Colac Area Health - International recognised for efforts to control Tabacco Use

Colac Area Health has been recognised by the Global Network for Tobacco Free Healthcare Services for its efforts in controlling Tobacco Use within the community.

Colac Area Health were among 14 health services from 5 countries to receive the coveted Gold membership at the Gold Forum event held at the 25th International Health Promoting Hospitals Conference in Vienna (Austria) on 12 - 14 April 2017.

The annual award recognises high performance based on 8 Global Tobacco Standards, which set out a systematic evidence based approach to tobacco control within healthcare services.

Colac Area Health has been a long standing member of the Victorian Network of Smokefree Healthcare Services (VNSHS) and has shown enormous commitment and persistence in this challenging area. Thirty Victorian health services are now members of VNSHS, which also links closely with Quit Victoria and the Tobacco Control Unit at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The path to GOLD is a rigorous one, with candidates undergoing independent local validation of their performance before being assessed by an international jury. Colac Area Health was able to demonstrate:

  • A systematic tobacco cessation program
  • A systematic health promotion program
  • A tobacco-free healthcare environment
  • A tobacco-free culture among healthcare staff
  • Systematic monitoring and evaluation
  • Engagement in community tobacco-free activities at a local, regional and national level

This event provides participants with the opportunity to share and learn from all global members about how to design effective tobacco management policies, overcome resistances, implement prevention and cessation initiatives and learn how to contribute to national/regional Tobacco Control strategies and obligations under the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.

Gold membership carries with it an obligation to share and showcase experience and expertise through a variety of channels in order to support and motivate other health services in their tobacco control efforts. A key opportunity in this regard is the annual Gold Forum event at which representatives from Colac Area Health spoke about some of the health services key tobacco achievements.

Colac Area Health’s, Health Promotion Coordinator, Erin McClusky said “As a health service we have a responsibility to prevent tobacco related diseases in our community and reduce the burden of tobacco on our population.” “This process has been invaluable in learning from other health services and highlighting areas that need strengthening.” “It has also affirmed that the tobacco interventions put in place at Colac Area Health are best practice interventions.”