Last week’s CHCChat, a weekly, Twitter-based discussion about various topics in community-oriented primary health care, was about Health Promotion. The World Health Organization defines Health Promotion as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health”. First International Conference on Health Promotion was held in Ottawa back in 1986. It recognized important prerequisites to health like shelter, food, education, sustainable resources and social justice.
It struck me as I read this that Health Promotion isn’t just part of international conferences, it is part of the daily activities of CHC. It is what our providers engage in when they care for patients in homeless shelters and school based health centers. It is what our dieticians practice as they help patients find ways of eating more healthily. It is what staff members are doing as they work with farmers’ markets around the state.
It really came home to me when I received an email from Marie Rose Yardis, our Early Detection Program Coordinator. It was a listing of some of the events she and her team will be attending. They will be providing public education about colorectal cancer screening at the CT Mission of Mercy in Danbury. They will be at a Women’s Health Conference being held at the Cross St. AME Zion Church in Middletown and a Middlesex Hospital Men’s Health Event at the First Methodist Church in Middletown. They will be at a Colon Cancer Awareness Event, hosted by Middlesex Hospital, a CT Cancer Partnership Conference, and a State Police Health Awareness Pancake Breakfast held in honor of a state police who passed away as a result of prostate cancer.
From helping people get access to healthy food, learn about cancer screening and early detection, to meeting patients where they are, from schools to homeless shelters, health promotion isn’t just a topic for conferences and tweetchats, it part of our everyday life.