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In August of 2023, the Bassett Research Institute hosted a week-long symposium to build upon a decades-long partnership with Umeå University’s Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education, with over 34,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff. Umeå is recognized internationally for its leadership in research and excellence in education.

For over three decades, the Bassett–Umeå team has addressed rural health issues including: rural cardiac disease prevention programs; promotion of farm tractor rollover protective devices; and rural obesity and factors that promote a healthy weight in at-risk populations within Bassett’s service region.

Symposium participants discussed the primary components leading to the success of the prior collaboration and identified further opportunities for solidifying and expanding the partnership between Bassett and Umeå University. Their planning aims to increase research innovation, education opportunities, and productive exchange on how to improve health and healthcare delivery in the coming decade.

Since the 1990s, Bassett Healthcare Network has partnered with Umeå University’s Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, which is an international, multidisciplinary research and teaching environment located within Umeå University’s Faculty of Medicine. Founded in 1986, the department draws people from all over the world with a shared mission to contribute to equitable and sustainable improvements in health and welfare across the globe.

Over this period there have been 37 shared scientific publications, several grant-funded research projects, and four PhDs awarded to Bassett Research Institute staff members by Umeå. The Umeå International School of Public Health is structured to educate foreign students, with intensive on-site instruction interspersed with remote work, enabling students to progress without interrupting their regular jobs. Umeå has offered this to BRI researchers tuition-free.

Melissa Scribani, recently awarded a PhD from Umeå, states: “This collaboration, with its rich history and numerous scientific achievements, has been a pillar of Bassett Research Institute’s success for many years. It also provides exciting opportunities for the future as we work together to enhance the health of our respective rural communities.”