On the 10th October 2023 the RSCN held the 4th Call for AHA Reference Sites Awards Ceremony. The event, which was held at the Albert Borschette Conference Centre, Brussels, celebrated the success of the 65 AHA Reference Site regions that received accreditation for the work they are undertaking in addressing a life-course approach to active and healthy ageing.
To receive accreditation, AHA Reference Sites regions were evaluated against 6 criteria:
- Political, Organisational, Technological and Financial Readiness
- Sharing learning, knowledge, and resources for innovation
- Contributing to European co-operation and transferability
- Delivering evidence of regional impact
- Contributing to the European Digital Transformation of Health and Care
- Scale of demonstration and deployment of innovation
Additionally, they had to complete a Maturity Self-Assessment on how they were addressing a life-course approach to active and healthy ageing. Accreditation was awarded from 1 Star to 4 Star.
The programme for the Awards Ceremony allowed AHA Reference Site regions to share knowledge and learning, promote examples of good practice, meet with other regions, and to celebrate their success.
During the morning session of the Awards Ceremony a wide range of speakers and presenters from the European Commission, WHO, AHA Reference Sites, and EU funded projects shared their insights and experiences with participants. The speakers and presenters were: Irina Kalderon Libal, DG Connect, Dr Oxana Domenti, WHO; Sabrine Montante, THCS Partnership; Flaviana Teodosiu, DG Employment; Gisela A Garcia-Alvarez, IN4AHA Project; Aleardo Furlani, Leadership4SMEs Project; Lukas Martin, ICU4COVID Project; Donna Henderson, Procure4Health Project; Carina Dantas, SHAFE; Erika Jouhet, Nadège, Dubernard-Nègre, Murielle Bouin, Nouvelle-Aquitaine AHA Reference Site; Esteban De Manuel Keenoy, Basque Country AHA Reference Site; Sandra Pais, Algarve AHA Reference Site; and Angelina Kouroubali, Crete AHA Reference Site.
The afternoon session began with a Round Table discussion with a number of regional Ministers and political representatives. The theme od the Round Table was “Aligning Regional Policies and Priorities Towards Developing Smart, Healthy, and Age-Friendly environments.” The Panel comprised:
Maria Isabel Blanco, Minister for Social Affairs and families, Castilla Y Leon, Spain; Gotzone Sagardui, Health Minister of the Basque Government, Spain; Rosa Barone, Regional Minister for Welfare, Puglia-Italy; Maria Luis Del Moral Leal General Secretary, Regional Ministry of Health and Consumers Affairs, Andalusia, Spain; Aquiles Marreiros, CCDR, Algarve, Portugal; and Antonio Maritati, ProMIS, Italy
The Awards Ceremony concluded with the presentation of Certificates to each of the accredited AHA Reference Site regions by Marco Marsela, DG Connect.