Employee in the spotlight: Mariëlle Beenackers
How does the urban environment contribute towards the chances and challenges for health, and how are these chances and challenges (un)equally distributed across the population? These closely related questions fascinate me and are woven across my academic career here at the department of Public Health.
During my PhD, I explored the cross-level interactions between individual and neighbourhood factors for physical activity. Afterwards I focused on explaining and reducing socioeconomic health inequalities and on how the urban environment affects the health of residents, collaborating with inspiring colleagues from across the globe. I was recently given the opportunity to continue my line of research on the role of the urban environment on health and health inequalities with a Veni Innovational Research Incentives grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
I get energy from science that matters, which is why I feel very at home at the department of Public Health. I am therefore very proud that I am coordinator of Centre for Effective Public Health In the larger Rotterdam area (CEPHIR). CEPHIR is the academic collaborative centre for Public Health in which we work together with the municipality and municipal health services of the Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Zeeland, and Zuid-Holland Zuid regions. Our aim is to achieve a vital population and reduce health disadvantages in these regions. We do this by research, teaching and capacity building, and knowledge exchange activities in order to connect research, practice and policy. The high-quality and interesting work that is carried out at the department feeds directly into these activities. Together we create societal impact.