One of the most widely accepted definitions of Health Promotion is given in the Ottawa Charter for Health. The Charter was presented at the first International Conference on Health Promotion held in Ottawa in November 1986 and it states:
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization in 1948, is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
As stated in the Ottawa Charter, a health promotion approach views health as a resource for everyday life, with fundamental requirements. These requirements include peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable eco-system, sustainable resources, social justice and equity.
There are five key strategies in the promotion of optimal health, as laid out in the Ottawa Charter for Health. These are building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills and reorienting health services.
Health promotion initiatives focus on assisting communities or populations to gain greater control over their environment and the conditions that affect their lives, and are designed to include these groups in the strategies for change. The goal of health promotion is to empower individuals and communities to achieve the highest possible levels of well-being available to them.
Most entry level Health Promotion positions require an undergraduate or graduate degree in health promotion, health sciences or social sciences from a recognized university. Below is a list of post-secondary institutions offering programs in the area of health promotion.
First Nations Technical Institute
University of Waterloo
University of Western Ontario
Athabasca University (distance education)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
University of Alberta
University of Manitoba
University of Northern British
University of Saskatchewan
Health promotion practitioners work in a variety of settings which include public health offices, community health centres, provincial resource centres, and hospitals. Positions are also available within the private sector in promoting health in the workplace. Additionally, health promotion professionals work in project planning, workshop facilitation, community development, and policy development.
The following are links to sites that have information on career opportunities in health promotion, or related fields, within Canada.
Charity Village advertises positions available within the not-for-profit sector, including positions in the area of health care and health promotion. New jobs are posted every business day.
Community Health Promotion Network Atlantic has an employment section online for Health Promotion jobs available in the Atlantic region.
Health in Action (Alberta Clearinghouse) provides a list of positions available in Alberta in the area of health promotion.
Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin (OHPE) is an excellent resource for positions in health promotion. The OHPE produced by the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse and The Health Communication Unit at the Centre for Health Promotion.
Last Updated: 26-Oct-2007