Jan Bleeker has a professional background in psychology and epidemiology. He worked for the University of Groningen (where he finished his thesis on the effects of a social skills program for borderline intellectually functioning adolescents in 1990), Wageningen University and for the Public Health Services of Rotterdam and Friesland. Since 2014 Jan Bleeker is coordinating the Collaborative Centre Public Health North-Netherlands. This research centre aims to reinforce public health policy, improve the scientific basis of the northern public health services, and to reach a closer link between research and practice. The collaborative centre is coordinated by the northern public health services. UMCG Community and Occupational Medicine is one of the core partners. Central theme is the health and care in regions with population decline.