Sciana senior ambassador Bettina Borisch in conversation

Sciana senior ambassador Bettina Borisch in conversation

Identifying great potential in future health leaders

Sciana senior ambassador Bettina Borisch reflects on her first Sciana meetings in Salzburg

Health leader Bettina Borisch has described how honoured she is to join the Sciana Network as its newest senior ambassador.

Borisch, who works as a professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, attended her first meetings in her new role earlier this month.

"I'm very honoured to be a senior ambassador for Sciana," said Borisch. "It's my first time, and as I said, I'm a senior ambassador in training.

"I hope to be able to contribute to the group work, to the creation of the ecosystem of Sciana by the connections that I can bring them [and] by my knowledge that I have accumulated over the years."

Borisch is a medical doctor and histopathologist with a master's degree in public health. She is a member of the Institute of Global Health, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology, and acts as the executive director of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Her research work delved into neoplastic lesions of the immune system and breast cancer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Pathobiology and co-editor of the Journal of Public Health Policy.

As well as studying medicine, Borisch also studied history, which continues to influence her work. She said, "A little step back helps sometimes to understand, even though I would say that I do live my life quite forward. I think that the historical perspective helps."

As a Sciana senior ambassador, Borisch will be on hand to provide expertise and guidance to help inform Sciana members with their decision-making.

Borisch said she admired the respect members afforded one another in their discussions. The work towards a common goal gave her a "positive first impression."

While Borisch hopes she can bring a Swiss perspective to the debates and discussions, she also hopes to bring a global perspective from her background in Geneva, a major headquarters for several global institutions such as the UN.

She said, "We know that it is for some people frightening to think of change… You need people like the Sciana [members] to change and… help to change, and that's what we call leadership."

Sciana: The Health Leaders Network is an initiative bringing together outstanding leaders in health and health care policy and innovation across Europe. The Sciana network is supported by a partnership between The Health Foundation, Careum Stiftung, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung in collaboration with Salzburg Global Seminar.