration with the Lithuanian higher education institutions - VU Institute of Public Health, Kaunas University of Technology Department of Ergonomic, Distance study center. Department of Environmental and Occupational medicine is in active co-operation with the Ministries of Social Security and Labour, Ministry of Health, Department of Public health authorities. Department staff is involved in the preparation of new legislation and hygiene projects. Department employees are working at the Central Occupational Medicine Expert Commission under Ministry of Health. International contacts are maintained and developed with the Polish Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Latvian Occupational Medicine Center, Porto university researchers. Department actively participates in the International Health Promoting Hospitals Network.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine is teaching Environmental medicine, Occupational medicine, Health ecology, Ecology, Health care workers occupational health, Healthy diet and Nutrition basics, Travel medicine, Environmental toxicology, Children environment and health, Baltic Sea environment and health, Personal and Military hygiene, Ergonomics, Basic of Health and Safety at work and other disciplines.
The main research areas:
- Impact of the environmental factors to human health;
- Impact of occupational factors to workers health;
- Impact of climatic and heliophysical factors to human health;
- Stress and bullying: genesis, development, psychophysiological diagnostic, influence to the health and prophylaxis;
- Health problems working with computers;
- Work conditions and health of office workers;
- Cancerogenes and epidemiology of occupational cancer;
- The investigations of ergonomic, psychophysiologic factors at industry;
- Work conditions and health of medical workers.
Department of Health Management
The Department of Health Management is the University’s base for education, research, and innovative thinking related to management, quality and policy of health care services, health care technology, and health care financing. The scope of activities and the training subjects of the Department has been developing over time, according to the needs of the country, political context and priorities in health systems, as well as development of the concepts of health management and public health. Public health management is defined as the mobilization and management of the society’s resources including the specific resources of the health services sector, to improve the health of population through whatever means is appropriate. Our educational programs focus on helping students develop the critical thinking and applied problem-solving skills needed to address a wide variety of public health and health management challenges. Department provides students with knowledge and skills to apply classroom learning to real world, public health management, and to address fundamental issues in today’s complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment in Lithuania and abroad.
Department was established in 1951. Until 1953 the head of the department was J. Parnarauskas (1904-1953). Department was joined with the Department of Hygiene in 1953. During 1953-1956 the head of the department was prof. J. Šopauskas (1900-1968). Since the 1st of September 1956, Department of Social Medicine became an independent unit. Until 1960 the head of the department was M. Zaikauskas (1924-1988), during 1961-1977 – Assoc. Prof. S. Kindziulis. In 1977, the department was joined again with the Department of Hygiene. During 1977-1980 the head of the Department was Assoc. Prof. J. Rauba, during 1980-1986 - Assoc. Prof. V. Obelenis, while during 1986-1991 – Prof. J. Petrauskienė. Since September 1991, the department of Social Medicine became independent again. The head of the department was Prof. J. Petrauskienė. Since 2001 department changed the title into Department of Health Management and is led by Prof. Ramunė Kalėdienė.
Large variety of study subjects for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as for retraining of health care executives, leaders and administrators, aiming at shaping their attitudes towards comprehensive health management, is offered at the Department. Students of the Faculties of Medicine, Odontology, Public Health and Nursing study social medicine, health care management and quality, medical history and medical law. The same subjects are thought in English for foreign students of the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Odontology. Since 1st September 1997, new discipline was introduced – Management of health care quality. Refresher and postgraduate training courses for the health care managers and administrators are organized on the regular basis at the Department. Master program Management of public health developed according to the international TEMPUS project, which started in 1997. Since the year 2000, a three-year part-time Master program Management of public health is offered. Students of the Faculty of Veterinary medicine and Faculty of Animal husbandry technology study management, marketing and basics of law at the Department after Kaunas University of Medicine and Lithuanian Academy of Veterinary were joined into Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in 2011. Training of doctoral students, reviews of scientific projects, methodological guidelines, and different reports is carried out at the Department. Consulting of health care managers, active involvement in health policy formulation and into activities of the National health board, as well as expertise of different activities of national and international institutions and organizations is carried out by the staff of the department. Staff of the Department is actively involved in the international activities, e.g. Program for Operations research in reproductive health, coordinated by World Health Organization (WHO), expert work and consulting in the areas of health inequalities, human resource development, health monitoring, development of public health research etc. at WHO, European Commission, World Bank, European Public Health Association (EUPHA), Association of Schools of Public Health of European Region (ASPHER) and others. A vast network of alumni who hold leadership positions in different parts of health care system work in close partnership with the department in activities such as guest lecturing, recruiting and mentoring students, and providing access to data and practices to Department engaged in research projects.
Study program Study program
Social medicine and health care management
Social medicine and history of public health
Health care management and quality
Health care management and medical law
History of odontology and law
Social and family law
Basics of general and health law
Basics of research work organization
Basics of law
Public health and health care
Leadership in health care
Health information management and research work
Management of changes
Health information technologies
Public health, health care and health care organization practice
History of medicine
History of medicine and odontology
Leadership in public health
Health context of globalization
Human resource management
European Union law
Patient safety and risk management
Department carries on research in two major areas/topics – Analysis of health care quality and management (leader Prof. S. Sauliūnė) and Inequalities in health among Lithuanian population (leader Prof. R. Kalėdienė). Researchers of the Department took part at the Lithuanian national scientific program Ecological stability of the regional development in the context of history: Lithuanian example (1993-1999); scientific-practical programs Prevention of psychiatric disorders (1997-2000), Improvement of the quality of life (2001-2004), and National program of males and females equal opportunities (2005-2009). A number of international scientific projects were implemented in recent years with the participation of the staff members of the Department, such as: Injuries in Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania: situation analysis and implications for prevention, 2001-2005 (coordinated by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden); Tackling health inequalities in Europe (EUROTHINE), 2004-2005 (coordinated by the Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands); Baltic sea public health training network (BalticHealthTraiN), 2005-2007 (Coordinated by the University of Tartu, Estonia); Elder abuse: a multinational prevalence survey (ABUEL), 2008-2010 (coordinated by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden); European best practices for improving access, quality and appropriateness of migrant health care (EUGATE), 2008-2010 (coordinated by the Queen Mary and Westfield Colleague, University of London, UK); European urban health indicators system part two: urban health monitoring and analysis system to inform policy (EURO-URHIS 2), 2009-2012 (coordinated by the University of Manchester, UK).
Department of Health Psychology
Health Psychology is a study program with the aim to educate competent bachelors in psychology with scientific insight, solid base of scientific knowledge in psychology and professional application skills in the field of personal and public health and well-being. This program aims to ensure the necessary universal first stage psychology training and provide thorough knowledge on health care systems, aims and objectives of health maintenance and promotion, system needs and demands and the role of mental health professionals in meeting these needs. Thus, this specialized large-scale program especially meets the needs of students who have interest in the relationship of health, behaviour and diseases, in health promotion, prevention and treatment of health disorders, and is created for the students who associate future studies and profession with the field of health. Successful completion of this program is awarded a qualification degree of Bachelor in Psychology.
Study program New Lifestyle medicine program
The Department of Health Psychology was established in February 1, 2012 following the reorganization of Department of Preventive Medicine.
The vision of the department is to create – a knowledge- and progress-oriented community of high academic culture, providing the highest quality training of specialists, who have an active contribution to the development of psychology and health research as well as striving to integrate the research and practice.
The mission of the department is to – educate future leaders of health psychology by using progressive education paradigms and the best known traditions of researcher-practitioner training, produce new scientific knowledge, join the promotion efforts for application of scientific knowledge to personal and public health and well-being, ensure the academic environment favourable for individual personal development and self-realization.
The scientists collaborate with the following Lithuanian higher education institutions: Institute of Public Health at Vilnius University, Department of Ergonomics at Kaunas University of Technology, and Continuing Studies Institute at Siauliai University. They also collaborate with Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Ministry of Health, and institutions of public health. The scientists take part in preparation of laws and projects of hygiene standards, and take part in the Central expert committee of occupational medicine at the Ministry of Health.
Psychology of Development
Introduction to Psychology
Neurophysiology and biological mental fundamentals
Psychology of Communication
Applied Psychology of Health
Fundamentals of Educology
Culture of Organisation
Psychology of Health
Hazardous Behaviour of Youth
Quantitative and QualitativeResearch Methods, the Analysis of the Scientific Literature
Course Work: Theoretical Analysis of the Problem
Fundamentals of Educology
Culture of Organisation
Educology of Family
Philosophy of Education
The psychology and skills of communication
Systems of Health Education
Sociology of Deviant Behavior
Health and Risk Behaviour among Children and Youth
Safety of the Child
Main fields and topics of research in the Department for 2013–2014:
I. Health premises in the development of personality
1. Medical, social and psychological premises of infant emotional and behavioural difficulties.
2. Concept of adolescent happiness and its relationship to health factors.
3. Associations between psychological wellbeing, lifestyle and physical health status in middle-aged and elderly urban population.
II. Family: parenthood experience
1. Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood experiences.
2. Maternity health care and it's psychosocial aspects.
III. Psychological resources for health
1. The relationship of personality type and health.
2. Psychological aspects of psychoactive substance use and control.
IV. Psychological aspects of chronic non-communicable diseases
1. Breaking bad news to patients: preparedness, responsibility and experience of physicians.
2. Implementation of minimal intervention model in control of risk factors for chronic conditions.
3. Psychosocial determinants of chronic non-communicable diseases.
4. Psychological adaptation of women with breast cancer.
VCommunication and interaction in healthcare
1. Parent and nurse emotional experiences and expectations in perinatal complications.
VI. Trauma and crisis psychology
1.Associations among traumatic experience, health and wellbeing in workers of special services.
2. Psychosocial aspects of crisis and disaster management.
VII. Psychological aspects of health education
1. Psychological literacy and creativity in health training.
2. Psychological adaptation and stress coping in students.
Department of Preventive Medicine
Department of Preventive Medicine was established in 1994. Prof. V. Grabauskas was appointed to be the chief of the Department. He successfully supervised and lead the tasks of the department until 2007. From 2007 until 2013 head of department was elected Prof. Z. Padaiga. From 2013 prof. Giedrius Vanagas took over the leadership position and managing the department work since then.
The staff of Preventive Medicine Department consists of 24 employees: 10 Professors, 5 assoc. Professors, 1 assist. Professor, 6 research assistants, 3 PhD students, 1 Senior Researcher, 1 administrator and 2 technicians.
Department of Preventive Medicine is a subdivision of Public Health Faculty. The responsibilities of the department include implementation and execution of study programs, perform research work and develop the competencies of public health specialists. The goal of the Preventive Medicine Department is to create public health knowledge and on this basis train the competencies, of public health specialists, enabling to solve complex problems in public health field. The objectives are: to participate actively in the main goal of the University – to nurture healthy and educated society, to participate in qualifying researchers in the field of biomedicine, to plan, perform and improve study system, emphasizing student’s choices, intellectual independence, abilities to take individual decisions, opportunities to learn together with other members of the society to solve health promotion problems, to communicate within the group and community, the abilities to analyse practical processes, improve the quality of the studies according to international standards, to pursue research and publish its results, to participate in the conferences and implement national or international projects/programs in partnership with other units of the University and/or outside partners, to prepare the textbooks, monographies, teaching materials, to organize scientific conferences and seminars.
Academic staff of department is recognized as experts in the field of public health by many organizations: Ministry of Health, National Board of Health, WHO, EU Commission and by many other national and international organizations. Department has also long history of international collaboration with WHO in many projects, such as CINDI, Monica and others.
Study program Study program
Department carries on researches closely related with their courses taught and academic interests. We see teaching and research as integrally linked and we invite our students to participate in research.
Since 1993 in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe was conducted HBSC (Health Behaviour of School-age Childern) study (contact person Prof. A. Zaborskis). Study was carried out every four years in 43 countries and regions across Europe andNorth America. This is a cross-national study gaining insight into young people's (age of 11, 13 and 15 years old) well-being, health behaviours and their social context. The international network is organized around an interlinked series of focus and topic groups related to the following areas:self-rated health, obesity, body image, weight reduction behavior, eating hebits, physical activity and sedentary behaviors, substance use: alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, oral health, health complaints, injuries, life satisfaction, family and peers school environment, bullying and fighting, sexual behavior, socioeconomic environment
More information about the survey: http://www.hbsc.org/
Since 2007 department participate in WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative – COSI (contact person Prof. A. Petrauskiene). Under the guidance of WHO the Growth Surveillance Survey of Lithuanian Children was carried out three times all over theLithuania. A national representative sample of 7 and 9 year old children was examined. The system aims to measure routinely trends in overweight and obesity in primary school children (6-9 years), in order to understand the progress of the epidemic in this population group and to permit intercountry comparisons within the European Region. Member States recognized the need for harmonized surveillance systems among primary-school children on which policy development within the European Region could be based. COSI was a response to this need.
More information about the survey: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/activities/monitoring-and-surveillance/who-european-childhood-obesity-surveillance-initiative-cosi
Project ‘ICT for Health’ was launched in 2007 (contact person Prof. G. Vanagas). This project is a flagship project of the European Union Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013. This decision ensured strong political support all over the Baltic Sea Region during the project implementation. Project has 19 project partners from 8 Baltic Sea Region countries. Project part financed by European Union Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013. The project partners pursued their aim to raise the social acceptance of eHealth by many activities: Among others they developed eLearning modules for health care professionals and user-friendly multilingual personal health portals.
More information about the survey: http://www.ictforhealth.net
‘Primcare IT’ project. The main project activities started in January 2012 (contact person Prof. G. Vanagas). ‘PrimCareIT’ – Counteracting brain drain and professional isolation of health professionals in remote primary health care through tele-consultation and tele-mentoring to strengthen social conditions in remote BSR”. Project dedicated to meet these challenges of professional isolation and brain drain in remote BSR regions. . Project has 16 project partners from 7 Baltic Sea Region countries. Project part financed by European Union Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.
More information about the survey: http://www.primcareit.net/
EConDA project (Economics of Chronic Diseases) was started in 2013 (contact person Assoc. Prof. V. Kriaucioniene). This project funded by the European Commission Executive Agency for Health and Consumers. Project coordinator is UK Health Forum. Project has 18 partners. The EConDA project is concerned with cost-effectiveness of interventions which reduce chronic diseases in the population. The main objectives are: implement cost-effective policies that improve preven-tion of chronic diseases, reduce health inequalities in chronic disease prevalence by impacting upon populations most at risk. The project focus on coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease and two risk factors: obesity and tobacco use.
More information about the survey: http://www.monster-darts.co.uk/econda/index.html
Projects coordinated by Prof. L Sumskas: Leonardo da Vinci project GAP ‘Bridging the Gap of General Practitioners‘ Competence on European Market’ (2008-2010); COST activity HOME IS0603 ‘Health and Social Care for Migrants and National Minorities in Europe’ (2007-2011); ERASMUS project LEPHIE ‘Leaders for European public health (2010-2013); 7BP project ‘EURO URHIS 2’ (2009-2013); COST activity ADAPT IS1103 ‘Adapting European Health Systems to Diversity’ (2011-2015).
Department of Social Sciences and Humanities
The Department of Social Sciences and Humanities is among the oldest at the university. For nearly five decades, it stems from the academic units which have been in charge of teaching philosophy, logics, ethics, medical ethics, aesthetics and other disciplines pertaining to the field of humanities and social sciences. Taking the humanist traditions characteristic of the inter-war period university in Kaunas and its’ faculty of Medicine, its’ successor Kaunas Medical Institute as well as Kaunas University on Medicine, and currently enrooted in the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, the department puts all efforts in continuing its’ main task, namely sustaining the humanist tradition in educating professionals in different areas of medicine, pharmacy, odontology, public health, nursing, social work in medicine. The number and richness of disciplines taught and the research areas encompassed by the department have increased significantly over the past years, the scope varying from earlier taught courses towards very new areas such as bioethics, art therapy, sociology, sustainable human development, social anthropology, social human relations, organizational culture and other. Department recently became a home for the BSc studies programme in social sciences “Medical social work” which is unique in Lithuania in terms of interdisciplinary character, merging the needs of health institutions in the professionals of social work. The courses taught by the staff of the department and main research areas are further delineated in the following paragraphs.
Thecourses taught by the department cover vast range of disciplines within social sciences and humanities of so-called ‘horizontal’ character, namely addressing the main objective of sustaining the humanist tradition of the university in educating professionals in different areas of medicine, pharmacy, odontology, public health, nursing, psychology.
Some courses are compulsory and singular in different faculties and study programs within the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences such as philosophy, ethics, sociology, logics, etc. Some other courses are shaped out of modules, many of which are taught by the staff of the department in cooperation with colleagues from other departments of LSMU. There is a variety of elective courses offered by the SSH department to the students of various faculties and departments of LSMU, for example, medical ethics, bioethics, art therapy, aesthetics, social anthropology, basics of spirituality, pop-culture and medicine, organizational culture, sustainable human development, qualitative research methods.
A very special place at the department is devoted to the program of “Medical social work” – a unique four year BSc studies program in social sciences that counts more than a decade at the university, and has been enrooted at the SSH department for the last two years. The courses of the programme are enlisted in a separate section. The main aim of this study programme is to prepare competent social workers who are able to optimize interaction between patients/clients and their environment enhancing a holistic approach in all levels of health care as well as social care system. The general learning outcome of the study programme is graduates’ ability to initiate positive changes within the client’s micro and macro level social functioning applying knowledge and skills of empowerment for client’s participation and decision making in health and social care processes. Study programme teaching methods focus is development of students’ creativity skills, responsibility, communication and professional ethics. Graduates will be able to work at all levels of health care system, state and non-nongovernmental social services agencies, international projects.
The main research areas, themes and questions addressed by the scholars of SSH department closely correspond with their courses taught, areas of expertise, academic interests. Some research has been funded by the Lithuanian Research Council, different EU programs, and other international and local funding agencies. Scholars of the department often act as experts in different international and national bodies, for example, the Lithuanian National Bioethics Committee, EU Commission’s Research Executive Agency, Lithuanian National Center for the Assessment of Studies’ Quality, United Nations Climate Change UNFCCC, International Sociological Association, International Bioethics Association, American Sociological Association, European Sociological Association and other. The main research areas and questions could be summarized as follows:
1. Ethical, sociological and cultural aspects of public health:
a) Ethical and cultural determinants of public health: factors, motives, tendencies
b) Social-economic determinants of public health: factors, motives, tendencies
2. Social work and innovations for public health and welfare at the levels of:
c) labour organization,
d) institutions of public health, care, nursing, rehabilitation,
e) communities (particularly social inclusion, engagement therapy).
3. Bioethics, human ecology and sustainable human development.
a) bioethical issues of human life;
b) linkages between health, environmental, socio-political and economic aspects in the quest for sustainable human development;
c) human relations, social and organizational change for sustainable development.