about the biggest expert regional meeting intended to strengthen organizational health and well-being. The Symposium gathered elite global speakers, who meet every year with a goal to present, discuss and share their innovative ideas about healthy and happy living.
Mayo Clinic Diet
Donald Hensrud, Mayo Clinic, USA
Demonstrating the Integration of Technology Into Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Robert Scales, Mayo Clinic, USA
How Do Preventative Programs Affect the Immune System for Less Diseases in Mature Years?
Alojz Ihan, Medical Faculty University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Kerry Olsen, M.D. is the chair of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA. He is also the President of 12 for Health LLC and former medical director of the Mayo Clinic Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. He is a member of Mayo Clinic Board of Governors and Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees. He is a former president of Mayo Clinic staff and has been named Teacher of the Year multiple times and is in the Mayo Fellows Association Teaching Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized as a Distinguished Mayo Clinician. He is regarded as one of the best doctors in the USA.
He graduated from Faculty of Economics and Business at University of Maribor and he interchanged many leading positions in Slovenian organizations during his professional career such as Mercator, d. d., Petrol, d. d., and Semenarna Ljubljana, d. d. He also gained work and professional experience in foreign companies with Representative offices in Slovenia. Since first of January 2018, or until pronounced as Ministry of Health, he lead the largest medical institution at the University Medical center Ljubljana.
Robert R. Auger, M.D. is an associate professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and a consultant at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology. His research involves clinical studies of sleep in general and is particularly interested in the late phase of sleep and other sleep disorders associated with the circadian rhythm.
Robert Scales, Ph.D. is the Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Preventive Health within the Division for Cardiovascular Diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He served as the leader in the development of cardiac interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease and related diseases. His field of expertise is the use of motivational conversation and effective communication between the provider and the patient in the health system and care. Dr. Robert Scales was the lead investigator of the cardiovascular health education initiative for population education. Likewise, in a lifestyle study (Chile), which was the first study to investigate the impact of a motivational interview on the behavior of patients who underwent cardiac rehabilitation.
Donald Hensrud is a doctor and has a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology degree. He is the head of General Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic and Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine departments. He is also a consultant at the Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition Department at Mayo Clinic. As a nutrition and weight management expert, he advises individuals, how to attain and maintain healthy body weight. He also conducts research in the field of obesity and body weight, gives lectures on the subject of nutrition and is also the author of a world bestseller book titled Mayo Clinic Diet.
Prof. dr. Matej Tušak is a sports psychologist and a tenured professor at the Faculty of Sport and Faculty of the Arts. He actively participates with the Institute of Sport in the process of psychological preparation of the top Slovenian Athletes. He is researching the effects of stress on the psychological level. He has been cooperating with the Slovenian army for his research and also advises on stress and motivation in companies.
Prof. dr. Alojz Ihan is a doctor, specialized in clinical microbiology and a tenured professor of microbiology and immunology at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ljubljana. He is the Chief Mentor for Specialization in Clinical Microbiology and Immunology (Medical Chamber of Slovenia), Member of the Commission for Expert Supervision in the Field of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology (Medical Chamber of Slovenia), President of the Extended Expert College for Microbiology and Immunology (RSK) of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia , which is the main expertise body in the Republic of Slovenia for the field of microbiology and immunology. Alojz Ihan is also a member and vice president of the Commission for Vaccines at the Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, Director of the Institute for Professional Activities and Development at the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana. He is also the chief editor of the Isis medical journal.
Prof. dr. Vojko Strojnik is a professor of sports education and is the head of the Department of Kinesiology at the Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, and also the head of the Kinesiology Laboratory at the Ljubljana Institute of Sport. His main areas of expertise are fitness preparation of athletes and recreational sports enthusiasts, he deals with nerve-mechanical principles of movement and various aspects of kinesiology. He shares his rich practical experience with numerous famous Slovenian athletes and trainers. He also participated in the preparation of several Slovenian Olympians.
Prof. dr. Zvezdan Pirtošek is the head of the Clinical Department of the Nervous System at the Neurological Clinic in Ljubljana and is one of the most distinguished Slovenian neurologists. He is a tenured professor of neurology at the Faculty of Medicine Ljubljana, he also gives lectures at the Department of Psychology a the Faculty of the Arts in Ljubljana. As an expert on dementia, he is one of the main initiators of the Strategy for managing dementia in Slovenia and the project for early dementia detection in Slovenia. Most of his research is in the field of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The President of Slovenia Borut Pahor awarded him with the State award for Services. He earned the award for his outstanding sacrifice, highly professional and humanitarian work in the field of dementia research.
Dr. Luo is the Vice President of China’s company MORE Health and Director of Operations at the Canadian Wellness Institute in China. Dr. Luo received his Ph.D. from biomedical sciences at the University of Montreal. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the Harvard Medical School. He is currently designated as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Jinan University in Guangzhou and also at the College of Life Science, University of Shenzhen. Dr. Luo served as director of the Ji-Jian-Kang, Ciming Checkup group, and founded and led the Chinese biotechnology company Kaitou-Bio. He is the author of over 30 original scientific articles with publications in prestigious journals, including ‘Nature Review Cardiology’, ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation’, ‘Circulation’ and ‘Circulation Research’.
Mojca Gobec, M.D. is the Director of Public Health Directorate at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia. She started her career at the Ljubljana Health center as a doctor for school children and youth. She led health promotion projects and coordinated primary health care at the Health Center. She was later employed at the Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia as a researcher in the field of health promotion. She has been working at the Ministry of Health since 2001.
Radivoje Pribaković Brinovec, M.D., is a general practitioner and is in charge of the Center for prevention and health promotion programs at the National Public Health Institute. Key functions of the institute are managing data in the field of health and health care, monitoring and evaluating populations health, recognizing threats to public health and taking measures in managing the threats, and designing expertise for adopting health-friendly policies.
Borut Brezovar was the head of the Republic Inspectorate for Labor of Slovenia for years and is a Master of legal sciences. He has a lot of experience from many different leading positions in the private sector and state administration. As a long standing head of the Republic Inspectorate for Labor of Slovenia he directly or indirectly participated in the preparation of most of the laws and regulations in the field of work relations, safety, and health. He played an integral part in implementing the work relations law, especially in the implementation of novelties in contractual work relations. He was a longtime member of the EU Committee of Chief Inspectors of Labor, a longtime member of the Association of Labor, the first president of the Council of the Republic of Slovenia for Safety and Health at Work, the president of the commissions for professional exams in the field of safety and health at work for many years, lecturer and active participant at conferences and seminars in the field of occupational safety and health at home and abroad.
Kristina Modic is the Executive Director of the Slovenian society of patients with lymphoma and leukemia, which provides information and support for patients with blood cancer. She has raised the association to a high level of professionalism in recent years and has ensured the association status of a credible partner in the shaping of health policies that are related to cancer patients with her work. She is also the President of the Association of Slovenian Cancer Patients Onko Net and Vice President of the Patient Council of Oncology Institute of Ljubljana.
Vesna Pekarovič Džakulin is a doctor, specializing in family medicine and labor and sports medicine. She works at the Diagnostics center in Šentjur, Slovenia.
Lina Savšek, M.D., neurology specialist works at the General Hospital in Celje, Slovenia. She deals with all areas of neurology, from acute vascular disorders to chronic neurodegenerative diseases, with a special interest in neuroimmunology, multiple sclerosis in particular.
Matevž Klevže is a graduate in kinesiology and a fitness and sports coach. At 24alife, he is responsible for the implementation and planning of various sports activities for the promotion of health at the workplace. He is a co-author of sports programs in the 24alife solution. His in-depth knowledge of workout and sports training issues help him with various 24alife projects: the introduction of a rehabilitation system for patients that had cardiovascular surgery at the Mayo Clinic, the introduction of a workout and heartbeat monitoring system at Basic Fit fitness chain in Belgium and conducting sports workshops in Slovenian companies (lower back pain prevention and relief, manager training running school, skiing school).
Žiga Vavpotič is an entrepreneur, graduated in the economy, has a masters degree in sociology and is the chairman on the Outfit7 board of directors. He is the founder of the Youth Institute and co-founder of the Ypsilon Institute. He started his business career at Outfit7 as an expert in talent acquisition and staff development. He was then promoted to director of Bee7000 Limited company and was later appointed as the director of revenue in Outfit7. With the Chinese acquisition of Outfit7, he was appointed to the Executive Director position on the recommendation of the founders of the company. He is very active in promoting Slovenia and slovenian economy, which makes him one of the most recognizable faces in the slovenian economy. He is also the author of his book »Srečna knjiga mojega življenja« (Happy book of my Life).
Eva Kovač is a performance psychologist and behavioral cognitive therapist who works in the field of talent development, organizational psychology and in the field of psychology of sport. She currently works as Vice President of 24alife and manages the experts from all 24alife branches around the world. She is responsible for introducing health promotion programs at companies, conducts health promotion and works closely with company management, human resources and, last but not least, with employees. She works with top athletes in the process of psychological preparation and she is a lecturer in psychology at the Olympic Committee of Slovenia.
Marjan Sušelj is the General Director of the Health Insurance Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. He participated in the introduction of the information system, he was the head of development in the information center, the project leader of the health insurance card. He has a degree in psychology and has been employed at the Health Insurance Institute for over three decades. He also acquired further education in computer science and management.
Nataša Kos, M.D., is a specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine. She is the head of the Institute for Medical Rehabilitation at University Clinical Center Ljubljana and Vice President of the Association of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Klemen Grabljavec, M.D., is a specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine and is mainly focused on the treatment of sports injuries and illnesses and ultrasound diagnostics. He is a recognized expert in the field of physiotherapy and is very active in both Slovenia and abroad. He runs a laboratory for isokinetic dynamometry. In cooperation with the physiotherapist and sports coach, he prepares therapeutic programs and supervises early and late rehabilitation of patients. He is a co-organizer of many expert meetings and is the president of the Slovenian Association for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Prim. Jana Govc Eržen, M. D., is a specialist in family medicine and works at the Celje Health Center (ZD Celje), she also serves as head of the Medical Station Vojnik and as head of the expert group for prevention and promotion of health at ZD Celje. She is partially employed at the National Institute of Public Health, where she is responsible for the implementation and coordination of preventive activities in the Celje region and at the national level. Since 2002 she has been acting as a national coordinator for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, she has actively participated in the establishment and implementation of the National Program for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, as well as in many other projects aimed at promoting a healthy behavioral style. She is a mentor to students of medicine and specialists of family medicine. She has been working as the coordinator of the World Health Organization project Celje-Zdravo mesto for 10 years.
Zdenka Čebašek Travnik, M.D., is the President of the Medical Chamber of Slovenia and a doctor, a psychiatrist specialist and a family therapist. She was also a human rights ombudsman. She is the author of numerous expert publications in the field of alcohol policy, alcohol dependence, and family therapy. She obtained her medical education at the Johns Hopkins University in the United States. She was awarded the French state award of the Knight of the Legion of Honor. Today she works as a psychiatrist and family therapist at the University Psychiatric Clinic in Ljubljana.
Iztok Altbauer is the Director of the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas (SSNZ). One of the most important projects it runs is “SPA-CE” – a workshop and a meeting of Spa & Wellness centers of Central Europe, the only such business event in Central Europe. SSNZ is also a founding member of the Balkan Spa Institute, where Iztok took over the development of the Balkan Spa Award. In his career as the Head of Marketing and Sales within the Slovenian Tourist Board he founded the Slovenian Tourist Exchange (SIW) in 1997, which is still recognized as the largest business event of Slovenian tourism, where supply and demand meet, and represents an invaluable opportunity to strengthen already established partnerships and creation of new ones.
Currently works as a guardian for Charter House, which is the only residential community of the Mayo Clinic for Retirees. It supports the whole community, which looks after 400 elderly with 400 employees. The operation includes a short-term rehabilitation center that works with the home for the elderly and has trained personnel. Tony Enquist is an authorized guardian of homes for the elderly.
Prof. dr. Maja Bresjanac is a professor at the Institute of Pathological Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana. She is also head of the Laboratory for regeneration and plasticity of the nervous system. She is one of the founders of Sinapse, the Slovenian Society for Neuroscience, which she currently presides as president. She is active in the promotion of public nervousness and wants to bring scientific knowledge of neurology to the lay public and to stimulate interest in and care for the brain.