In the late 1960s and early 70s, the Faculty of Medicine, the Canton Hospital and the Vaud Public Health Service worked together to establish a professorship of social and preventive medicine, and an institute with the same title. The IUMSP was launched in January 1972, and in January 2011 a symposium was organised to duly celebrate the fortieth anniversary of academic public health in Lausanne.

The IUMSP owes its existence almost entirely to Professor Armand Delachaux. The first director of the IUMSP was a rehabilitation physician and clinician and had the foresight to see the academic potential of public health. He also saw the consequences of the population’s ageing, such as increase of chronic diseases prevalence, and need for new responses from the healthcare system. Professor Delachaux started the Vaud Cancer Registry, among other projects, with these new developments in mind. The Registry was a means of monitoring and analysing cancer trends, and Professor Delachaux also pioneered medical demographics, producing one of the first analyses of changes in healthcare personnel in Switzerland.

From such a solid start, the IUMSP developed into a body capable of undertaking modern public health tasks. Under the leadership of Charles Kleiber, the IUMSP left the Public Health Service, of which it had been a part since its creation, and joined the Canton's hospital services in the early 1990s. This new connection to CHUV promoted collaboration with many of the hospital's clinical departments. An initial project was the sharing of clinical epidemiology and biostatistical methods, within the framework of the Clinical Epidemiology Centre. This collaboration then became more extensive and diverse, with the launch of several consortia that combined clinical research with population research.

The main fields involved mainly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and kidney diseases, cancer, geriatrics, anaesthesiology, and gastroenterology.

In 2012, the whole of the IUMSP (nearly 120 people) moved to one building, on the Biopôle science park in Lausanne. This was a major change in scientific life at the IUMSP, which until then had been based at four or five different sites.
2012 saw the beginning of a major change: the departure of a generation of IUMSP leaders. At the end of the period 2012-2020, around ten leaders will have left, and 5 professorship positions will need to be filled. So that this change of personnel strengthens the IUMSP rather than weakens it, a transition plan has been devised. Its primary purpose is to unify new appointments, and to provide a focus for the reorganisation process. This plan will renew the IUMSP's structure and organisation. Implementation began in 2013 and is due to finish in 2020.

Historical documents 

[Not translated into English]




IUMSP | www.iumsp.ch
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 | dess.info@unisante.ch

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