Climate and nature, shaped by the sea and its demand created there exceptional conditions for leisure time and recovery of good health, therefore, many resources of recreation and rehabilitation are concentrated in this region and health protection related infrastructure is being developed. Achievement of good results in this sphere is impossible without implementation of a huge number of high quality scientific researches. According to the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, this priority area focuses on improving and promoting the health of people in the Baltic Sea region, including the social aspects of health, as an important precondition for ensuring sustainable and healthy society enjoying economic growth, and for containing future health and social care- related costs. It is also a precondition for labour market inclusion.
Staff of the faculty, September 2019 (A. Jarukaitis photo)
Integrated care has become an important component of health and social system reforms in many European countries. The human social care and nursing needs can be fully satisfied only working in collaboration with specialists from different fields: doctors, nurses, teachers, psychologists, social workers, etc. Therefore, it is impossible to draw a strict line between health care, education, social security and labour market in community’s social activities. Only by creating a structure of integrated health and social care service network is possible to create effective integrated help for community people. For this reason, the Faculty of Health Sciences (The Unit) as a structural unit of Klaipeda University was established in 1998, where a modern health research and its integration into health care and social institutions and business form the basis of study process. The faculty is formed of 6 departments focusing on health sciences (Public Health, Rehabilitation, Nursing, Medical Technology) and social sciences (Recreation and Tourism, Social Work) composing a unique interdisciplinary unit of Health Sciences in Lithuania. An integrated research is organised in context with public health, social welfare and community sustainable development.
The World Health Organization has acknowledged the importance of this view in the World Health Report 2000 “Health Systems: Improving Performance”. Defining a health system as to include all activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore or maintain health, the main message of the report is that health and well-being of people critically depends on the performance of the health system.
Aiming to become the country’s one of the main institutions of health research, the maintenance of high quality research is the Unit‘s priority. This involves a number of approaches including attracting financial support, improved networking and training in research. These are activities that are essential for the Unit in order to achieve its top position and attract research funding.