New Prevention and Health Promotion Network seeks to improve health outcomes for all

November 8, 2021

By national and international standards, Victorians enjoy a high quality of life, health and wellbeing. However, health status varies markedly across the population, with socioeconomic disadvantage the greatest cause of health inequalities.

As we live longer, and with higher rates of chronic disease, demands on individuals, families, communities, health and community care services will continue to increase, with the burden of ill health often heaviest for our most disadvantaged community members.

The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted existing structural inequalities and the need to tackle disadvantage by addressing the social determinants of health.

According to this Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, there were ‘almost four times as many deaths due to COVID-19 for people living in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with the highest socioeconomic group, and age-standardised mortality rates were 2.6 times as high.’

Increased and focused prevention and health promotion activities will be critical to Victoria’s social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as achieving the government’s vision for ‘A Victoria free of the avoidable burden of disease and injury so that all Victorians can enjoy the highest attainable standards of health, wellbeing and participation at every age’.

That’s why the VHA is launching a state-wide Prevention and Health Promotion Network, which aims to bring together members with an interest in prevention and health promotion to build a unified, cohesive and professional support system.

Prevention and health promotion professionals come from diverse organisations, dispersed locations, and varied settings. The Network will provide a platform to highlight best practice, share information between members and with key stakeholders, encourage collaboration and facilitate a more integrated approach to health promotion in Victoria.

Through the Network, the VHA will ensure members are up to date with government policy directions and support them with implementation. The Network will also help to inform shared positions on how prevention can be embedded throughout the health system and provide advice and expertise to guide the VHA’s broader policy and advocacy activities.

Network launch event

The Network will be launched at an online event on Wednesday 24 November. This exciting event will present an opportunity for health promotion professionals to learn and gain insights from sector leaders, engage in critical reflection, and share knowledge and expertise.

The event will feature a presentation and Q&A with Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of VicHealth. Following this, participants will be invited to join facilitated discussions to explore the strengths of Victoria’s prevention and health promotion system, and how the system needs to adapt to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.

Who should attend?

VHA members with an interest in prevention and health promotion are encouraged to register via this link.

When and where?

  • 9.30-11.30am
  • Wednesday 24 November
  • Online, Zoom link will be sent after registration