HPF’s Executive Director Trevor Simpson discusses
the importance oforganisation-wide
of an organisation often rests on the skills, knowledge and competency of the
staff that it employs. When contemplating the importance of this we see that the
human resource element and the ability of an organisation to achieve its goals
are intimately entwined. The people we have in our workforce are critical to
success and without the right employees in place, we sometimes see less than
desirable results. The capability, capacity and retention of our workforce in
any organisation should be of paramount concern if we are to meet our long-term
health and other parts of the health sector, recruiting to an organisation
often means we are faced with limited choices in terms of bringing in competent
people. On the face of it, it depicts a fluid, dynamic and often transient
workforce that by nature reduces our choices. Additionally, we are sometimes
looking for specialist personnel, perhaps suitably qualified Maori, Pasifika or
Asian. In health promotion this is particularly evident where inducted staff
are selected to cover a role, and then are trained further to build competency.
forward that has seen measurable and positive results is the platform of organisation-wide
training in formal education. This approach provides for an organisation to
develop its staff through formal learning in the communities (and sometimes buildings)
in which they are working. The advantages of doing training in this way are
numerous and wide reaching.
probably not the most important (except to your accountant!) are the cost
benefits. The training and the trainers come to you in your community. Staff
are not required to travel to another location, meaning savings on commuting,
accommodation and per diem allowances. For some this means that issues around
childcare and making arrangements for whanau while they are away are also negated.
They simply go home at the end of the day. Additionally, with the practice of
paying a set fee, the organisation gets to make savings through having larger
numbers of their staff trained at the same time. The more staff on the course the
higher the saving.
benefits aside, the outcomes for the organisation and the communities which it serves
shouldn’t be underestimated. In health promotion we know that sometimes health promoters
are isolated in their role, have limited capacity to deliver the desired
outcomes because of this and are often required to explain the comprehensive approach
of health promotion to other staff. Organisational training not only diminishes
this problem but strengthens the organisation and makes it much more effective.
If everyone in the team understands health promotion, regardless of their own specific
roles, they become supportive of their colleagues and the notion of health
promotion itself. It is therefore a strengths approach to building a strong
organisation and by virtue of this, and over time, a strong community.
to do this kind of community development is to do cross-organisational
community training. This is where two or more organisations pool their funds to
have training delivered in their general location. A mix of staff from each
organisation attends the training. This approach can have an enduring impact on
communities. A critical mass of health promoters can influence beyond the
health care system to make inroads into the wider determinants of health at a
local level. Perhaps think along the lines of Local authorities, schools, early
childcare centres, workplaces, marae, housing and all kinds of community groups
– health promoters can work in and across any of these areas. In short, the
potential for improving and maintaining the health of communities is endless.
The HPF level
4 Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion is one such course
that delivers in this way. This course is delivered in collaboration with the
Manukau Institute of Technology as the accredited institution, meaning that the
students who complete the course will gain a recognised qualification together
with 10 credit points. Although a formal framework the course can be delivered
off campus in the regions or in city and urban settings. Importantly it introduces
health training to returning or new students – an entry level course which can
lead onto higher education and professional development in the health field.
If anyone is interested in this type of training please feel free to contact email@example.com
International health promotion leader Dr Trevor Hancock has helped put health on the agenda of thousands of cities and towns around the world.
Dr Hancock was a plenary speaker at the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua from April 7 – 11, 2019. Although recently retired from his position as a Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria he’s as busy as ever as he shares with us from his home in Canada about keeping the Healthy Cities Movement “moving”, plans for broadening, deepening and connecting the “Conversations for a One Planet Region” and about some spin-off projects in the works.
Hauora:Trevor you are one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement? Can you please tell us what prompted you to launch this movement, what its aims are and what has been achieved so far?
TH: Well, I didn’t exactly launch the movement, but I did help pioneer it. I trained in medicine in the late 1960s/early 1970s in London and then spent four years in family practice in Canada. The last two years were in a community health centre in Toronto, where we served a somewhat under-privileged community. It was clear to me that many of the health problems my patients experienced were economic, social and environmental problems, not really medical problems, which cemented my interest in public health, so I did a Masters at the U of Toronto, graduating in 1980.
You can’t do public health without
becoming keenly aware of the roots of modern-day public health in the struggle
to address the terrible living and working conditions in the towns of the
industrialising world in the 19th century, and to the stories of
John Snow, Edwin Chadwick and other leaders. One of those leaders I found
particularly inspiring was Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, a self-professed
‘disciple’ of Chadwick. In 1875 he gave an inspirational address to the Social
Science Association on “Hygeia: A City of Health”, which is still well worth
So when I started work as the
Health Planner for the City of Toronto in the Department of Public Health’s new
Health Advocacy Unit in 1980 , I had this work in mind. One of my tasks was to
create a mission statement for the Department, and we adopted the following:
Our mission is to help to make the City of Toronto the healthiest city in North
America”. Note we said ‘help to’ – health is not created by a public health
department any more than it is created by
the health care system; we recognised that many other City departments –
and many other players outside City government – contibuted a great deal to the
health of the city’s people, starting with clean water, sanitation, safe and
healthy buildings and so on.
So we started to ask
ourselves’what exactly is a healthy city, how would we get one, and how would
we know we were one?’. As you can imagine, that led to a great deal of
discussion and innovation. Luckily, as it happened – and never discount luck as
a factor, but when you have it, exploit it! – 1984 was a banner year – the
sesqui-centennial of the City, the centenary of the Board of Health, the 75th
anniversary of the Canadian Public Health Association and the tenth anniversary
of the Lalonde Report. This made it possible for me – working with a great conference committee –
to put on ‘Beyond Health Care’, an international working conference on healthy
public policy, a term, but not a concept, I had created in about 1980, inspired
by the work of people like Nancy Milio and Peter Draper.
As part of the conference, we had
a theme on healthy cities, but also – because it was after all a Toronto-based
conference – we had a day we called ‘Healthy Toronto 2000’, looking at what it
would take to make Toronto a healthy city by then. One of the keynote speakers
was Len Duhl, a professor of public health and urban planning at Berkely, and
one of the attendees was Ilona Kickbusch, then the Health Promotion Officer for
WHO Europe and already working closely with Ron Draper at Health Canada -who
had invited her – on what was to become two years later the Ottawa Charter for
Ilona brilliantly saw in the idea
of a healthy city a way to take the concepts of health promotion out into the
city and make them real, and thus was born the WHO Europe Healthy Cities
initiative, which had its first planning meeting in Copenhagen (WHO Europe’s HQ)
in early 1986. Len Duhl and I were part of the planning committee, and together
wrote the original background paper – and the rest is history!
As to the aims and achievements,
they are quite simple: To put health on the agenda of city governments and governance
processes, and to help cities plan with health in mind as a key objective. In
that, I think we have been highly successful, the idea has been taken up – with
varying degrees of success – in cities, towns and villages around the world –
inevitably, with varying degrees of success.
But I think the key word here is
‘movement’. There is, inevitably, a wish to evaluate the work, but its rather
like evaluating the women’s movement, the labour movement, the peace movement
or the environment movement. They are always working, always pushing, and they
have their succeses and failures, but they just keep going; that is what a
healthy cities movement must do too.
Hauora:One of the challenges you point out for the 21st century is that we’re going to have to look at dramatically different ways of organising our cities, our countries, our neighbourhoods, our own personal ways of life etc…What progress are we making on this and how big a role can health promoters play?
TH: There are many parts to this question – or questions. For me, the central question for cities – and for governments at all levels – is ‘what business are we in?’. If you ask that of national governments the answer you get – if not in their words, at least in their deeds – is ‘grow the economy/the GDP’. (New Zealand has recently proved itself the exception, with a budget focused on wellbeing.)But this focus on economic growth and the GDP has been a tragic mistake, especially for high-income countries. First, that growth has resulted in the massive and rapid extraction and depletion of the Earth’s natural resources, in particular forests, fisheries, wildlife, freshwater, topsoils, minerals and fossil fuels. That extraction has been accompanied by massive and rapid pollution of the air, water, soils and food chains, with perhaps the most worrying – at least right now – being CO2 pollution from fossil fuel combustion, leading to the global climate emergency.
“… this focus on economic growth and the GDP has been a tragic mistake, especially for high-income countries.”
perhaps much of that growth is what Herman Daly, a leading ecological economist,
has called ‘Uneconomic growth’; economic activity that harms people, communities
or the planet – or all three. Yet all this uneconomic growth is included in the
GDP, which does not distingish between good and bad economic activity. In the
health field, the most obvious example is tobacco production and use (although
we could also include production of unhealthy food, alcohol, etc.) which kills
millions and maims millions more. Even worse, all the money spent on health
care for people with tobacco-caused or diet-caused disease also adds to GDP;
how stupid is that?
What’s more, this
economic growth does not improve our lives, even if it gets us more ‘stuff’. We
know that above about $20,000 GDP per capita, further increases in GDP do not
correlate well, if at all, with life expectancy and other health and social
outcomes. In The Spirit Level, Kate
Pickett and Richard Wilkinson show that in high-income countries, it is the
degree of equity, not the level of wealth, that correlates with these outcomes,
while the World Happiness Report and other studies show that GDP is not well
correlated with happiness.
As a result,
further aggregate growth is impossible, we already exceed the Earth’s
biocapacity and need to reduce our use of these ecosystem goods and services –
quite drastically in the high-income countries, whose ecological footprints are
well above our fair share, in the range of 3 to 5 planet’s’ worth of biocapacity.
Meanwhile, low income countries have the opposite problem; they do not have the
wealth it takes to achieve high levels of human and social development.
We need to take
less so that others in need can have more, which means a redistribtion of
power, wealth and resources both between and within countries and communities,
as called for by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
All of this leads
to the conclusion of Kate Raworth in her book Doughnut Economics: we need an economy that is ecologically
restorative and socially just, that is focused on meeting the social needs of
everyone while living within planetary limits. And that means a very different
set of values to live by, very different communities and societies to those we
have today. I have an abiding faith that this can only happen from the local
level up, it will not come down from the top, where elites have too much money
and power at stake. Progress on this is slow, but it is happening, as I will
But what can
health promoters do?
about the global challenges of the Anthropocene – the new age of humanity as a
dominant global force that I discuss below – and what new approaches and
solutions we need. Recognise that this calls for an eco-social approach in all
our work and all our communities.
it with your colleagues, your families and friends, your clients and
Third, work to
create it, identifying allies and partners who are working to create this new
world – especially young people (think of the climate strikers),
environmentalists and the new social/green entrepreneurs who are working to
create the new economy we need.
Fourth, apply the
two fundamental principles of public health that I identified 40 years ago:
Ecological sanity and social justice (today we would say sustainability and
equity), ideas that directly relate to Kate Raworth’s call for an economy thast
is both restorative and distributive.
lose sight of Margaret Mead’s wise words: “Never believe a small group of
people cannot change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has
changed the world”.
One final point: We are not simply health promoters, more importantly we are citizens. So if we can make it part of the work we do, that is definitely a bonus. But if not, we did not surrender our citizenship when we took on our professional roles. So take it on as a family, a citizen activist, a school parent, a club member or a faith community member or whatever other social role makes sense. Find your allies and work with them. Or simply change the way you live, in big or small ways. It all matters, it all makes a difference.
Hauora:You have said one thing that is important to understand about the Anthropocene is that it’s just not about climate change and we need to look at the bigger picture? Can you please elaborate on this?
TH: The Anthropocene is a new geologic epoch, identified in geological terms as a layer of new materials (e.g. glass, plastic, concrete, radioactive elements and their decay products, elevated CO2 levels) and a change in future fossil deposits (e.g. wild animals now make up only 4% of the mass of land vertebrates, with humans (anthropos in Ancient Greek) and their domesticated species making up the rest) that will be clearly seen as anthropogenic – caused by humans – by future geologists.
In May 2019 the
Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy voted
strongly to recommend it be recognised, with a start date in the mid-20th
century. This corresponds to what has been called ‘The Great Acceleration’; a sharp acceleration, especially since 1950, in
changes in a wide variety of natural systems (e.g. climate, nitrogen and
phosphorus flows, species extinctions etc. ), in turn driven by a similar sharp
increase in socio-economic forces (e.g. population – especially urban
population, global GDP, fertiliser-use, fish catch etc.).
Anthropocene needs to be understood not only as a geological phenomenon, but
one that reflects and indeed records global ecological changes that in turn are
driven by economic and social development.
In the 2015
report I led for the Canadian Public Health Association on the ecological
determinants of health, we made two key points:
First, the world’s
natural systems are our life support systems, the most fundamental determinants
of our health; we do not last long without air, water or food. Nor can
societies exist without the materials and fuels we take from nature, the
recycling of nutrients and wastes is the protection from UV radiation that all
come from nature. Moreover, for the past 11,000 years we have benefited from a
generally benign, warm and stable climate during which agriculture and cities –
what we think of as civilisation – have developed.
Second, all of
these ecosystem goods and services are being massively and rapidly disrupted,
and all at the same time. It is not just climate change, but ocean
acidification, pollution and ecotoxicity, resource depletion and the start of a
sixth Great Extinction. Moreover, they often interact and reinforce each other,
usually in negative ways.
Faced with these widespread, rapid
and massive changes, we need widespread, rapid and massive responses; again, my
belief is that these are much more likely to come up from the bottom than down
from the top. Tobacco control is but one of many examples where it has been
persistent grassroots activism and local leadership that has ultimately led to
signifant national and international change; the same can be said of gay
But I am also very conscious of
the fact that when it comes to creating social and cultural transformation and
large value shifts, this is not done simply by applying science, evidence and
logic. We need to reach people emotionally and spiritually as human beings,
what I call ‘heart, gut and spirit stuff’, and for that we need to work with
faith communities, the arts community and other ‘unusual suspects’.
Hauora:In Victoria British Colombia where you live you started what is called “Conversations for a one planet region”. What is the aim of this initiative and how many countries has it spread to? Can you give us some tips on how to get it started in NZ?
TH: The Conversations came out of an initiative I started at the University of Victoria (UVic) before I retired. UVic in the Anthropocene is an attempt to bring together faculty and students from all disciplines across the university to address the challenge of the Anthropocene. In my opinion, this is the greatest threat facing us in the 21st century, but it also contains many opportunities. So how will universities respond (so far, no better than governments or other instituons, which is to say hardly at all!)
We realised early
on that we needed to do work with the community, in this region of 350,00
people and 13 local municipalities, to explore what should be the response to
the Anthropocene at the local level. We suggested the concept of a One Planet
Region as a way to address this locally (an idea we later learned had been
pioneered by Bioregional in the UK, a group we now work with). We defined a One Planet
Region as one that achieves
social and ecological sustainability, with
a high quality of life and a long life in good health for all its citizens,
while reducing its ecological footprint to be equivalent to one planet’s worth
We started the Conversations in early 2017 because we were concerned that people were not even talking about this issue; climate change, yes, but not the entire complex of global ecological changes that constitute the Anthropocene, and not about how we need to respond locally. So our mission isto establish and maintain community-wide conversations on One Planet living and a One Planet Region. We adopted as our slogan “Learn – Discuss – Imagine – Design – Create”, because if we are not learning about the situation we face and discussing it, we can’t begin to fully imagine both the future we face and the alternative future we want. And if we can’t imagine it, we can’t design and create it.
meet monthly in the Community Room at the Central Branch of the Public Library.
Our meetings are free and open to anyone, and we have no budget; use only local
volunteer speakers – since we know we have the knowledge and expertise here to
address these issues successfully. We cover a wide range of issues, from energy
and food to housing and transportation, economics, the role of the arts and of
faith communities – and much else.
while we have been doing this for three years, have a group of 30 – 70 people
each month, get good discussions and have a good reputation and some influence
and local political impact, we recognise that this is of limited utility. Our
participants are generally the ‘usual suspects’ – older, whiter, wealthier, better
educated, and living near the downtown. An important and potentially
influential group, to be sure, often with good connections to important people
and groups, but far from enough.
we have plans for broadening, deepening and connecting the Conversation. We
want to expand the Conversation to engage a much wider range of participants,
both geographically and demographically; deepen the Conversation by creating
safe spaces where people can explore the mental, social and spiritual
dimensions of the change we seek; and connect the Conversation to others doing
similar work across the region. To that end, we have recently incorporated as a
non-profit society so we can pursue funding, because while having no budegt is
in many ways commendable, it is also limiting. Some of the new activities we
want to pursue are:
and livestream the current Conversations programme, enabling people in other
sites in the Greater Victoria Region to join in from where they live.
Establish a Kitchen Table Conversations programme
to facilitate and support families, neighbors, workmates and others to have
smaller, more personal Conversations.
Undertake One Planet Neighborhood Co-design Charettes
that bring community members and design professionals together to imagine and
design such a place.
Establish People for a One Planet Region, a group
of citizens in every municipality who are able to speak at Council meetings to
support the One Planet approach and to oppose proposals that take us in the
[Perhaps] create One Planet Region Awards to recognise
people, organisations, businesses and governments that are working to create a One Planet region.
We also have
several spin-off projects that we are pursuing, in collaboration with others:
We are working with the Community Social Planning Council to look at the social justice and employment implications of a One Planet Region.
We are starting a discussion about an initiative around art, nature and place as a way of engaging people through the arts in considering the global ecological challenges, and possible actions.
An ecological economics group is forming, linked to the Green New Deal, looking at what an ecological economy would look like locally.
We are planning sessions based on Joanna Macy’s “The work that re-connects”, to help people come to terms with the climate anxiety and eco-grief they may be experiencing.
I hope this has
given you some ideas, but remember, it takes very little to make things happen.
You don’t need a budget, an organisation or staff, just some willing and
like-minded people, a bit of energy and good will. Remember Margaret Mead’s
wise words and just do it!
Hauora: You were in NZ for the 23rd IUHPE World Health Promotion Conference, co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua last April? What were some of the highlights of the conference for you?
TH: The first highlight was the fact that the greetings from the Maori Elders were all in Maori! Oh sorry, you don’t understand Maori? Too bad, this is Aotearoa and here we speak Maori – it was assertive and yet was done in a respectful way. I loved the self-confidence of that, and indeed the strong participation of Maori people throughout was an inspiration.
course, the fact that ecological change and the need for an ecological awaresss
was finally getting the attention it deserves in health promotion.
Not only do I love seeing my friends from all over the world (and yes, I am aware
of the irony, if not ineed the incompatability, of the carbon footprint
involved), but those personal contacts facilitate the sharing of ideas, work
and commitments for years to come. There is a lot you can do apart, via Skype
and webinars and teleconferences, but there is an energy that comes from being
together in the same place, sharing food and drink and relaxation, that boosts
your energy and enthusiasm when you return home.
course, New Zealand itself, a beautiful country I have now visited twice, with
friendly and welcoming people, certain challenges notwithstanding. Certainly
the New Zealand government is proving inspirational, both in its response to
the Christchurch mosque shootings and in its commitment to a wellbeing budget.
Hauora:You retired in July 2018 from your position as a Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. What have you been doing since then and what are your plans for the future?
Well, I only retired from a job, not
from life or work – or dancing for that matter! I have been busy organising the
Conversations – as noted above, writing, speaking at all levels from global
events such as IUHPE to local community groups about these ideas and generally
being an activist. I am very excited by the growing activism of young people
and looking for ways I can help and support them – without taking over or
getting in the way!
In particular, I hope to write
several books for the general public about the work of public health. I have
been writing a weekly column on population and public health issues for five
years (see https://trevorhancock.org/) and I have come to recognise that we do a lousy job of
communicating what we do, and the importance of our work – and then we wonder
why nobody knows about us or loves us or funds us! So, I have committed to do
no more writing for academic or professional journls or books, other than the
commitments I already have.
And of course I am dancing. I have
been a Morris dancer for 40 years – traditional English folk dance, think
non-violent rugby involving dancing, singing and drinking! It brings me great
pleasure, even joy, and is an antidote to the serious nature of so much of my
life – although that too is fun, it has to be if you are to keep doing it.
I dance twice a week, walk our dog
in the woods, parks and coastlands every day with Franny, my wife and companion
for almost 50 years (her retirement project is a Masters in Medieval Studies,
we are well matched) and generally stay active. In one of the two Morris sides
I dance with I am, at 71, the second youngest dancer; our oldest dancer is
almost 95, and comes to practice every week and then to the pub. I intend to be
Fred when I grow up!
“People don’t care what you know until they
know how much you care. It is about building relationships, seeing where people
are at and not pushing your values and ideas on them.” (Ngakiri Antonovich, Pasifika Health
Promotion workshop participant)
Comments from students and participants at HPF’s short course and
workshops this year ranged from “eye-opening, motivational and
thought-provoking to well-presented”.
They agreed that they had also come away with a better understanding of
Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the key determinants of health and the Ottawa Charter.
Students who completed HPF/MIT’s Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion short courses in Auckland and Kaitaia said the course had also given them a new-found enthusiasm for their work in the community.
“The information was super-interesting, relevant, empowering and quite
confronting,” said Kim Esau from the Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa.
Mihiwira Henare of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa said for
someone who had not studied for more than 10 years the course had given her a
sense of motivation to relearn things.
Chanel Roberts of Te Hiku Hauora said most
of her colleagues had already been on the course and had raved on about how
amazing it was going to be.
former hairdresser admitted she wasn’t too keen on studying, but the course was
Participants at the Pasifika Health Promotion workshops in Whakatane, Dunedin and Auckland said they came away from the workshops armed with new information and knowledge that would help them better serve their communities.
Trish Fleming from Hospice West Auckland who attended the last workshop for the year at the Waitakere Resource Centre said she gained a better understanding of how to “meet Pasifika families where they are at”.
Iti of the Royal District Nursing Service NZ said the workshop refreshed her
ideas and beliefs and provided impetus to develop a workshop for staff.
Hauora sits withExecutive Director Sione Tu’itahi to reflect on some of the highlights for the year including the outcomes of the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education World Conference on Health Promotion co-hosted by HPF. Mr Tu’itahi also looks ahead to 2020 and some of the major initiatives HPF is working on including the accreditation framework, training the workforce, healthy city scheme and collaborative leadership
Hauora: 2019 has been a big year for the HPF. Co-hosting the World Conference on Health Promotion must be one of the highlights. But what stands out for you?
ST: Successfully hosting the world conference was certainly a major highlight. As the biggest public health conference to date in the country, it was a million-dollar budget event, and we were able to deliver with lots of learning for future. It was also part of a strategic process. So, following up on post-conference activities, advancing the development of the accreditation framework for health promotion, training the health promotion workforce, and co-leading collaboratively with other public health and health promotion organisations are equally important achievements. And we did all of these with prudent management of our small resources, while ensuring that HPF remains strong and sustainable.
Hauora: Can you elaborate on the conference outcomes and post activities, and what is there for health promotion in New Zealand?
ST: Clearly the knowledge shared by over 1000 delegates at the conference was a great outcome. This is especially true in the major areas of planetary health, indigenous health promotion, social, economic, political, and ecological determinants of health, as reflected in the conference evaluation. Health promotion networks at national, regional and international levels were certainly enhanced. At the global level, for example, working groups on planetary health, and indigenous health promotion are being formed to work closely with, and under our conference partner, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). This means that the knowledge shared, and the momentum created at the conference will continue for the benefit of health promotion, and society, across the world, including New Zealand and the Pacific region.
It was made very clear at the conference that the health of
the planet is the most significant issue for the world today. It is affecting
almost every aspect of human life. It was also clear that indigenous knowledge,
and indigenous health promotion can contribute solutions. New Zealand is
a leader in indigenous health promotion, and we are already contributing at the
global level. The two legacy statements on these important themes that were
approved at the conference reflect that, and the statements are now informing
training, policy, practice and strategic planning on a number of levels.
A third major outcome that we are advancing is the ‘healthy
city initiative’. The idea is to have at least one city in the country to
become a healthy city under the WHO scheme within the next three years. This
city can be a pilot and an example for the rest. While the healthy city
initiative has been around for a few decades now, it is timely to reinvigorate
it, as WHO did at the Shanghai Global Congress in 2016. In light of the
environmental crisis, more people, communities and families live in cities than
rural areas, it makes common sense to collaborate with city authorities, and
all other sectors and communities for their collective wellbeing. With
the right combination of settings-based and systems approaches, the health city
initiative can complement other community development and empowerment
approaches that are informed by either geography or ethnicity, or both.
Hauora: You mentioned the accreditation framework for health promotion as one of the highlights for the year. What is the update?
ST: Let me give you a brief background, first. Health promotion is still an unregulated profession. This poses a challenge to trainers and health promotion practitioners and it also makes the profession vulnerable. The accreditation framework we are establishing will provide a formal recognition, and therefore will be helpful to all. Importantly also, our framework is formally aligned with the global framework already established by IUHPE. One system across the world. In future, this can give recognition across national borders and make it easier for practitioners when they move to work across countries. After being advised earlier in the year by IUHPE that we are on the right track, we put out the latest draft of the ‘standards’ for consultation. We have received very positive feedback and constructive advice. Our aim is that by mid-2020, IUHPE would have approved our standards, then we can focus on establishing a national accreditation organisation to coordinate the training and assessment of health promoters. So, watch this space.
Hauora: And on your training of the workforce?
ST: An important development this year is adding new online courses on health promotion. We want to make sure that anyone around the country can access health promotion learning, at their own time and pace. Meanwhile we continue to offer the introductory course on health promotion, a joint venture with MIT. While the course is open to all, we can also make arrangements to deliver it within organisations to meet the needs of their workers.
Hauora: You were awarded the 2019 Public Health Champion by the PHA. What does that mean to you?
ST: The award reflects the teamwork and collaborative leadership approach that we have here at HPF. It is a clear outcome of our collective effort as shown by our success with the world conference. It also reflects how HPF has been working closely with its partners at national, regional and global level, to achieve common goals for the wellbeing and betterment of society. Furthermore, it demonstrates the effectiveness of having a constitution that is grounded on Te Tiriti with values and goals that are for the wellbeing of all. It informs our leadership and the way we work, from within, to makes sure we are a culturally, socially and professionally competent and healthy organisation. If we are not healthy from within first, HPF won’t make a difference out there within the sector and its workforce. Walking our talk, starts within us first. That will make our work with others authentic and productive with lasting outcomes that can make a difference.
Hauora: Looking forward, what does 2020 hold for HPF?
ST: The future will continue to be challenging but it is brighter than before, provided that we continue to work on the right priorities and in the right way. What we achieved this year are the fruits of our strategic commitment over the last five to 10 years. I mentioned major initiatives that we are working on such as the accreditation framework, training the workforce, the healthy city scheme, collaborative leadership. Some will come to fruition in the near future, others are ongoing. With adequate resources, we will continue to respond effectively in co-leading and building the health promotion sector and its workforce to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our country, and the rest of the world.