HPA leaves lasting legacy of public health
On 1 April 2009 the Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland (HPA) will be incorporated into the new Public Health Agency, heralding a new dawn for public health while at the same time the end of an era for the HPA.
For the past twenty years the organisation has been identified with the promotion of good health as it endeavoured to fulfil its mission ‘to make health a top priority for everyone in Northern Ireland’.
Dr Brian Gaffney, Chief Executive of the HPA, said: “The HPA has grown into what it is today, a highly respected organisation working at local, national and international level. It has provided regional leadership and direction in the field of health promotion and has made a significant contribution to putting public health at the centre of the government’s strategic objectives.
“Evidence has shown the HPA has succeeded in raising public awareness of health issues and health improvement. It has been a dynamic organisation tackling a range of issues to promote better health, whether that is in relation to alcohol, nutrition or tobacco, encouraging the public to think about their own health and take positive steps to improve it.
“The success of the HPA’s public information campaigns has been based on its evidence-based approach. This strong health intelligence activity has been fundamental to the credibility and success of all of our work, not just campaigns, and in this area we have undertaken a highly regarded body of research and evaluation work that will make a significant contribution to future health promotion efforts.”
The document, A healthy legacy. 20 years of the Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland, chronicles two decades of HPA activity and the contribution it has made to improving health. The publication outlines the breadth of work carried out, the progress that has been made across a range of public health issues and numerous key achievements.
Dr Brian Gaffney, who has been Chief Executive of the HPA since 1996, concluded: “For two decades the HPA has been regarded by professionals and public alike as a centre of health promotion excellence and, through the dedication and commitment of Board members and staff, has risen to the challenge laid down by its mission of making health a top priority for everyone.
“The Minister for Health has stated that the new Public Health Agency will incorporate and build upon the work of the Health Promotion Agency. For all of us at the HPA there can be no better legacy. For everyone here, this is a solid foundation upon which to build future health improvement.
“I would also like to acknowledge the impact of the media on the work of the HPA, not just in terms of promoting the organisation’s key messages to the Northern Ireland public, but by working in partnership to promote better health.”
Notes to the editor:
A healthy legacy: 20 years of the Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland can be downloaded at: www.healthpromotionagency.org.uk/Resources/corporate/pdfs/HPA%20legacy%20document.pdf
Dr Brian Gaffney will be available for interview. Contact the Press Office to arrange.
For further media information:
Contact the HPA Press Office on 028 9031 1611.