Agency reaches finals of UK health awards
The Health Promotion
Agency for Northern Ireland today announced that despite stiff
competition its folic
acid campaign has reached the UK finals of the Health
Service Journal (HSJ) Management Awards. The news was announced
during the launch of the Agency's tenth
annual report highlighting many aspects of the organisation's
work undertaken during the year.
public information campaign on folic acid which is featured
in the annual report was put forward for the communications
category of the Awards and has been short-listed to the final
three out of hundreds of applications from across the UK.
The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of the benefits
of folic acid and to encourage women planning pregnancy or
likely to become pregnant to take this supplement before conceiving
and up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
The report outlines
how the Agency continues to provide policy advice to government
and a variety of organisations, information based on up-to-date
research for public and professionals, and specialist training
and professional development for a wide range of individuals
in the implementation of health promotion programmes.
of the Health Promotion Agency, Dr Brian Gaffney, said: "Reaching
the final stage of the HSJ Management Awards is well deserved
recognition for the ongoing work of the Agency in getting
information to members of the public to protect and promote
their good health. This campaign involved a lot of team-work
and evaluation of it has been very positive. After running
in Northern Ireland it was launched as an all-island campaign
by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety,
Bairbre de Brún and Micheál Martin, Ireland's
Minster for Health and Children, in November last year.
"The good news
is both encouraging and motivating for staff and we look forward
to the final outcome of the awards next month."
There have been
a number of high profile campaigns during the year and these
form the visible part of the Agency's work but much time is
spent on research, analysis and evaluation, which provide
information to inform the development of the Agency's work
as a whole. Research also enables the Agency to contribute
to the development of strategies which address regional health
priorities such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, nutrition, physical
activity, sexual health and mental health.
The Annual report
also features the Agency's formal recognition as a centre
of excellence by the World Health Organization through its
designation as a WHO Collaborating
Centre. This reinforces the importance of the Agency's
work in health promotion policy and practice at a global level.
The Annual report
is accompanied by a special
document highlighting achievements from the first ten
years of the Agency's existence. Dr Gaffney said: "Since its
establishment the Agency has worked to address a wide range
of health issues often in association with partners drawn
from a wide range of organisations, groups and individuals
from the public, community, voluntary and private sectors.
These alliances are continuing to underpin the development
of much of the Agency's work. Considerable emphasis has been
given to the prevention of heart disease and cancer, with
major investments in the prevention of smoking, promotion
of healthy eating, and efforts to get more people involved
in physical activity.
"It is impossible
to cover all of the Agency's work that has formed part of
a decade of ongoing development of health promotion. However
we hope this document will present a clear outline of the
Agency's role in improving and promoting health and give a
flavour of the breadth and depth of this work."
The Agency would
like to thank the Bank of Ireland, the Dairy Council for Northern
Ireland, McNaughton Paper (NI) Ltd and W & G Baird Ltd for
making the production of this tenth anniversary document possible.
Copies of the annual report and tenth anniversary document
are available from this website.