Kazuko SAEKI（right）Professor, the Faculty of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University. Graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Hosei University. Graduated from the Public Health Nurse Division of Hokkaido Prefectural School of Hygiene. Obtained a Doctoral degree in Health Sciences from the University of Tokyo. Engaged in public health nurse education at Sapporo Medical University, Kanazawa University and Hokkaido University. Her research theme is human resource development in regional health services. She became the president of the Japan Academy of Public Health Nursing at the time of its establishment. (She currently serves as an auditor-secretary.)
Michiyo HIRANO（left）Associate Professor, the Faculty of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University.
Graduated from the Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University. Doctoral degree in nursing. She has been working at Hokkaido University since 2007, after working as a public health nurse at a prefectural public health center in Hokkaido.
Professor Kazuko Saeki, who specializes in health sciences, says, “Human resource development is important for the development of sustainable communities. I conduct research on indexes for assessing the human resource development of public health nurses. Since it’s difficult to know how to develop the abilities of public health nurses, who deal with a wide range of people, from infants to senior citizens and the physically challenged, and who are involved in community development, I’m making a table of abilities that can be used for assessment by oneself and by others. I’m also a member of the Yu Yu Mashi-no-kai, which is an organization of local residents. I share ideas with other members and summarize the results in research papers. Associate Professor Michiyo Hirano, who specializes in nursing, says, “I’m developing a way to evaluate the social activities of senior citizens, especially those certified as needing support, since there are currently no ways to measure these. Spending time with one’s family, friends and other familiar people and enjoying conversations are important social activities, so I’d like to include these in the evaluation. I hope to present the research results in a year or two for use in future care services.” Professor Saeki and Associate Professor Hirano often conduct joint research. Under the premise that “nursing is part of health sciences,” they say, “Nursing is a practical science that directly involves people and organizations, and health sciences often serves as a basis or foundation for nursing. Through mutual cooperation between the two fields, it will become possible to show what’s necessary for current urban development and how effective rehabilitation can be by using available data.” Both of them are concerned about the expected increase in marginal communities due to the extreme demographic aging in Hokkaido. They say that they are devoted to research and education because cooperation between local residents and professionals of health, nursing and welfare is essential for community development, which is why it is important to foster professionals.