e pā ana ki a matou
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Community and Public Health on the West Coast (Greymouth)
Nearly 33,000 people live in the Buller, Grey and Westland Districts, a 400 km long region between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. This makes the West Coast one of the most sparsely populated regions in New Zealand. The remote nature of many small and isolated communities poses specific health challenges around sewage treatment and disposal, and potable water.
The natural beauty of the area attracts more than 1 million visitors a year, largely during the spring and summer months. This level of tourist activity carries some environmental risks for recreational water contamination and infectious diseases, especially in popular destinations such as Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and Punakaiki. The predominantly young and transient population of tourists and those employed in the tourism industry creates concerns around safe sexual behaviours and responsible alcohol use.
Healthy eating, being physically active and advocating the smokefree lifestyle are also important focuses for the staff at the Greymouth office. Significant work is currently targetted at promoting healthy ageing to the region’s older people, through initiatives around physical activity and injury prevention.
As partners in Active West Coast, Community and Public Health work with District Councils to improve and promote opportunities for physical activity. The Grey District Aquatic Centre is open and well used by the community, and major developments are occurring in Buller and Westland as part of their new physical activity strategy. Staff are also contributing to the development of a region-wide walking and cycling strategy.
The Greymouth office has also a Community Health Information Centre, providing a range of health education resources from the Ministry of Health and other providers.
Community and Public Health nutritionist selected for leadership course
West Coast DHB media release: 12th February 2018
Greymouth-based Community and Public Health Nutrition Health Promoter Jade Winter has just been selected to attend a prestigious Oceanic leadership development course in Queensland in July 2018.
Ms Winter is one of only 30 selected to attend the seven-day Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Platform. The aim of the course is to develop, inspire and connect a new generation of innovative leaders with foresight and broad vision of the integrative role of nutrition.
Ms Winter’s recent accomplishments include writing the sought after “Nourishing Futures for Better Kai” resource; presenting at the Public Health Association Conference on the resource as well as doing radio interviews at the time. She was also a guest speaker at the ‘She Moves, She Leads, We Win’ national symposium in Wellington.
Community and Public Health West Coast Team Leader Freedom Preston says Jade is “a real gem”. “She is clearly achieving positive change in community settings, and with her strong attributes of leadership, Jade will achieve a great deal more. It’s good to know we can attract and retain such talented young people on the Coast.”