We were delighted to be at the 22nd Annual Health Promotion Conference in Galway yesterday. The theme of this years conference was 'strengthening the circle of knowledge in relation to participation and empowerment for health and social care service users'. Many thanks to the team for organising a wonderful day and a fantastic line up of speakers. As always it was great to meet up with so many AHPI members. The AHPI also sponsored the award for best poster and best tweeter on the day. Congrats to Cathy Ann Fox for keeping us up to date on twitter and to Eleanor Loftus and her supervisor Margaret McLoone from Sligo IT for the best poster 'Postnatal women's experience of breastfeeding support in the North West of Ireland'.
AHPI AGM and official launch of the voluntary register for health promotion practitioners in Ireland
The 2018 AHPI AGM took place on the 8th of February 2018 in the SpunOut offices in Dublin. It was fantastic to see so many members attend all sessions throughout the day and was a great opportunity for so many friends and colleagues to meet up and catch up.
We had a really informative session on demystifying the registration process for Health Promotion practitioners. The goal of the IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System is to promote quality assurance, competence and mobility in Health Promotion practice, education and training globally as well as raising the status of health promotion professionals. Thanks to Colette Dempsey and the accreditation team for facilitating the session.
After lunch, Edel Hackett from Persuasion Republic delivered a presentation ‘Using digital and social media effectively for health promotion’. Edel presented at our recent CPD event in Sligo and the feedback from attendees was very positive so it was great to have Edel present at the AGM to learn more about communicating health promotion messages.
This was followed by the official launch of the new voluntary register for health promotion practitioners in Ireland. The registration, which has international recognition, offers health promotion practitioners increased recognition and visibility of their Health Promotion qualifications, helps with future career moves across roles, organisations, regions and countries and a reference point for employers as well as helping the public identify those registered practitioners. Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne also “welcomes the establishment of the Health Promotion Registration System, which is a core milestone in the advancement of Health Promotion in Ireland. She congratulates the Association on achieving this recognition from the International Union of Health Promotion and Education and acknowledges the significant opportunities for networking at a global level”.
Since its emergence at an international level, health promotion in Ireland has developed and grown, with significant achievements in the areas of cardiovascular health, healthy public policies and healthy settings. Currently, there are about 300 people working in health promotion and, moreover, thousands carrying out health promoting practice in their everyday work, e.g. teachers, dietitians and other clinicians. In addition, the number of under-graduate and post-graduate health promotion courses has grown significantly from the early 1990s. Thanks to Professor Margaret Barry, Chair of Health Promotion, NUI Galway and Biddy O’Neil, Healthy Ireland and DoH for their ongoing support for the Health Promotion profession. Professor Barry spoke of the important role Irish Health Promotion Practitioners and academics played in the development of the International accreditation and registration system and Biddy O’Neil acknowledged the importance of recognising the profession.
One of the practitioners who received his Certificate of Registration at the launch was Sligo IT graduate David Bergin – David who graduated from the BSc (Hons) in Public Health and Health Promotion and now works as a project Officer in Health Promotion in the Institute of Public Health said “This accreditation system is a momentous step for Health Promotion practitioners in Ireland, gaining professional recognition as health professionals”. NUIG graduate, Ashling Jennings who completed the MA in Health Promotion and is currently working as a Health Promotion officer in the Asthma Society of Ireland also received her Certificate of Registration at the launch – she added "I think it is a really positive step that Health Promotion practitioners are now recognised internationally as health professionals. I am delighted to be registered."
Thanks to all who attended the day and for all the hard work put in by the various committees. It really was such a successful day. And don’t forget to get registering!
The World Health Organization in the Ottawa Charter in 1986 defines health promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over the determinants of health and thereby improve their health.
In an increasingly globalized world, new approaches are required to improve the health of the population. Health promotion aims to do this by building healthy public policy; creating supportive environments; strengthening community actions; developing personal skills and reorienting health services. Health promotion is a fundamental component of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) corporate strategy, making it integral to work in international health.
WHO applies health promotion principles and strategies in a variety of settings and with a range of population groups. Health promotion approaches are broad-ranging and vary from the prevention of communicable diseases to improving school-based health education.