Dr. Matt Commers is Assistant Professor of European Public Health and Coordinator of the Bachelor of European Public Health (BEPH) Programme.
Summary of Professional Priorities
Commers has a passion for health: what is this notion, why do we value it, and what determines what we call health? He believes the overarching mission of health research is to contribute to sustainable quality of life for all people in the 21st Century and beyond. As the human population grows and natural resource capacities are stretched, this is no small challenge.
In his work with the Department of International Health, Commers focuses primarily on cross-border care issues. This often involves looking at cross-border collaboration between hospitals and other healthcare and public health providers. In this dynamic, political systems from the local to the transnational almost always play a role. Ultimately, cross-border care is a fascinating window to a much larger contemporary issue: the rising need for and role of health infrastructure and policy that transcends the borders of nation states.
Commers’ overarching professional goal is to work toward a more healthy, humane and environmentally-sustainable life for all persons, and to promote means to those ends that are based upon pragmatic, incremental steps chosen through democratic processes.
Summary of Professional Background
Matt Commers received his PhD from Maastricht University in May of 2001 for his research focusing on the role of the Dutch public in health policy formulation. He holds a Master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and History from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
From 2001-2006, Commers dedicated five years full-time to building Commers Health Consulting, securing an international presence for the consultancy with clients such as the Dutch Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health of Japan, and Plan International.
In 2006, Commers relocated with his family to the United States. From 2006-2009, he worked in business development and government relations for Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In August of 2007, Commers was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and continues to hold this position.
In 2009, Commers returned to academia with an appointment at VU University of Amsterdam. He subsequently relocated with his family to Maastricht and joined the Department of International Health in July of 2010.
Specific Professional Biography
Assistant Professor of European Public Health
July 2010 – Present
- cross-border care issues in Europe including institutional collaboration across national borders, patient mobility, provider mobility, and policy at the European, Member State and regional levels related to cross-border care
- legal barriers related to cross-border care in Europe
- cross-border health technology assessment and business planning
- administrative problems in hospitals and long-term care providers (also eventually in an international comparative light)
- changes in the legal landscape, organization, and financing of health insurers
- health promotion and education intervention and evaluation
- climate change and its real and anticipated impact on public health
- public mental health and the mental health impact of natural disasters
- European health and public health policy--the interface between the institutions and policies of the EU and members states and health policy
- comparative health care systems and health policy (Netherlands / USA, etc.)
- international public health issues, including climate change and public health, funding of international health agencies, containment strategies for infectious disease, interaction of health and human rights, burden of disease calculations (DALYs, QUALYs, etc.)
- epidemiology and social epidemiology, especially socioeconomic health inequities
- prevention through behavior change, health promotion through direct influence of determinants of health in the environment
- theory of determinants of public health and research on the meaning of health to people
- communication between "science and society" and theories relating to communication between scientists and public (such as Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action)
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Health
University of Minnesota
June 2007 – Present
Formal appointment with the Department of Environmental Health Sciences within the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.
Assistant Professor of Public Health
VU University Amsterdam
Educational Institution; 5001-10,000 employees; Research industry
August 2009 – July 2010
Public Policy Program Manager
Hennepin County Medical Center
April 2008 – July 2009
Business Development Specialist
Hennepin County Medical Center
July 2006 – April 2008
Commers Health Consulting
June 2001 – May 2006
Commers Health Consulting achieved national visibility in The Netherlands in the area of health systems design and health policy. As a boutique firm employing 3 master-level staff, the firm secured and implemented long-term contracts with numerous major clients, including the Japanese and Dutch Ministries of Health and Plan International.