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Healthy Region

Tourism, vitality, exercise, wellness, health and Zeeland. What happens when you look for the interfaces between these subjects?

The research group Healthy Region is investigating crossovers between the health of citizens and tourists and the characteristic environmental factors of Zeeland. To this end, the researchers work together with students, entrepreneurs, administrators and civilians. This results in knowledge with which services and products related to healthy living are better attuned to the changing needs of residents and tourists.

In this way, the research group contributes to the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of tourism and the economy in Zeeland. There is also social value, because residents can make use of the innovative services and products.

Three themes are the common thread in the research projects of Healthy Region.

Healthy Living
How can citizens develop and maintain a vital lifestyle? What activities and facilities in the area of well-being, health and vitality contribute to this? And how can care and welfare systems innovate and become more sustainable?

Healthy Lifestyle
Movement and sports are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. How can you stimulate an active lifestyle for both residents and tourists? What effect do the sports and exercise facilities in a healthy region have on this? And what technologies can be used to achieve this? In this theme, exercise and sport are related to vitality, well-being and healthy living and ageing.

Healthy Hospitality
How can you link tourism and healthcare so that you create new opportunities to put Zeeland on the map as a healthy region? This theme links two very diverse sectors.

Lector Olaf Timmermans delivered his inaugural speech 'Crossing over to a healthy region on 11 June 2015.


Gezonde kansen in Goes

HZ Students, commissioned by the municipality of Goes, will approach families to help them improve their health and lifestyle. By talking to families from five neighbourhoods in Goes, the students will identify opportunities to improve the health of families, find out which factors minimise these opportunities, which factors are recognised and acknowledged by neighbourhood residents and what is needed to increase opportunities and reduce risks. The results obtained from the interviews with families are compiled into a baseline picture which serves as substantiated advice for a follow-up process.


The care model to be developed will be supported with e-health and professionalisation for all involved. The project will develop an international Centre of Excellence; a learning network for the four partner regions. The project aims to save €11.6 million in healthcare costs, mainly by avoiding unnecessary care, such as reducing long-term hospital admissions of elderly people with dementia. The CASCADE project is funded by the Interreg 2 Seas programme 2014-2020 (project ends in March 2023 due to Covid-19), co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The project partners are also investing 3.7 million of their own funds. The project fits into one of the three objectives of the OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, around long-term care linking the improvement of care, its affordability and the increase of care quality.


Additional objectives focus on allowing people to live at home longer, improving patient satisfaction and retaining and recruiting care staff. A blueprint for implementation is being designed to overcome barriers to implementation in other countries. From the Healthy Region lectorate, the entire process of development and implementation of the transfer of care model is monitored. As part of validation, publications will be issued to encourage other organisations to implement such care innovation. The TICC project with a budget of €8 million is funded by the Interreg 2 Seas programme and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. €4.8 million is funded by the 14 international partners involved. The project will run from 1 September 2017 to 31 March 2023.

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