Heart and Stroke Month-Health Promotion Opportunity!

Lisa Garand, CHB Coordinator

It is February and that has always mean Heart and Stroke Month for me. From my youth as a volunteer canvasser to my career in healthcare.  Many people don’t realize the great work in Health Promotion Heart and Stroke Foundation undertakes… they are much more than just fundraising.

The Canadian site www.heartandstroke.com has some great resources on not only personal health practices but also advocacy work.  

The Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation website heartandstoke.ns.ca   has a tab for advocacy and they have a post looking at Eliminating Tans Fat they quote

The government’s two-year voluntary period has come to an end. Trans fat levels are still too high, especially in baked goods.

The verdict is in. Canada urgently needs trans fat regulations to protect our children and all Canadians. The time to move forward is now.”

Two days after we launched this website I read an article in the Chronicle Herald titled “Case strong to redouble health promotion efforts”. It was written by Elaine Shelton, Director of Health Promotion, at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia. Elaine wondered does health promotion really matter to Nova Scotia’s?  Well the Heart and Stroke Foundation polled Nova Scotians and they believe it does.

She quoted “During our 50 year history, we’ve found that building awareness and developing education programs about how to reduce those risk factors are—by themselves –not enough.”

Wow powerful words .. “beats” from the same drum that many of us in healthcare have been pounding on for a few years now. We believe it is about seeing the whole picture and working on the social determinants of health.

The article addressed things like healthy public policy and redistribution of funding to programs addressing health promotion strategies.

It made me think of the changes in our society since the introduction of Tobacco Legislation. I couldn’t help but wonder what our society would look like if we had strong public policy on childcare, food, housing, post secondary education, minimum guaranteed income and the list goes on.

So for this month.. be a Nova Scotian who cares about Health Promotion and think of ways you can Redefine, Rebuild and Reconnect to help… Change OUR Picture of Health.

Submitted by Lisa Garand, CHB Coordinator

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