Athens Midwifery SchoolEuropean Midwives AssociationCMT ProoptikiSheffield Hallam UniversityRadbound UniversityEuropean Forum for Primary CareTEI of Crete

The Athens Midwifery School as a department belongs to the University of West Attica. It is an independent, self-administrating academic institute, which comes under the head of Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The strategic goals of the University of West Attica, according to its vision and mission, are to continue its tradition and to stand out among the Greek and foreign Universities in the fields of education, research, culture and arts, while being connected with the society.

The University of West Attica has participated in numerous European and national research projects under the scope of support frameworks such as: The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Third Community Support Framework. In most of these projects, the University of West Attica acts as the coordinator. The financial management of the research projects of the University of West Attica is administered by the “Special Account for Research Grants” (ELKE) the statutory body for Universities of the country, in accordance with the national and Community legislation.


Victoria Vivilaki RM PgCert MPH PhD
Assistant Professor of Community Midwifery
Midwifery Dpt, University of West Attica
Telephone: +30 6945159535

Victoria Vivilaki RM PgCert MPH PhD  is working at the Midwifery School of Athens, where she is Assistant Professor of Community Midwifery within the School of Health Sciences at the University of West Attica. With love and passion for the women’s health and the evidence-based Community Midwifery Practice, Victoria has significant experience in implementing educational and research initiatives within Community midwifery care and women’s health. She is actively involved in the development of Primary Care and Midwifery in national and European level and leads a productive research group which is focused on approaches to women’s health care, and consideration of social and psychological factors affecting women’s health. Victoria has participated to multiple large-scale collaborative research programs within Greece and the European Union. Dr Victoria Vivilaki and her research team at the University of West Attica were involved in EUropean Refugees – HUman Movement and Advisory Network (EUR-HUMAN, Project Proposal number 717319), Tobacco cessation guidelines during pregnancy and postpartum period (TOB.g, Project Proposal number 664292) and  Operational Refugee And Migrant Maternal Approach (ORAMMA, Project Proposal number 738148) as coordinator. Victoria is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Midwifery and peer reviewer in a plethora of international journals. Victoria is a member of various professional organisations including the Research Advisory Network (RAN) of International Confederation of Midwives (, the European Midwives Association ( and President of the Board of Greek Midwives Association ( Victoria has published widely in international journals. Her publications are cited 295 times, with an h index of 9 and many of them are published in high impact factor journals (assessed on 2017).

European Midwives Association (EMA) is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation with 35 member midwifery associations from 29 countries. EMA has the aim to promote women’s general and reproductive health in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), EU candidate countries, to strengthen the status and the practice of the midwifery profession and to act as a liaison with the EU, the Council of Europe and other institutions at European level.

An objective of EMA is to promote women’s general and reproductive health by disseminating best practice and advancing all aspects of midwifery. EMA believes this can be achieved through establishing and maintaining the highest attainable standard of midwifery research, practice and education in the EU and wider Europe, as well as through influencing the development and the implementation of EU wide legislation on midwifery education and practice. EMA understands the importance of communication and collaboration with women’s health NGOs, lay groups and other professional organisations representing health care professions in the EU and wider Europe to ensure safe and quality maternity care.

Therefore, EMA’s activities are broad from political lobbying to being involved in education and research, undertaking European level projects.

Related to the ORAMMA project, EMA was an associate partner in an EU funded project “United to END FGM: European Knowledge Platform for Professionals dealing with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)” led by Cyprus University of Technology. The project aim was to improve care, social and health outcomes for this vulnerable population which includes refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. In addition, EMA published ‘Pregnant women and children first! Call to action to the emerging refugee crisis’ (2015, This was initiated by our members, midwifery associations across Europe, who were concerned of the existing health care provisions to this group of women and their families on national level. In every day practice midwives noted inequity, pregnant women facing barriers and challenges in accessing midwifery care or maternity care in general.

EMA participated as a Consortium partner for EAHC/2013/Health/07; Study concerning the review and mapping of continuous professional development and lifelong learning for health professionals in the EU Contract no. 2013 62 02.


Mervi Jokinen MSc (Dist), PG Cert, BSc (Hons), RM
President European Midwives Association (EMA)

Vice Chair European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations (EFNNMA)
Practice and Standards Professional Adviser; Royal College of Midwives (RCM) UK

Mervi currently holds the role of Practice and Standards Professional Adviser in the Royal College of Midwives, UK (since 2001). One of the many aspects of her role is development of midwifery/maternity guidelines and standards, internally within the College and externally in collaboration with other stakeholders. Due to her clinical lead role in the College, she is the RCM representative, a designated link with several arms length organisations; governmental, professional and other NGOs, as well as participating in national level audits and research.
In tributary elected role as President of European Midwives Association (EMA), Mervi has a strategic lead in maximising the representation and influence of EMA in the EU and seizing opportunities to promote women’s general and reproductive health. This is underpinned by her belief that disseminating best practice and advancing all aspects of midwifery will impact on quality and safety of women’s maternity care. This involves supporting all members of EMA; communicating and co-operating with other organisations representing health care professions and non-professional NGOs in the EU and wider Europe.

Mervi is fluent in English and Finnish.

Eleanor Shaw
Research Consultant to EMA

Eleanor has a research background in gender studies and historical maternity care, specifically in Africa. She has worked for the Royal College of Midwives running global midwifery development projects and now is a research consultant to the European Midwives Association (EMA) on the ORAMMA project.

CMT Prooptiki (CMT) is a consultancy firm that works with the public sector and civil society organisations to build capacities and develop capabilities for job creation, socioeconomic growth and promotion of active citizenship. To generate the greatest impact, CMT Prooptiki partners with government authorities, development agencies, academic, cultural and non-profit organisations, to design strategies, implement development activities and cooperate towards sustainable community and economic development. CMT Prooptiki has been active for 20 years in the areas of social and economic development and health and social care, offering services such as strategy and policy development, social research, review and evaluation, capacity building and life long learning. Moreover, in collaboration with government and civil society organisations, it engages in community interventions to address the needs of disadvantaged social groups, with a view to promote health and social inclusion.

CMT Prooptiki has participated in many EU funded projects as coordinator or partner. Moreover, CMT has developed expertise in the field of social care and evaluation of programmes and projects. Indicative projects of CMT in these fields are: (a) On going and ex post evaluation of Psychargos Mental Health Reform Programme from 2010 up to 2015, (b) External evaluation of the national programmes of intercultural education in Greece (2014), (c) Inventory, mapping and evaluation of existing public service migration and integration of third country nationals with an emphasis on one-stop shops and (d) Research on prostitution and Women Trafficking for sexual / economic exploitation in Greece


Sheffield Hallam University has long been an outward-looking institution. We recognise how knowledge can inspire and transform the lives of individuals, organisations, and communities. Our research is characterised by a focus on impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. We achieve this by applying and translating our research at local, national and international levels.

We encourage original thinking, and we promote cross-disciplinary research. For example, in our traditional science disciplines we bring together artists, designers, healthcare professionals and industrial partners to tackle a subject from every angle.
Through our portfolio of European and international research projects, we work in partnership with academic research institutes, industry, SMEs, public, voluntary and community sectors and end-users to achieve economic and social transformation.
This distinctive commitment to collaboration results in a mix of curiosity and market-driven research that has a demonstrable and significant impact on society at large. Learn more about our impact strategy.

At Sheffield Hallam University, our approach to innovation is characterised by a focus on economic and social development, and underpinned by international excellence in selected areas of applied research. Our research strengths are designed to have a positive impact on the quality of life, address questions of public policy, and contribute to the knowledge economy. It’s about having impact. We want to influence the thinking of the world beyond academia – including policy makers, businesses, public sector, voluntary and community sectors, and the wider public. And we want to support innovation outside the University, working with organisations and companies to achieve economic and societal transformation – regionally, nationally and internationally. This commitment to creating impact beyond academia runs through everything we do – because we want to realise the full potential of our research and knowledge transfer.
Our objectives are structured around four themes, with a supporting action plan. They are

  • successful partnerships
  • knowledge exchange
  • public engagement
  • culture, infrastructure and support

We’re one of the leading new universities in the UK for research, with an international reputation in key research areas such as materials science, art and design, sports science and engineering, biomedicine, and economic and social research. The Health and Social Care research cluster helps to address long-term health and social care issues and resolve everyday clinical and organisational problems. We specialise in helping to prevent long-term health problems, and helping treat people who have developed such conditions.
We conduct an extensive range of research, evaluation and development work in the field of health and social care. Our aim is to provide high quality research and development which is useful and relevant to policy makers, managers and practitioners.
Research and evaluation projects are designed specifically to suit individual customer’s needs and we undertake both short-term and long term contracts. We work closely with our clients to ensure we deliver services which meet their requirements, and have experience working with a broad customer base, including

  • health authorities
  • social services departments
  • local councils
  • voluntary and community organisations
  • charities
  • government agencies

We are able to offer highly developed expertise in a broad range of research approaches including evaluation, case studies, action research, participatory methods, surveys and qualitative methods. Several members of our team have experience of working in the health and social care sectors and/or with voluntary organisations in the UK and internationally.
A number of the team have honorary academic appointments with universities in several European countries, and we collaborate extensively with universities in Europe, North American, Australia, the East Asia and the Middle East.
Most of the major cross-Centre research activities particularly in maternity are aimed at reducing health inequalities, and improving health and social care for vulnerable groups in the society focusing on prevention and self-care as well as providing high quality, woman-centred and respectful care for mothers and their families.


Hora Soltani
PhD, MMedSci, BSc, RM, PG Dip in Health
Education, PG Cert in Health Service Research
Professor of Maternal and Infant Health


Professor Hora Soltani is a Professor of Maternal and Infant Health. She is a registered midwife and has been researching for over 20 years on maternal and infant health with a track record of over 130 peer reviewed publications, conference presentations and invited talks. She has been successful in securing funding from reputable sources such as Medical Research Council, The Burdett Trust, NIHR-CLAHRC, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation for various projects aiming at reducing health inequalities for mothers and families. Her expertise is focused around organisation of maternity care models, pregnancy and postnatal weight and health outcomes, infant feeding and the care of vulnerable women. She has led and successfully completed several interdisciplinary projects with high impact, influencing policy and practice within the UK and beyond. The significance of some of her research outcomes has been far-reaching and embraced worldwide. In addition to her local academic responsibilities, she has served as the Co-Chair of Research Standing Committee-International Confederation of Midwives, an invited lead Guest Editor of Journal of pregnancy for a special issue on health and lifestyle during pregnancy and is the Section Editor for BMC-Pregnancy and Childbirth Journal.


Radboud University Medical Center is part of the Radboud University Nijmegen and has over 9,000 employees and 3,000 students, working in healthcare, research and teaching. Radboudumc is one of the eight university medical centres in the Netherlands. Radboudumc’s key strengths are medical lifesciences and clinical practice, with an infrastructure comprising state-of-the-art technology platforms and (translational) research facilities. Radboudumc’s Department of Primary and Community Care integrates the disciplines of general practice, public health, occupational health, nursing home medicine, addiction medicine, medicine for the intellectually disabled, occupational medicine, health insurance medicine. With these specialties, it is the most comprehensive primary care university department in the Netherlands.

The Department’s research programs are embedded in the Radboud Institute of Health Sciences (RIHS,, which aims to improve clinical practice and public health by generating evidence about the efficacy and efficiency of existing and new treatments and policies. Some of the research areas in the Department of Primary and Community Care are: mental health; infections and immunisation; multimorbidity; health in specific vulnerable populations; immigrant health; patient centeredness and patient participation; issues related to community-based and / or district-centred provision of care; effective methods of medical teaching.


Maria van den Muijsenbergh
Professor of Health disparities and person centered integrated Primary Care. Radboudumc
Pharos  General Practitioner

Prof. Dr. Maria van den Muijsenbergh (MD, PhD), is a professor in Health disparities and person centred integrated primary care at the department of primary and community care of Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Besides is she a general practitioner for over 30 years, specialized in caring for vulnerable groups like undocumented migrants and a senior researcher with Pharos, the Dutch national centre of expertise on health disparities in Utrecht. Her research focusses on ethnic and socio-economic health differences and how person centred, population based primary care can provide optimum care for vulnerable groups and thus contribute to diminishing health disparities. She is member of the advisory group for the development of the ECDC evidence based guidance on prevention of infectious diseases among newly arrived migrants in the EU/ EEA. She was one of the project leaders of the Dutch research team in the RESTORE project, a EU FP7 project on cross-cultural communication, and of the EU funded project EUR-Human. She is involved in the development and delivery of pre-and postgraduate education for health care professionals on cultural competent care; she was member of the advisory board of the EU C2Me project which developed training for teachers on cultural competent care. She is coordinator of the special interest group on migrant care and international health of the WONCA, the global organisation of family doctors, and of several commissions on cultural competent primary care in the Netherlands and co-editor of the handbook for Dutch family doctors on diversity in family practice. She is president of an organisation providing shelter and empowerment activities to undocumented homeless women with health problems.

Liselotte Raben, MD MSc

Liselotte Raben is a medical doctor and a PhD candidate at the Radboud University Medical Centre, Department of Primary and Community Care. Her scientific and professional interests lie primarily in the field of health inequalities, public health and the health of vulnerable groups. Her main research concentrates on the sexual and reproductive health of refugees and other migrants. Currently she is involved in the ORAMMA project that aims to assess the current state of women’s health provision for refugees and other migrants, develop a perinatal framework and an approach to perinatal health care which will feature multidisciplinary teams of primary care professionals, maternity peer supporters’ and community capacity building. She is also involved in the supervision of research projects of postgraduate medical students of the Radboud University. She is one of the authors of the Refugee Care[e]Education course with e-learning modules for Dutch professionals involved in primary health care for refugees, asylum seekers and other newly arrived migrants.

Recent publication: Raben LAD, van den Muijsenbergh METC. Inequity in contraceptive care between refugees and other migrant women?: a retrospective study in Dutch general practice. Family Practice. 2018:cmx133-cmx133.

The European Forum for Primary Care was initiated in early 2005 by a group of interested parties from several countries. The aim of the Forum is to improve the health of the population by promoting strong Primary Care. This is done by advocating for Primary Care, by generating data and evidence on Primary Care and by exchanging information between its members. The Forum seeks to expand its membership and thereby to become a leading force for strengthening Primary Care in Europe.

Strong primary care (PC) produces better health outcomes against lower costs. That is the briefest summary of available scientific evidence. By promoting strong PC the population’s health can be improved. Strong PC does not emerge spontaneously. It requires appropriate conditions at the health care system level and in actual practice to make PC providers able and willing to take responsibility for the health of the population under their care. Everywhere in Europe the process of strengthening PC is ongoing. There is a strong need to collect and share information about what structures and strategies matter.

The majority of health complaints of the people are dealt with through self-care and primary care, delivered in the local community. Addressing the needs of individuals in the context of their families and communities is one of the key features of primary care. In home care for the ageing population in intercultural care in underserved areas, primary care contributes to the development of social coherence. Therefore, family physicians operate in the framework of the local primary health care team, utilising a multidisciplinary approach. A patient-centred responsiveness, with special attention to the most vulnerable groups in society is another key feature of primary care. It requires unrestricted access of patients to primary care services. A third key-feature is the navigation function: related to the undifferentiated scala of complaints that are presented at the primary care level and to the fact that specialist care offers fragmented services, the primary care practitioners help patients to navigate through the health care system. In a number of European countries the gatekeeping role of general practitioners makes them responsible for adequate referral and guidance of patients, under the right and safe conditions.

Ageing of our European societies, a concern on rising costs and quality of health care and a strong wish to guarantee access to health care, are increasingly common issues in virtually all European countries.
Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe are in the process of profoundly reshaping their health system. While many Primary Care initiatives blossom at local level, mainstream health care and health policy often are not oriented towards supporting and developing Primary Care. This presents a formidable challenge for those who are involved in practice and in policy.
Increasingly, policies in the European Union impact on health and health services. Through guidelines and ordinances, but also through the Open Method of Coordination and the allocation of subsidies, opportunities are created to develop international exchange and to improve health systems through a shared vision. On the other hand, it creates the challenge to balance the market and competition oriented approach with the collaborative character of a community-oriented primary care.

The basic aim of the Forum is to improve the European population’s health by promoting strong Primary Care. This is done by monitoring the state of Primary Care in the European countries, by collecting information on conditions that matter for strong Primary Care, and by exchanging experiences. The Forum supports PHC services at local or regional level, influences (health) policies at national and international level (EU, WHO) and supports research.


Diederik Aarendonk 
Coordinator European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC)

Mr Diederik Aarendonk (Dutch national) is a senior expert in public health programmes in transitional economies. He has a nursing background and received a master degree in international public health. Mr Aarendonk has extensive experience in managing public health reform programmes in Central & Eastern European countries.
His former position was Public Health expert at the Netherlands School of Public & Occupational Health being involved in several EU funded projects, including projects about Communicable Diseases, Mental Health, Primary Care, Public Health Management and Environmental Medicine.
His present position is coordinator of the European Forum for Primary Care. From this position he is responsible for all the activities the Forum develops, including the preparation of Position Papers, organisation of conferences, workshops and other meetings, communication with members, financial management, etc. Since October 2012 he is also an academic consultant at the department of family medicine and primary health care at the Ghent University as an advisor in relation to research and practice within the Primary Care domain

Diana Castro Sandoval
Projects and Events Coordinator at European Forum For Primary Care

Diana Castro Sandoval (Spanish nationality) is a professional with multiple experiences within health sector. She has a dentistry background and further graduated from her master in International Health and Social Management which was developed between Innsbruck and Bangkok.
She has been working in several NGOs in Mexico and Guatemala within the area of cooperation and development right after she started her internship at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) within the regional office in Bangkok. There she joined the health economics department and was working on the development on sexual reproductive health within the UHC framework in South East Asia.
She joined the EFPC as a Junior coordinator where she will be supporting and managing the activities that the forum develops, including dissemination and advocacy for the forum, organization of meetings and conferences ,developing strategic partnerships and so on. Nowadays, she is also a Committee Member at the European Health Parliament which it´s a platform of young professionals from across Europe, who work together with the aim of shaping the future of healthcare in Europe.

The Department of Social Work (, established in 1973, belongs to the School of Health and Social Welfare of the TEI of Crete and is one of the oldest public Social Work Courses in Greece. The Department has a long and successful tradition of teaching and practical experience in the field of social work and its primary goal is to prepare students for responsible, advanced and creative practice in social work. Our graduates are trained to work in health and social care services in Greece. Social work education in the Department combines theoretical courses in applied social sciences with practice experience acquired through field placements in various social agencies in the region.

The Laboratory of Health and Road Safety – LaHeRS ( is affiliated to the Department of Social Work at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Greece (TEI of Crete). LaHeRS aims at promoting research and intervention in social and public health problems. Main fields of interest are family and interpersonal violence, health needs assessment in vulnerable population groups, social determinants of health and driving performance. LaHeRS is active in conducting basic research in various areas of interest, developing research proposals under national and European funding schemes, seeking research and academic collaboration with educational and research institutions in Greece and abroad, designing and implementing community interventions on various topics relevant to its interests, developing scientific tools and material for use by academic and public organisations and more.

LaHeRS is dedicated to exploring high-risk behaviours and has a special focus on the impact of a wide range of lifestyle factors on human performance and risk behaviours. The Laboratory has a long experience and involvement in research projects under state funding such as Archimedes I and Archimedes III as well as in collaborative research projects under European funding from the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) under the “Health Programme” (Y-SAV 2009-12-22), Leonardo da Vinci/Partnerships (LdV “LLP-LdV-TOI-2007-TR-008”), Directorate General for Transport and Mobility/DG-MOVE (MOVE/C4/SUB/2011-294/SI2.628846/REHABIL-AID), the Directorate General for Justice and the “DAPHNE III” programme such as the COMMUN-AID (JUST/2011-2012/DAP/AG/3272) and the WOM-POWER (JUST/2011-2012/DAP/AG/3008).


Maria Papadakaki,BSW MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Health and Welfare Sciences 
Technological Educational Institute of Crete

Dr. Maria Papadakaki, BSW, MPH. She is an assistant professor at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Health and Welfare Sciences, at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete. She obtained a first degree in Social Work, holds an MPH and a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete. She serves as the Director of the Laboratory of Health and Road Safety (LaHeRS) since 2017. She has been teaching in two Master’s Degree Courses (MSc) offered by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete. She has served as a member of the council of the Regional Council of Social Workers (SKLE) in Greece for many years. She has also served as a Member of the Ministerial Scientific Committee for the Greek Primary Care Reform organized by the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity (Ministerial Decree 1δ/71967/31-07-2013). She is accustomed to working at an international level and has project management expertise due to her involvement in several research projects on an EU and national level (e.g. FP6, FP7, DG SANCO, LDV, DG MOVE, DAPHNE III programme. She was nominated as the national representative in a COST action funded by the European commission (COST-TU1101). She has co-authored a number of research papers in well-established peer-reviewed journals in Greece and abroad (ISI and Pubmed) primarily on primary health care, sexual health and intimate relationships and migrant health (see more in PUBMED).