Keeping communities across the west healthy
The Western Public Health Unit has recently welcomed a team of Health Promotion experts who will collaborate with local partners to create healthier environments where people live, work, study and play across the central and west metropolitan region.
Health promotion empowers people to increase control over, and to improve, their health (WHO, 2022). It uses a population health approach that considers the wider determinants of health including: community networks, socio-economic, lifestyle, and cultural factors when designing and delivering public health interventions. Key to this approach is being proactive and providing early support to people to maintain good health as well as creating healthier environments. This is great way to avoid preventable chronic illness, reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing across the WPHU community.
The team is working to implement three recommendations from the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan (2019-2023):
- increasing healthy eating
- reducing tobacco related harm
- tackling climate change and its impact on health.
Health Promotion will draw on existing evidence-informed programs and services already established within communities and strengthen this work.
The team is led by Veronica Graham, Adjunct Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Adjunct Associate Professor at Deakin University and an experienced public health professional with a background in dietetics, education and systems leadership. Throughout her career Veronica has been on numerous national and state health promotion advisory groups including VicHealth and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Veronica has also worked previously in the WPHU catchment improving child health within a multidisciplinary team.
Most recently Veronica was working with the Victorian Department of Health, shaping state public health nutrition and active living policies, initiatives and partnerships within the Public Health Division. She is passionate about a collaborative approach and collective action to focus on addressing health inequities and improved population health for all, inclusive of mental wellbeing.
In addition, other members of the Health Promotion team have professional experience working in Victoria, Australia and overseas, with a focus on:
- local government public health planning, implementation and evaluation
- strengthening food systems and policy
- improving healthy eating in early learning centers, schools, sport and recreation facilities
- cancer screening prevention and early intervention for priority groups
- community mental health support
- youth focused health education and engagement.
Our Health Promotion team is looking forward to partnering with local organisations and support existing programs. To get in touch with the team, please contact us.