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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
Aletta Jacobs School of Public HealthResearch

Personal impact by research

Anyone who wants to, can help build a (Northern) Netherlands where as many people as possible grow old healthily. The Aletta movement already consists of a large diversity of people and organisations, each with their own perspective on health. Margreet de Graaf, director of the Municipal Health Services Safety Region Fryslân, is one of them. She shares what she hopes Aletta will achieve, together with her.

Margreet de Graaf
Margreet de Graaf

"Health has to do with genetics and education. These are the variables with which everyone enters life. But health is also design and therefore epigenetics. You have to dó and leáve things for it.

As long as I can remember, health – and the lack of it – plays an important role in my life. In my opinion, health can never be taken for granted.

Where one person can be lucky genetically, another can simply be less fortunate. And sometimes a healthy body does not get the attention from his or her owner that it needs to stay healthy. I know the examples from both sides very intimately. I have seen what it can lead to, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

For making healthy choices, we need knowledge. I learn something new every day, but especially in the area of ​​health I remain curious. I like to read about progress in research and every now and then I subject myself to an investigation. I’m keen on my health and even so I notice that unhealthy behaviour happens almost unnoticed.

For example, I noticed that drinking coffee in the evening affects the quality of my sleep. So, after dinner I don’t drink my delicious espresso. I admit that that stays difficult. One thing is certain: investing in a healthy mind and a healthy body takes effort. Each and every day."


"I believe in progress based on research, but in my practice I see that the application of knowledge often lags behind the state of science. With the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, the University of Groningen and the UMCG have taken the important step of combining fundamental research and knowledge from various fields for the benefit of public health.

Unapplied knowledge doesn’t get us any further, doesn’t mean that we grow older healthier together. It’s precisely in the application of this knowledge that the joint Municipal Health Services (as knowledge and implementation organisations in the area of ​​public health on a regional scale) can make a big, positive difference. For, by and with municipalities. That’s why I am pleased that the three northern Municipal Health Services can join forces with Aletta, so that the connection between research and practice is well established.

I wish for Aletta that her inner circle of her own researchers connects seamlessly with her outer circle (researchers, doctors, nurses and policy advisors of the Municipal Health Services and other health partners), with the rest of society and with people like you and me who want to enjoy as many healthy years as possible.

Everyone deserves a long, healthy and safe life.
The northern Municipal Health Services, are happy to actively contribute to this, together with Aletta."

Read more:
> Personal impact by educating
> Personal impact by resolving

Last modified:04 March 2019 4.17 p.m.
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