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The University and Sanitas promote a Chair for research and training about the relationship between health and the environment.

The partnership agreement hopes to apply the knowledge generated by the Chair to healthcare centers to turn them into more sustainable and healthy spaces.

/The CEO of Sanitas and Bupa ELA, Iñaki Peralta, and the Vice President of research and Sustainability of the University of Navarra; Paloma Grau, at the moment of the signature of agreement.

12 | 06 | 2023

The University of Navarra, through the Biodiversity and Environment Institute (BIOMA), and Sanitas are promoting a new Chair to promote research and training on the relationship between people's health and the environment, in line with the One Health concept promoted, among others, by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Paloma Grau, Vice President of research and Sustainability of the University; and the CEO of Sanitas and Bupa ELA, Iñaki Peralta, have signed the partnership agreement which also aims to promote scientific knowledge dissemination through projects, conferences, publications and other activities, to raise awareness in society of the need to incorporate sustainable development models to take care of the environment in which we live and its direct influence on people's health.

Among the objectives of the Chair, which will be called "Chair Sanitas de Salud y Medio Ambiente" are: to generate research and knowledge on the relationship between health and the environment; to train new generations on this concept; to disseminate, communicate and publicly recommend that greater visibility be given to the relationship between human health and the health of ecosystems; and to incorporate the knowledge generated by the Chair in the transformation of the health sector and other environments. 

Sanitas funding from Chair will be used to support research projects and knowledge dissemination activities promoted by researchers at the University of Navarra. The partnership agreement is valid for three years. The Chair will be directed by Jesús Miguel Santamaría, director of Biodiversity and Environment Institute of the University of Navarra.

"The University of Navarra promotes a rigorous scientific research , multidisciplinary and applied, at the service of business innovation, especially now that we are facing important challenges," said Jesús Miguel Santamaría, director of high school BIOMA. "This new Chair will undoubtedly contribute to improve the care of people and the environment, to the knowledge dissemination of knowledge and to generate the necessary awareness so that, together, we prosper as a society, establishing a link between health and nature."

For his part, the CEO of Sanitas and Bupa ELA, Iñaki Peralta, commented: "We want to provide scientific evidence on the link between people's health and healthy environments. Our idea is to apply this knowledge in our centers to turn them into healthier spaces and extend this knowledge to the rest of the sector. The idea is to incorporate criteria of design sustainable and positive for health, selecting the best architectural, equipment and biophilic solutions for the people who live near, visit or work in Sanitas centers. All this while working to ensure that our facilities have zero net CO2 emissions and therefore generate less impact on the planet".

Among the first actions of the Chair is the development of a guide with evidence about the impact in Spain of climate change and pollution on people's health. This evidence will be accompanied by recommendations to mitigate the contribution of buildings to this phenomenon to transform them into healthy spaces, with a special focus on health centers. 

On the other hand, it is proposed to develop an innovative test model to test the findings generated by the research lines of the Chair. This will be done through a digital twin that will allow simulating different scenarios to determine the success of the implementation of measures that improve health outcomes, patient experience and the impact on the environment in which the center is located. The realization of the digital twin will be achieved by obtaining a massive amount of data generated by deploying a network of sensors (temperature, humidity, particulate matter and pollutant gases) that will monitor in real time the interior rooms and the exterior of the hospital taken as model.