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UCC declared Health Promoting University by HSE

05 Mar 2015

Emily Lynch, UCC Health Matters Team; Dr Michael Byrne, Head of Student Health Service, UCC/ Co-Cordinator UCC Health Matters; Dave Carey, UCC Health Matters Team; Michael Hanrahan, Clubs Health Promotion Officer; Dr Dave Otway, UCC; Fiona O’Donnell, UCC Health Matters Team; and Cian Power, UCC SU Welfare Officer, Co-Cordinator UCC Health Matters Photo by Tomas Tyner, UCC

University College Cork (UCC) has passed its final check-up with flying colours on the road to becoming a ‘Health Promoting University’.

A letter received by UCC from Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE South, marks the university out as a leader nationally for its efforts under the umbrella of the UCC Health Matters initiative. “While many third-level institutions are committed to health and well-being, UCC can take pride in being the first third-level institution to have followed the HSE South’s Framework for Health Promoting Universities and to gain formal recognition,” the Executive stated.

Architect and joint co-ordinator of the initiative Dr Michael Byrne, who is also Head of UCC’s Student Health Department, commented: “The success of the UCC Health Matters initiative partly lies in its collaborations — collaborations between students and staff, between professional practitioners and expert academics, collaborations that have improved the effectiveness and reach of all the health promoting activity on campus. Particular thanks must go to the Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE South, for its encouragement and support.”

The entire UCC community has been involved in the journey, with the initiative first put in place in 2010. UCC President Dr Michael Murphy then signed an agreement with HSE South in December 2012 committing the University to officially becoming a health promoting setting as inspired by the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting University (HPU) framework.

A plethora of initiatives have taken place under the watch of UCC Health Matters, many of which have previously attracted national interest. UCC’s comprehensive action plan on alcohol won outright at the Irish Healthcare Awards in 2013 for its actions to reduce alcohol-related harm among students.

Initiatives addressing seven other key action areas have also been pushed forward, including: mental health and well-being; sexual health; physical activity and active transport; food and nutrition; sustainable development; the built environment; and safety.

Dara Gantly

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times