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About us

The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation based in New York City, implements a range of initiatives to promote open society by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, and human and women’s rights, as well as social, legal, and economic reform. To foster open society on a global level, OSI aims to bring together a larger Open Society Network of other nongovernmental organizations, international institutions, and government agencies. OSI was created in 1993 by investor and philanthropist George Soros to support his foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Those foundations were established, starting in 1984, to help former communist countries in their transition to democracy. OSI has expanded the activities of the Soros foundations network to other areas of the world where the transition to democracy is of particular concern. The network encompasses more than 50 countries with initiatives in Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, as well as in Haiti, Mongolia, and Turkey. OSI also supports programs in the United States and selected projects elsewhere in the world.

OSI’s Network Public Health Programs in CEE and the FSU focus on promoting effective public health policy development, supporting the development of a population-oriented public health infrastructure, strengthening the capacity of professional organizations to develop and implement quality standards and professional ethics, and promoting public health involvement.

Starting from 1994, OSI Network Public Health program developed a series of conferences and seminars for public health professionals from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. These conferences and seminars provide advocacy skills development, network and coalition building, as well as training on specific issues. The conferences and seminars focus on priority health care topics of critical importance areas including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, mental health and disabilities, and palliative care.

Since 1994, dozens of OSI seminars have been conducted by OSI’s Network Public Health Programs in collaboration with the Albert Schweitzer Institute and a variety of national and international partner organizations, making the OSI Seminar Series one of the most extensive health education series operating in the Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union region. During 2003-2007, the Open Society Fund-Lithuania oversaw logistical administration of the OSI Public Health Seminars. Since 2008, The I Can Live Coalition has taken over the administration of the logistics of the seminars.

Seminar language - English (in some cases a simultaneous translation into Russian is provided).