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Justyna Mesalska: the path from lawyer to healthcare manager

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As Director of the Medical Center of the Medical University of Warsaw, Justyna Mesalska participates in information campaigns regarding the rights of pregnant women and nursing mothers, trying to give them a sense of security. In a conversation with us, he talks about his challenges, professional goals and how he takes care of his own health in a life full of stress and professional involvement.

Your professional life is centered around healthcare. Was it supposed to be like this?

Justyna Mesalska: I graduated from law school, so, as you can see, I had no plans to become a doctor (laughter). But my professional career actually spans almost 20 years in the Ministry of Health. I came there for three months after many years of working for an American law firm and stayed longer. For many years I was the director of the Department of Community and Family Health. This job, full of challenges, became my passion.

Medical Center of the Medical University of Warsaw, CTOToday you lead and participate in various information campaigns, including those related to the rights of pregnant women and nursing mothers. Why?

Y.M.: Because I believe that the condition and future of the next generations of Poles depends on ensuring a sense of security for women during this special period.

Maybe a few details?

Y.M.: Example: women in Poland would like to breastfeed their children longer and not neglect their professional career, but they face many difficulties from employers and, moreover, unfavorable opinion from society… Worse, they have little knowledge about the rights to which they are entitled… And here I see scope for educational activities.

Promoting preventative measures is not easy in Poland. The statistics are alarming!

JM: This is a sad truth, as evidenced by the number of cases of cervical cancer…

The medical world believes that it is completely curable.

DM: That’s it. Women’s approach to their own health is largely to blame. Research shows that Polish women primarily care about the health of their family members. We ran a campaign about the health of Polish women.

Not only women’s health is the subject of the Center’s activities.

JM: We also dealt with the mental health of the little ones, because recently we have noticed a sharp increase in the number of children needing help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Even young children are hospitalized after suicide attempts.

Mental health is still a taboo topic…

DM: And these are acute problems, they need to be propagated and solutions sought.

Among many programsOat the prevention center, most of them are free. Are the Poles ready to use them??

DM: Indeed, we have many programs. Their scope of activity includes not only the prevention of cancer, but also osteoporosis and diseases of the circulatory system. There is interest, but not enough yet.

In your opinion, what is the reason for this?

DM: It’s sad, but we still pay too little attention to disease prevention – we only see a doctor when necessary. And the consequences are tragic. Therefore, I encourage you to take advantage of the tests that our Center offers free of charge. You can find their list on the website.

If you could name one goal,OIf you want to achieve professional results, then…?

Yu.M.: I would like the Medical University of Warsaw to continue to develop dynamically and implement modern healthcare programs that use the latest methods of treatment and health prevention; be a patient-friendly place; and that our experience will help drive systemic change in healthcare.

It’s not for nothing that you are the winner of the ShEO 2023 award in the “Healthcare Leader” category. But this is not your only difference.

JM: All awards are an honor for me and at the same time an obligation to continue working. Believe me, managing the Center is a big responsibility that requires great dedication and teamwork.

So how does Justyna Mesalska, who lives every day under stress and lack of time, take care of her health?

DM: Do you want to hear that a shoemaker walks without shoes? (laughter) In fact, I devote a lot of time to work, I always have… However, I allow myself to relax, pursue my hobbies, and also try to watch my diet.

What do you consider success in your personal life??

DM: The people who surround me. I really appreciate the support I received from my parents and sister since childhood. They watch my achievements, both more and less impressive. And not only professional, but also private. This gives me strength and courage to develop and take further steps.

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Source: Wprost

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