Dr. Chandana Unnithan

Chandana Unnithan PhD, MbusComp, MBA, is a global expert/advisor and Professor in Public Health Informatics, Health Systems Implementation projects. She is an official delegate representing Australia to the UN in the Scientific and Technical Sub Committee (STSC), Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). She is also a health technology and informatics expert in the working group on Space and Global Health (WG-SGH) within the UN COPUOS, engaged in building applied projects that intersect space technologies and global health. The group is represented by members from space agencies (incl. Australia Space Agency, NASA, ESA, CSA, etc.), WHO, Public Health agencies and experts in Digital Health from various countries.
Chandana has spent multiple years in pioneering/implementing innovative technologies (IoT) for public health enhancements. She is an invited expert and advisor to companies in blockchain, remote sensing, geo-spatial applications, and health informatics (MLA, AI). As an applied scientist, Chandana is widely published across technical and high impact journals (e.g. Nature), international conference proceedings, edited books, books, research videos and webinars. She is an invited speaker for international conferences and is on multiple program committees in Australia, USA, Canada and Europe.
As a professor, Chandana continues to mentor a diverse cohort of international multi-disciplinary (graduate) students (particularly practitioners in the health sector) combining flipped classroom approaches with e-learning, using online platforms (WebCT, Blackboard, Moodle and Desire2Learn.  Her success is also reflected in the global internship programs with a conversion rate of 80% graduate students into full time career positions. She continues to lead applied research programs in partnership with universities (e.g. University of British Columbia) and health sector organisations globally.


Crhistinne Gonçalves PhD

Crhistinne Gonçalves

Faculty of Medicine, UFMS – Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, BRAZIL


Crhistinne is a public health researcher, practitioner and policy expert. She has experience in the area of Collective Health, with emphasis on public management, in the following themes: Health Promotion, Social Determinants of Health, Social Participation, Management and Health Planning, Public Policies, Evaluation of Health Services, Telehealth and Health of Indigenous Populations, Tuberculosis, Incarcerated Population.

During 2013-2016, Crhistinne was teaching as Professor of the Higher Teaching Department of Medical Course, UFGD – Federal University of Grande Dourados, Community Health disciplines and was Coordinator of the Specialization Course in Public Health of UFGD 2014-2016. This experience supported significant approach of   Health of Indigenous populations and researches of tuberculosis in prisions.

Nowadays, she is a Professor of Faculty of Medicine -UFMS- Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Internship Collective Health discipline. It is an experience to engage students in different contexts in municipalities far away from urban centers.


  • Dentistry, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul
  • PHd, Public Health Faculty, University of São Paulo
  • MHSc, Local Development, Dom Bosco Catholic University
  • Diploma, Investment for Health: Integrating Health in All Policies, University of Padova & WHO European Office for Investment in Health & Development

Irving Rootman PhD

Irving Rootman PhD. is a global pioneer & a leader in health promotion research and practice in Canada for over thirty years.

Dr. Rootman developed the first national health promotion survey; led a national project to develop knowledge in health promotion; was the first Director of the Centre for Health Promotion at the University of Toronto; stimulated the establishment of the Canadian Consortium for Health Promotion Research; and developed a national program of research in literacy and health. He was a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine Expert Committee on Health Literacy and  Co-Chair of the Canadian Expert Panel on Health Literacy.

Currently,  Dr. Rootman is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria and a Visiting Professor in Gerontology at Simon Fraser University.  He is the Co-chair of the Capacity-Building Committee for the Public Health Association of BC, as well as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the BC Health Literacy Network.

Those who have been fortunate to work with Dr. Rootman over the trajectory of his career understand that he is a true visionary, enabler, mentor & role-model as he demonstrates through his collaborative style how to support others to reach their own potential to promote health.

Dais Gonçalves Rocha PhD.

Abrasco Meeting_May 2014Dais Gonçalves Rocha PhD. is a Professor of Health Promotion and Health Education; Human Rights, Culture and Society at the Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Brasília-DF/Brazil. She is an Academic Advisor and Professor in the Unesco Chair of Bioethics Program at the University of Brasília, and  Co-coordinator of Theme Group on Health Promotion and Sustainable Development of the Brazilian Association of Collective Health.

Dais completed a post-doctoral fellowship at School of Population and Public Health in 2013-2014, University of British Columbia (Canada) and her PhD Degree in Public Health/Health Promotion, University of São Paulo (Brazil) in 2001. Previously Daid has obtained her Master Degree in Public Health/Health Education from the University of São Paulo (Brazil). Specialization in Health Promotion – 1998 and an undergraduate in Dentistry- Federal University of Goiás- Goiânia (Brazil) in 1990.

As professor and researcher Dais dedicated a lot of time to building alliances and a working agenda between university-services and social movements to reduce health inequities and promote the right to health. In this way, since 2010 she had coordinated a graduate level course called “Human rights, culture, and society” where masters and doctoral students carry out field studies on care related to Policies to Promote Equity in Health that the Brazilian Ministry of Health has implemented since 2003. These policies include: National Policies on Integral Care for Black Population; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transvestite/Transsexual communities; Rural and Forest Communities; and Integral Care for Adolescents.

Marilyn Rice, Senior Advisor in Health Promotion

Marylin RiceMarilyn Rice is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of merci (Marilyn E Rice Consulting International), an international consulting firm based in Washington, DC but with global reach. It specializes in advising on best practices and problem solving related to promoting equity in health and development. Until June of 2011 she was the Senior Advisor in Health Promotion and Coordinator of the Urban Health and Determinants of Health Team for the Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). She has over 30 years of experience working in a multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment, often playing the role of a facilitator to help ensure clear communication and collaborative efforts in developing and implementing initiatives.

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Dr. Kristine Sørensen, Health Literacy Global Advisor

KristineDr. Kristine Sørensen is health literacy expert and project coordinator of the European Health Literacy Project (HLS-EU) hosted by the Department of International Health at Maastricht University. Other related projects are the Collaborative Venture on Health Literacy; which integrates health literacy into business action and corporate social responsibility; the Diabetes Literacy Project supported by the European Commission, and the study on health literacy and the right to access to health in collaboration with Council of Europe. She has acted as advisor on health literacy for WHO, European Commission, the European Parliament, European Centre of Disease Control and other international organizations. She has recently received the European Health Award for the outstanding social and political impact of the European health literacy project. Continue reading

Sarah Simpson, Health Equity Global Advisor

header-logoSarah Simpson is an international consultant with a Masters in Public Health and degrees in health promotion and arts. She has over 20 years experience in health and social policy, and 10+ years on social determinants and equity, building skills and knowledge to take action in a range of country and policy contexts. At the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development (2007-2012) she worked with ministries of health to incorporate an equity focus into policies and programmes. Sarah worked for WHO in Geneva, coordinating the knowledge networks established as part of the global Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Continue reading