Dr K Stronks (b. 1964) has been appointed professor of Social Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA). She has also been appointed head of the department of Social Medicine of the Academic Medical Center (AMC/UvA).
Karien Stronks began her professional career at the Instituut Maatschappelijke Gezondheidszorg (Institute of Public Health) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. A leading theme in her research is the influence of the social context on health and illness.
In the postwar era, people in The Netherlands for a long time assumed that health inequalities between the social classes no longer existed. This view was disrupted during the eighties by the publication of Vergelijkende Buurtonderzoeken; comparative community investigations carried out in Amsterdam neighbourhoods which demonstrated great inequalities between the inhabitants from more affluent communities, and those from less affluent ones.
Two national research programmes were launched in response. For the first research programme, Stronks did an epidemiological investigation into the causes of the poorer state of health of people from poorer socio-economic communities. The focus of the second programme shifted to interventions and evaluations of interventions, and to policy for reducing the health inequalities. Stronks coordinated this second programme and as such was part of a committee (Sociaal-Economische GezondheidsVerschillen-fase II) advising the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport in 2001on policy to reduce these health inequalities.
Stronks has been working at the department of Social Medicine of the Academic Medical Center (AMC/UvA) since 1997; since 2001 as senior university lecturer. The research of her research group focuses on the health of immigrant communities in particular. The arrival of immigrants has drastically altered the composition of the population, especially in the big cities, and it gradually became clear that this could have important consequences for public health, among other things due to ethnical differences in preventing illness. Research at the department of Social Medicine aims to generate knowledge on health and care practice of immigrant populations. There are collaborations with clinical departments of the AMC and GGD Amsterdam (Health Service Amsterdam).
Previously, professor Stronks worked at the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). She was awarded the Public Health Prize from the Vereniging voor Volksgezondheid en Wetenschap (society for public health and the academic world) for her dissertation Socio-economic inequalities in health: individual choice or social circumstances? (1997).
Follow the link below for the personal website of Karien Stronks.