Since 2017, Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program aims to broaden the scope of the debate on health policy, support sustainable reform in the health sector and develop a program community involving the public and private sector as well as civil society and academia.

The Public Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute Romania seek to improve the formation of policy through transparent, non-partisan, evidence-based, multiple stakeholders’ dialogue. Based on the Aspen Method, our programs offer public decision-makers, private stakeholders and representatives of the non-governmental and academic sectors an exceptional platform for reflection, aiming to reach consensus on concrete policy recommendations in Romania’s most relevant policy fields. By engaging with public decision-makers from the start of the reflection process, in an informal and informed dialogue, mutual ownership of our policy recommendations is fostered.

Under the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program a community was created comprising multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, aiming to:

  • Support public policies aiming to improve the access to medicines and healthcare services in Romania and the Central-Eastern Europe region.
  • Support public policies aiming to improve access to new technologies, supporting the development of an innovation-based health system.
  • Map Romania’s healthcare services needs in order to find adequate responses and identify integrative healthcare solutions.
  • Support public policies aiming to improve the efficiency of the health system and identify additional funding sources.
  • Create a system of best practices which can trigger reform processes and developments in the healthcare sectors in the region and stimulate the use of market synergies.
  • Ensure Romania’s resilience, including early warning and rapid response capacity (as a matter of national security) – preparedness for public health emergencies, including pandemics and natural disasters.

The core deliverables of the 2023 Program edition include:

  • Custom Socrates Leadership Seminar, organized in person outside Bucharest in partnership with Aspen Institute US Socrates Program (May 11th – 13th, 2023). The Seminar brings together a diverse group of key stakeholders from the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Community, focusing on contemporary challenges faced by leaders in the health sector. In 2023, the main topic was “Financing Resilience Through Innovation in Healthcare: Is Having the Money Enough?”.
  • White Paper with recommendations for the relevant decision-makers

The Program is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Cristian Vlădescu, Senior Fellow of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program.

In addition, the Program benefits from the intellectual support of a Program Advisory Board, consisting of key stakeholders from the healthcare sector, of diverse professional backgrounds and political affiliations, has been created:


Prof. Univ. Dr. Alexandru Rafila – Minister of Health, Government of Romania

Dr. Diana Loreta Păun – Presidential Adviser, Department of Public Health, Romanian Presidential Administration

Dr. Dafin Mureşanu – President, European Federation of NeuroRehabilitation Societies

Radu Gănescu – President, National Coalition of Organisations for Patients with Chronic Conditions

Vlad Mixich – Executive Director, Romanian Health Observatory

Iulian Trandafir – CEO, Alliance Healthcare Romania & Aspen Board Member (representative of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Taskforce)

2023 Edition Program Partners: Roche, Alliance Healthcare, Pfizer, Sanofi, Astra Zeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Medtronic

Program Track Record

  • The 2017 – 2019 iterations of our Program were coordinated by  Dr. Alexandru Rafila(Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Director) and engaged approximately 300 healthcare specialists in debates on healthcare policies.
  • In 2019, based on a recommendation made under the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program, the Working Group on Combating Cancer was established in the Romanian Parliament, including Deputies and Senators from all political parties represented in Parliament. Furthermore, Aspen Institute Romania supported the formation and activity of the Working Group for Combating Cancer in the Romanian Parliament in the 2020 – 2024 legislature. The Working Group includes Senators and Deputies from all the political parties represented in Parliament.
  • 11 editions of Aspen Healthcare Summit, the Program’s high level, international public event & other high-level events organized in partnership with public institutions.
  • 5 editions of the Custom Healthcare Socrates Seminar, organized in partnership with Aspen Institute US Socrates Program.
  • Over 20 thematic, in-person roundtable meetings and webinars (during the pandemic) focused on policy recommendations.
  • Program White Paperwith recommendations for relevant decision-makers (2020).

An archive of our activities in the Program can be found HERE.