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About the International Health Promotion Unit

The International Health Promotion Unit (IHPU) was established in 1998 to bring a coordinated approach to the growing international work of the Centre for Health Promotion. Fran Perkins is the Coordinator of the IHPU and both she and the Centre’s Director, Dr. Suzanne Jackson, oversee all its international projects. Currently, the Centre is active in Latin America and Eastern Europe. All international projects are detailed below.

The Centre for Health Promotion is designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre in Health Promotion. A WHO collaborating centre is a national institution designated by WHO’s Director-General to form part of an international, collaborative network carrying out activities in support of WHO’s mandate for international health work.

Since April 2000, the Centre has been the Canadian base for the North American Regional Office (NARO) of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), with Fran Perkins as the Director of this satellite office. IUHPE is an association of individuals and organizations concerned with the improvement of health through education, community action, and healthy public policy. They have official links with WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO. The role of the Canadian IUHPE office is to promote within Canada broader North American participation in IUHPE. Currently, Fran Perkins as the NARO Co-Director sits on the IUHPE Board of Directors and NARO Regional Board. Suzanne Jackson is a Canadian trustee for NARO and sits on the NARO Board. She is also a member of the IUHPE North American review committee of Health Promotion Effectiveness, with the first progress report scheduled for presentation at the IUHPE conference in Australia in April 2004.

In 2007, Canada will host the 19th annual IUHPE World Conference in Vancouver.

Current Projects

PDF version of IHPU poster at right

IHPU poster 2007

Healthy Municipality Evaluation, Pan-American Health Organization
The Centre has been supporting the English version of the Participatory Evaluation Resource Manual being developed by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). Based on feedback from healthy community projects in Ontario (in partnership with Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition) and Trinidad-Tobago, the Centre volunteered to simplify the Manual to make it more community-friendly to use. Rosie Mishaiel, an MHSc student, did her summer practicum with the Centre and revised the Manual. It was retested in Trinidad-Tobago in September 2005 and the Centre is working with PAHO to make further revisions and decide the next steps. The Spanish version of the Manual is already available and the French and Portuguese versions are being tested and developed.

Economic Evaluation of Health Promotion, Columbia
The Economic Evaluation of Health Promotion project between the Centre for Health Promotion and the Centre for Development and Evaluation of Technology in Public Health (CEDETES) at the Universidad de Valle in Cali, Colombia began work in 2002 with funding from the US Centres for Disease Control. A literature review was conducted and two meetings in Colombia in April and August 2003 were held, with health economists from Cuba, Colombia, and Canada. Many thanks, to Dr. Alan Shiell, from the University of Calgary, who is making a substantial contribution to this project. A guidebook is under development and will be field tested in Columbia and Canada in 2004.

Canada–Europe Initiative in Health Promotion Advanced Learning (CEIHPAL)
Suzanne Jackson is co-investigator on a project funded by the Europe/Canada Cooperation Programme in Higher Education and Training in partnership with representatives from the Universities of Victoria, Alberta, Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal, Athens and Brighton. The project aims to create sustainable resources for advanced study and leadership development in the field of health promotion. The project will involve an international exchange of students and development of some joint courses.

Youth for Health Balkans (CIDA)
Suzanne Jackson, Fran Perkins and Harvey Skinner are part of a successful proposal to conduct a youth and health project in the Balkans, submitted to CIDA by CSIH. This project builds on the model that was used for the youth for health project in Ukraine and will be developed within a primary care framework. The project will run from late 2005 to the end of 2008.

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Past Projects

Latin America
Health Promotion Workshops, Mexico (2003)
Disease Prevention Strategies with a Focus on Latin America (2003)
Evaluation of National Health Policy, Brazil (2002-2003)
Ceará School of Public Health, Brazil (2002)
Forum on Health Promotion, Chile (2002)
Cuba-Canada Collaborative Project (2001-2002)
Caribbean Program Coordination (1999-2002)
Chilean Primary-Care Workers Training Course (1999-2002)
Implementation of a Health Promotion Model in Chile (1998-2001)

Eastern Europe

Health Systems Project, Croatia (2005)
Health Promotion and Evaluation, Russia (2005)
Croatian Health Promotion Summer School (2003-2004)
Youth Health Project Phase II, Ukraine (2001-2005)
Youth Health Project Phase I, Ukraine (1998-2000)
Community Approaches to Health Promotion Development, Estonia (1998-1999)
Evaluation of Health Promotion, Estonia (1998-1999)

Workshops on Health Promotion and Mental Health Promotion, Mexico (2003)
In October 2003, the Centre’s Director, Suzanne Jackson, was invited by Dr. Consuelo Garcia-Andrade to go to Mexico City and give workshops on health promotion/mental health promotion and evaluation to staff at the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria Ramon de la Fuente Muniz (NPRFM). She went with colleagues from Aboriginal Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who also discussed working with vulnerable populations and indigenous peoples in Mexico.

Disease Prevention Strategies with a Focus on Latin America (2003)
In March 2003, the Centre completed a literature review of effective disease prevention strategies, including economic evaluations, with a focus on Latin America, for the World Bank. Health promotion consultant, Ken Hoffman, and Suzanne Jackson produced a report entitled “A review of the evidence for the effectiveness and costs of interventions preventing the burden of non-communicable diseases: How can health systems respond?” The review focused specifically on cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes, as well as risk factors such as hypertension, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, hypercholesterolemia, low fruit and vegetable intake, food security, airborne particulates, and indoor smoke.

Evaluation of National Health Policy, Brazil (2002-2003)
In 2002, the Brazilian government and PAHO in Brazil asked the Centre to help evaluate the impact of the new National Health Promotion Policy on Brazilian frontline health services. This collaboration continued in 2003 with a project on building indicators of health promotion into a national data-collection system for primary care practitioners with the support of the PAHO-Brazil Office.

Ceará School of Public Health, Brazil (2002)
As part of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development project with the Secretaria de Saúde de Fortaleza, Paulina Salamo worked with colleagues at the School of Public Health of Ceará in Brazil on the development of a health promotion curriculum. The week-long visit in mid-February 2002 was very fruitful, as key competencies for students, enhancements for current courses, and potential clients were all identified. The visit also built on previous exchanges between the two institutions.

Chile Forum on Health Promotion (2002)
Suzanne Jackson sat on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee set up by PAHO to plan the Health Promotion Forum in the Americas in Santiago, Chile, October 20–24, 2002. This meeting was a follow-up to the International Health Promotion Conference in Mexico in 2000.

Cuba-Canada Collaborative Project (2001-2002)
In 2001, with the support of Health Canada, International Affairs Directorate, the Centre initiated a collaborative project between Canada and Cuba. In 2002, a delegation from the Cuban National Centre for Health Promotion and Education (of the Ministry of Public Health) took part in a summer study tour in partnership with the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC). Training took place on indicators and evaluation. Thanks to Monique Beaudoin of OHCC, who coordinated the visit, and to Jodi Thesenvitz of the Centre’s The Health Communication Unit (THCU) who went to Cuba to conduct a week of training in health communication.

Caribbean Program Coordination (1999-2002)
Together with the Caribbean Program Coordination/Pan American Health Organization (CPC/PAHO), the Centre developed capacity in health promotion across the Caribbean. The project developed sustainable, replicable training modules, workshops, and self-directed workbooks for key decision-makers in health promotion. As part of the project, Caribbean health professionals, and professionals from other sectors, were trained in health promotion using a train-the-trainer approach. The first series in (1999–2001) was The Development of Healthy Public Policy. In 2001–2002 and guided by an advisory committee spearheaded by the PAHO-Caribbean Program Cooperation Office in Barbados, we tested a prototype approach: Building Capacity in Health Promotion in Crosscutting Health Planning and Program Development for Caricom Countries. In 2002, Fran Perkins with Paulina Salamo (formerly with the Centre for Health Promotion), worked with the advisory group to develop four modules: Concepts of Health and Health Promotion, Building Alliances for Healthy Public Policy, Health Planning and Programme Development, and Health Promotion/Evaluating Health Plans and Programs. These modules were piloted and evaluated in June of 2002 at a week-long training session in Barbados and are now being used in the region.

Chilean Primary-Care Workers Training Course (each November 1999-2002)
The Centre provided support in the health promotion stream of a six-week training course for primary-care workers from Chile, led by the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. The program also covered primary care and health administration.

Implementation of a Health Promotion Model in Chile (1998-2001)
The Centre worked with the Chilean Ministry of Health (MINSAL) to support and strengthen, through the transfer of Canadian expertise, the implementation of the MINSAL’s National Health Promotion Plan. Specific goals were to contribute to the development and implementation of national and regional health promotion strategies; to support the development and strengthening of infrastructures for health promotion; and to support the development of institutional competencies for the implementation of health promotion programs. The project, funded by CIDA and PAHO, involved partnerships with government bodies, universities and non-governmental organizations in both countries in meeting the project goals.

Health Systems Project, Croatia
The Centre was involved in the Public Health Surveys and National Health Promotion component of Croatian Ministry of Health's World Bank-funded Health Systems Project. This project, contracted to the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), comprises four main activities: 1) Public Health Information Systems; 2) National Health Promotion; 3) Emergency Medical Services Training; and 4) Promotion of Healthier Lifestyles. Currently, Fran Perkins serves as consultant responsible for implementing the training components within the Health Promotion Activity. To date, one major National Intersectoral Seminar on Health Promotion was held in Zagreb.

Health Promotion and Evaluation, Russia
Fran Perkins is part of a two person team from Hickling Corporation and CSIH that is undertaking the evaluation and monitoring of CIDA health projects in Russia . This is a four year contract and as, to date, involved seven projects.

Croatian Health Promotion Summer School (2003-2004)
In July 2003, a two-week Health Promotion Summer School was held at the Centre for Health Promotion for a group of 11 Croatian physicians from the National and Regional Institutes of Public Health. All participants came with a case study prepared and at the end of course, all gave excellent presentations on their health promotion plans on a variety of topics, with the expectation that, upon their return to Croatia, the projects they worked on would be implemented. Following this successful summer school, a two day training workshop on Health Promotion for 70 people from various Institutes of Public Health in Croatia was held in November 2003. Those conducting he training were the participants from the July 2003 Summer School and they adapted modules developed at the Summer School for their course material. Further training in Health Promotion took place in March 2004 at two other sites in Croatia.

Youth Health Project Phase II, Ukraine (2001-2005)
After six years, this Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funded Youth for Health project of the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) came to an end in December 2005. The goals of the second phase of this project have exceeded expectations for the most part and it appears to be sustainable. Suzanne Jackson has been the Chair of the Canadian Advisory Board for the past year. Irv Rootman, Michael Goodstadt, Barb Ronson and Fran Perkins representing CHP took significant roles in the first phase of the Ukraine project. In 2005, a study tour of Ukrainians came to Toronto and Suzanne travelled to Ukraine on the final mission. Some of the results observed at the end of the project were enthusiastic youth leaders, training materials, equipped resource centres in each location, youth artwork and skits containing healthy lifestyle messages, and support from local administrations to continue the project.

Youth Health Project Phase I, Ukraine (1998-2000)
Sponsored by CIDA and managed by CSIH, this multi-year project assisted in the development of a sustainable National Health Policy for Ukraine through development and implementation of health promotion policies in support of youth in Ukraine. Within this project, the Centre for Health Promotion was responsible for enhancing Kyiv City Government’s capacity in the administration and development of health promotion for youth programs through a 30-hour certificate program. As part of this initiative, the Centre organized a curriculum/training development session for Ukraine health professionals in February 2000 in Newmarket, Ontario. Based on this work, our partners in Ukraine were able to successfully deliver the course for a third time to another group of public servants and heads of youth and social services departments in June 2000.

Community Approaches to Health Promotion Development, Estonia (1998-1999)
The Centre developed a long-term training program for health promoters at the municipal level in Estonia. The first phase involved the development of a manual for community health promotion and training community leaders, doctors, teachers, and decision-makers in health promotion in the county of Laane-Virumma. The second phase was designed to facilitate the expansion of the training program to the national level and involved the training of health promotion specialists representing each of the counties of Estonia (using a train-the-trainer approach

Evaluation of Health Promotion, Estonia (1998-1999)
Sponsored by the World Bank, the project evaluated the state of health promotion in Estonia and made recommendations for health promotion priorities, strategies, targets, funding and project selection and evaluation. The final report was submitted to the Estonia Public Health Development Committee in March 1999.

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Last Updated: 24-Nov-2008

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