LocalTapiola donates a professorship of preventive medicine to the University of Oulu

The new professorship will be established within the Faculty of Medicine. The donation, totaling 200,000 euros, enables a part-time professorship focused on preventive healthcare, particularly in the management and prevention of risk factors associated with chronic common diseases, for a duration of five years.
Veli Rajakangas, Liisa Humalamäki ja Osmo Tervonen lahjoitustilaisuudessa
CEO of LocalTapiola Pohjoinen Veli Rajakangas (on the left), Marketing and Communications Director of LocalTapiola Pohjoinen Liisa Humalamäki and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Osmo Tervonen. Photo by Senni Luttinen.

The initiative behind the donation is the northern stakeholders’ goal to increase the population's healthy, functional life years, and to foster well-being throughout Northern Finland, and potentially nationwide. The contributors to this donation are LocalTapiola Pohjoinen and LocalTapiola Life Insurance Company.

"As a life security company, our primary objective is to assist our owner-customers in preventing damages and illnesses. The goal of a larger role for preventive medicine in healthcare aligns perfectly with this mission," emphasizes Veli Rajakangas, CEO of LocalTapiola Pohjoinen.

"By combining research and practical actions in a new way, we believe in achieving a population that is increasingly healthier and well-being, with additional years of work capability and vital retirement days," underscores Pasi Haarala, CEO of the Life Insurance Company.

Promoting well-being and health through the prevention of risk factors

The prevalence of common chronic diseases' risk factors, such as obesity, contributes to increased disability and premature deaths in the working-age population. Key risk factors are known to account for a significant portion of the risk associated with prevalent cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other metabolic conditions. A substantial portion of diseases causing disability and premature deaths could be prevented by addressing these risk factors proactively.

"I warmly thank LocalTapiola Pohjoinen and the Life Insurance Company for their significant donation to the new professorship and the advancement of research in the field. Shifting resources from treatment measures to preventive actions requires evidence of their effectiveness, making research crucial," emphasizes Osmo Tervonen, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

The goal of the newly established part-time professorship is to promote research and development in preventive and impact-based healthcare in Finland. The research focus of the professorship is primarily on preventive healthcare, specifically in the management and prevention of risk factors associated with chronic common diseases.

"The professorship creates a scientific foundation for investments that enable healthier and more functional additional life years," adds Tervonen.

Fostering interdisciplinary collaboration

Through the professorship, collaboration between the University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, the Wellbeing Services County of North Ostrobothnia (Pohde), and other key national institutions will be strengthened. The emphasis is particularly on health challenges posed by chronic common diseases. The establishment of the professorship enables interdisciplinary research collaboration, combining the expertise and resources of various stakeholders.

"In healthcare, it is increasingly critical to prioritize the use of resources, and for this reason, research is needed on how and where investments can shift the onset of diseases forward by a decade or prevent the onset of disease altogether. Pohde is committed to promoting the effectiveness of healthcare, and this can only be achieved through research," says Jani Tikkanen, Chief Academic Officer at Pohde.

LocalTapiola Pohjoinen's work for sustainability and social responsibility includes donations supporting the expertise and education of Northern Finns. LocalTapiola Pohjoinen has previously donated to the University of Oulu in 2022, 2019, and 2015. LocalTapiola Life Insurance Company has long been supporting work aimed at improving the health of the Finnish population and preventing diseases. The donation to the preventive medicine professorship marks a new initiative for the company in advancing this theme.

Last updated: 19.2.2024