Dr Anna Białk-Wolf (Poland)
Chairwoman of the Institute for Medical Tourism Research and Development.
Anna earned her first professional experience as a tour leader and tourist guide. She defended her doctoral dissertation on the innovativeness of medical services at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (Germany) in the Department of Marketing and Healthcare Management. Currently, she works at the Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management in Gdańsk. She has recently completed an academic placement at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and is the author of numerous publications on tourism. Since 2009, she has been involved in analysing phenomena related to medical tourism in Poland and across the world.
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Prof. Dr. Frank-Michael Kirsch (Germany / Sweden)
Prof. Dr. Frank-Michael Kirsch has 35 years of academic experience from universities in Germany and Sweden. Main fields of his scientific production are cultural studies of national images, stereotypes and the transition of East German business culture after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kirsch is an expert in the field of international medical tourism and medical tourism research in Germany and Sweden. His most recent works are comparative studies on cross-border health care in both of these countries.
Kirsch holds a PhD in Swedish literature (1980), got docent in Scandinavian literature at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald (1990) and holds a PhD in German from Stockholm University (1998). His publication list contains 130 books, textbooks, articles, conference papers and reviews. At Södertörn University he was leading the academic program “Language Culture Market” with 400 students and 50 teachers (2000-2004). Familiarity with three academic disciplines and successful leadership of research teams at the University of Greifswald and Södertörn University provide a basis for his active international networking across the disciplines.
Currently Kirsch is part of the research project Patients beyond Frontiers: The Challenge of Medical Tourism to Swedish Health Care, financed by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation. The project unites medical cross-border researches and nine Swedish companies who are active in medical tourism.
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Dr. Paata Ratiani (Georgia)
Initially dr. Ratiani has been trained to be a military doctor at TSMU (Tbilisi State Medical University), however he has spent his after-graduation years in the Ministry of Healthcare of Georgia working at the International Affairs department. He has simultaneously obtained the academic knowledge in Business Management and International relations at GIPA (Georgian Institute of Public Affairs).
He is a pioneer in medical tourism in Georgia founding the first medical tourism company in 2007 after giving up his Ministry job.
Nowadays he provides the daily consultations both for local patients for “treatment abroad issues” and international medical tourism players regarding the Russian consumer markets, medical tourism strategies, marketing campaigns, etc. His company, “Medtourgeorgia,” sends about 20-50 patients per year from Georgia. He is also actively working on incoming medical tourism system development for Georgia. He is one of the most advanced medical tourism player in eastern europe and former USSR.
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Arek gained his experience and practical knowledge from working with foreign patients travelling to Poland for their medical treatment, as well as from cooperating with opinion-forming institutions and bodies abroad. He also ran a dental office in Great Britain and currently is a co-owner of Dentim Clinic in Katowice, where he works with foreign patients on a daily basis.
He acted as advisor to the Polish Association of Medical Tourism. Arek was the sole founder of the educational blog at www.turystyka-medyczna.com and still remains one of its co-authors.
Since 2008, he has built a highly successful track record of numerous projects related to medical tourism, including the acquisition of foreign patients for a Polish clinic in Kraków; the establishment and management of a foreign consultation point; the modernisation of existing activities in Polish medical centres.
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Mariusz Arent (Poland)
Mariusz has been trained to be a lawyer, a sociologist and a mediator. He obtained his master degree at the University of Gdańsk.
As a reformer and change strategist by vocation, he is committed to supporting the development of medical tourism in Poland. He is a co-creator of the portal and the Institute, because nowadays it is only through cooperation and teamwork that substantial progress can be made.
Professionally he is involved in business activities related to medical tourism and has been acquiring patients from abroad within the framework of the Blue Progress agency for 2 years. The company is currently operating on the Russian, German and Swedish markets, by conducting research and providing counselling services on the creation and development of healthy interpersonal partnership.
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