At Compass Health, health promotion involves working collaboratively with the community and a range of organisations and health providers to improve and promote health.
Taupo Relay 2010
Collaboration is a key mechanism to improved health for the Wairarapa community. The following organisations are regular partners in planning and implementation of health promotion initiatives; Compass Health, Māori Health Providers, Primary Care, DHBs, Public Health, NGOs, Schools and District Councils.
Some examples of health promotion initiatives Compass Health is currently involved in include:
- Provision of a variety of smoking cessation training opportunities for health practitioners
- Planning and coordinating a variety of smokefree promotions around World Smokefree Day and throughout the year
- Submission writing and advocacy on a range of health issues
- Promotion and support of the Healthy Heart Award for early childhood centres. This is a National Heart Foundation programme that supports nutrition and physical activity with policy, curriculum links and action. It is a collaborative project supported by Compass Health, Public Health, Whaiora and the Heart Foundation
- Support and event organisational assistance of the annual Wairarapa Women’s Triathlon
- Alcohol and drug initiatives with Community Alcohol Action Group, including an accreditation program for sports clubs, and a range of school and educational initiatives
What exactly is health promotion?
Health promotion is the concept of working with populations/collectives/groups rather than individuals. It places emphasis on changing the environment (social and physical) to enable behaviour to change and collaborative models, including intersectoral approaches, to address underlying socioeconomic determinants of health.
Compass Health's current health promotion incorporates a range of strategies in delivering health promotion; advocacy, policy, systems and quality improvement, strategic planning, professional development and capacity building. It is collaborative and intersectoral work, linked in with a range of community organisations and settings, for example; schools, workplaces, and medical practices.
There are many activities that general practice contribute to population health outcomes, such as immunisation, antenatal care, health education and screening (those from a clinical background are likely to call this work health promotion). However, those trained as health promoters would see collective community based activities which aim to address the social and physical contexts that influence health, and are focussed on building community capacity, and influencing societal systems and structures, as being priority health promotion.
The important point is that these activities complement each other. People can be screened and educated, but if there is not Whanau and community to support the required change to make a difference to diabetes, heart disease or to become smokefree for example, then the education is wasted. Placing health promoters within the PHO environment has and will continue to enable this linkage and potential for further development. Health promotion and population health approaches lay the pathways for sustainable health gains.