Health promotion is defined as the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health. This process is based on the understanding that social conditions and personal actions both determine health. Hence, health promotion activities move beyond disease prevention and health education to address social change, institutional change and community change in addition to changes in personal behaviours. The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986.
More recently, health promotion has been described as a process that is engaged in working within communities to create the conditions for health (Canadian Public Health Association, 2001).
Health Promotion professionals are currently in demand, and can be found working in a diverse range of settings including public health units, community health centres, provincial resource centres, community centres, charitable health organizations and hospitals. Health promotion professionals can now also be found working in larger public and private sector organizations where employee wellness is valued. In addition, some health promotion professionals work on a contract basis, and are sought out for their skills in group facilitation, communication planning and campaign development, proposal development, and community development.
The core skills required by HP practitioners are in the areas of: community development; social marketing; communication; advocacy; health education; project management; program planning; evaluation; media relations; and policy development.
Most entry level Health Promotion positions require a Baccalaureate or Graduate degree in health promotion, health sciences or social sciences from a recognized university.
Most experienced health promotion workers bring to their work a combination of formal education and practical experience in community work, social services, education or related disciplines. Specialized University programs in health promotion have emerged within the last 15 years, and a wide variety of educational opportunities are now available.
Bachelor of Physical Health and Education with a specialization in Health Promotion
University of Waterloo
Bachelor of Health Science Degree offers a specialization in Health Promotion
University of Western Ontario
Bachelor of Health Sciences with a Specialization in Health Promotion
Workplace Health, BA Honours (co-op)
Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion (32 week post-graduate program)