About HPH

The International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services (HPH Network) was initiated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe as a settings approach for healthcare organisations to improve the quality of health care, the relationship between hospitals/ health services, the community and the environment - and through this collaboration stregthen the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and relatives.

The HPH Network is a "network of networks". In total, it consists of 20 National/Regional HPH Networks, collaborating to reorient health care towards an active promotion of health. Each National/Regional HPH Network consists of a minimum of three hospital and health service members.

Furthermore, about 40 hospitals and health services are individual HPH members of the International Network, since they are located in places where there is not yet any National/Regional Network.


In total, the International HPH Network is made up of close to 600 hospitals and health service members in more than 30 countries.


If there is a national/regional network in your area, you can find it on the HPH World Map. If there isnt't, there may still be local individual hospital/health service members. Please contact the International HPH Secretariat to be put in contact with them.

You can also read more about each national/regional network on their own sub-pages.

The governing body of the HPH Network is the HPH General Assembly, who meets at least once a year (often in conjunction to the annual international HPH Conference). The HPH General Assembly elects a Governance Board to govern and lead the HPH Network. The Governance Board is elected for a two year period and have regular meetings to ensure a continued development, organization and implementation in the HPH Network.

Why HPH?

The goal of being an HPH member, of working with health promotion, and of collaborating internationally is to acheive a better health gain by improving the quality of health care, the relationship between hospitals/health services, the community and the environment, as well as the conditions for and satisfaction of patients, relatives, and staff.

The members are working on incorporating the concepts, values, strategies, and standards/indicators of health promotion into the organizational structure and culture of the hospitals and health services. The network follows the principles of World Health Organization (WHO) regarding health promoting as described in the Ottawa Charter (1986), the Budapest Declaration on Health Promoting Hospital (1991), the Vienna recommendations (1997), the Bangkok Charter (2006), and the Standards for Health Promoting in Hospitals (2006), while at all times adapting to local needs and resources.


To provide leadership on matters critical to health promotion in hospitals and health services and engaging in partnership where joint action is needed

To shape the research agenda and stimulate the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge

To set norms and standards and promote and monitor their implementation

To articulate ethical and evidence-based policy options

To provide technical support, catalyse change and build sustainable institutional capacity

To monitor the development of health promotion in hospitals and health services

(From the Constitution of the International HPH Network)


More than a decade ago, the WHO initiated the Network of Health Promoting Hospitals as a pilot project in order to support hospitals in placing more emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention rather than on diagnosis and curative services alone.

Later, the International HPH Network became a non-governmental organization (NGO) on its own, with its constitution under Swiss law in 2008. Meanwhile, the network changed its name to include health services. This was done to extend the scope of the network by including non-hospital services in order to strengthen the vital links between primary health care and other health services. In this way, the network aims to secure the cooperation between and among hospitals, other health service providers, and other institutions and sectors. 

Since the early years, when HPH was merely a European WHO initiative, a global expansion has taken place. Now, the International HPH Network consists of close to 600 member hospitals and health services from all the continents of the world. The memberships are anchored in the management of district hospitals, primary care clinics (including general practitioners, nurses, and midwifes), university hospitals, health centers, and nursing homes among other parts of the health care system taking care of patients.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding 2014-2020 (MoU) between WHO and the international HPH Network was a significant achievement, a very important step, and a great success. The document is an umbrella framework for collaboration, and it forms basis for the annual MoU Work Plan, which outlines the specific and detailed actions that will be taken. These actions have been included into HPH Action Plans.

The WHO collaborations are a key priority for HPH, and among the core elements are WHO’s Health 2020 document and the agreed focus on Eastern Europe, synergies with other WHO Networks, and the outside Europe work with PAHO, WPRO, EMRO, National Offices, and Liaison Officers, which would be strengthened in future. The connection and collaboration between WHO and HPH will continue to be developed for the benefit of patients, staff, and communities all over the world for years to come.

Link to paper: The International HPH Network - A short story of two decades of development (Pelikan; 2011)

Join The International HPH Network

For registration, please visit Join HPH.

2019 International HPH Network   |   Burchardstrasse 17, 20095 Hamburg, Germany   |   info@hphnet.org   |   Tel: +49 40 22621149-0

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