PROTECT: Protect migrant healthcare workers: closing a gap in Germany’s pandemic preparedness and global health policy

Interdisciplinary Pilot Project

PROTECT is supported by the German Alliance for Global Health Research – GLOHRA (https://globalhealth.de/funded-projects.html), with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research – BMBF (https://www.bmbf.de/bmbf/en/home/home_node.html. It is a collaboration between Hannover Medical School and University Medicine Göttingen, Germany, and Public Health, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania, lasting from May 2022 until April 2023.

Protecting migrant healthcare workers (HCWs) is an important dimension of pandemic preparedness. This pilot project introduces a ‘syndemic’ approach to COVID-19 with a focus on higher-skilled; it connects health policy/system and actor-centred approaches. The study investigates perceptions and needs of migrant HCWs, drawing on survey data gathered at Hannover Medical School and in-depth qualitative research with Romanian physicians in Germany, and explores policy solutions. It aims to improve migrant HCW protection and contribute to effective health workforce policy and European/global responses to HCW shortage and resilience.

Hannover Medical School

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Dopfer-Jablonka
Team lead, Senior physician Rheumatology/ Immunology
    • jablonka.alexandra@mh-hannover.de
    • Alexandra Dopfer Jablonka, is a professor for internal medicine at Hannover Medical School, Clinic for Rheumatology and Immunology. She also holds a degree in health economics and is a consultant in rheumatology. She is part of the German Center for Infection Research. Her research focusses on refugee and migrant health, health workforce in rheumatology, COVID-19 and Long COVID.

[Translate to Englisch:] Porträtbild von Leonie Mac Fehr
Leonie Mac Fehr, MSc
Team member, Research assistant
    • fehr.leonie@mh-hannover.de
    • Leonie Mac Fehr holds a master's degree in Global Health from Maastricht University and is a medical student at Hannover Medical School with a special interest in racism in medicine, minorities health, planetary health, and global health workforce.

University Medical Center Göttingen

[Translate to Englisch:] Porträtbild von Frank Müller
Dr. Frank Müller
Team lead, Senior physician General Medicine
    • frank.mueller@med.uni-göttingen.de
    • Frank Müller, is a medical doctor, sociologist, and urban designer by training. He is currently Peter C. and Pat Cook Endowed Clinical Research Fellow at Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is affiliated with Michigan State University and University Medical Center Göttingen. His research focuses on migration and health, health inequality, and multilingual digital interventions. Publications: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9496-9423

Babeș-Bolyai University

Portrait picture of Marius Ungureanu
Dr. Marius Ungureanu
Project collaborator, Head of department
    • marius.ungureanu@publichealth.ro
    • Marius I. Ungureanu, MD, PhD is leading the Department of Public Health and Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy, both at the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences within the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. 
      Dr. Ungureanu has been trained as a medical doctor, and has completed his training with a master degree in health care management and a PhD in healthcare quality management. He has served as Adviser to the Health Minister, Chief of Staff to the Health Minister, and Secretary of State (Deputy Minister) for Romania’s Ministry of Health. 

Portrait picture of Monica Brinzac
Monica Brînzac, MSc
Project collaborator, Graduate research assistant
    • monica.brinzac@publichealth.ro
    • Monica Georgiana Brînzac PhD(c), holds two master's degrees in Healthcare Management and in Science, Technology and Innovation in Governance and a bachelor's degree in Public Health. Currently, she is a Research Assistant in the Department of Public Health, Babeș-Bolyai University, working on the health workforce, digital health, public health issues and serving as Deputy Director of Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy. She is a member of the Local Ethic Committee for Scientific Study Protocols WHO Romania country office and the EUPHAnxt coordinator for the European Public Health Association.