We deliver health promotion and disease prevention programs focusing on keeping people healthy. Our team supports the integration of state and national programs into our service delivery, as well as developing and implementing projects to increase our capacity to reduce preventable illness.
The Gold Coast holds a long and proud identity as an active and healthy city. Driven by lifestyle, opportunity and innovation, the Gold Coast offers a work-life balance unachievable by most of the world’s major cities. However, like many of the world’s major cities, the Gold Coast has experienced an increase in preventable health conditions that negatively impact Gold Coast locals, their families and the greater community. Therefore, the health and wellbeing of our community is everyone’s business and in everybody’s interest.
To help individuals improve their own health we have collated a Healthier You page that provides information on a range of different health topics and links to free and low-cost programs and services. Making small lifestyle changes can improve health and wellbeing and reduce risk of illness.
Active and Healthy City Strategy 2018-2022 with an initial focus on reducing obesity-related risk factors and illness is in development in collaboration with numerous government and non-government agencies and community representatives. The strategy will focus on increased awareness of what is available and opportunities for collaboration; using current resources more effectively; better understanding the gaps/needs; how to work together more efficiently and build the evidence to guide our future investments. Obesity is one of the most pertinent community health issues as it has now surpassed tobacco as a major cause of morbidity and mortality.
Public Health, in collaboration with its partners, have commenced research into the development and use of a predictive modelling tool, to inform evidence-based and appropriate local solutions to obesity. The research team will work with key people from community and health organisations, to describe how our current environment influences obesity and its risk factors, and what interventions (individually and combined) are effective at different health and life stages. Integral components of this project include a participatory approach to model building and the translation of this information into local decision-making processes.
The research team is led by a Gold Coast Public Health Unit and Griffith University collaborative, who were successful candidates in the Gold Coast Health and Gold Coast Hospital Foundation Research Grant Scheme 2018. Key research partners include the health service’s Strategy and Planning team and Bond University’s Centre for Research on Evidence Based Practice. Get Set for Surgery is an innovative pilot working within a small number of elective surgery areas to explore the effectiveness of a greater prevention focus to treatment services. It encourages and empowers patients to take a lead role in “getting set” for their surgery by connecting them with free online coaching services to assist them to identify their health goals. Coaches then support patients for up to 6 months to implement their chosen lifestyle changes. A pilot program was undertaken from November 2017 to November 2018, with an evaluation report due mid-2019.
Prevention Tracker was undertaken in collaboration with the Australian Partnership Prevention Centre in 2017-18. This research project looked at key problems in our prevention system that could be critical to improving our approach to chronic disease prevention. Initial findings uncovered aspects of the systems that are important for affecting change. Final report is due in early 2019.
A Community Jury was held in 2017 to better understand community preferences and views toward potential obesity solutions. The jury included 14 Gold Coast community members, who participated in two days of expert information about the key issues to consider, question and answer time with industry experts, and opportunity for discussion, deliberation and reflection. The jury provided recommendations to Gold Coast Health, City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Primary Health Network for future planning and delivery of healthy community services.
The Active and Healthy Recovery project was funded by Partners in Recovery and developed to create sustainable opportunities for people with a lived experience of mental illness to be able to reconnect with the community through physical activity. Public Health has worked in collaboration with the Active and Healthy Alliance Gold Coast Inc and City of Gold Coast to build better referral options and support for mental health wellbeing.
Project evaluation is underway. For more information on health promotion email: GCPHU-HP@health.qld.gov.au.
Gardening promotes health and wellbeing as it encourages the use of many motor skills, improves endurance and strength and is a good physical activity. Gardening can also have a surprising number of other health benefits such as easing symptoms of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. For healthcare employees gardens can also provide an effective means of reducing work stress and restoring emotional balance.
The Gold Coast University Hospital community garden is a sustainable environmentally friendly opportunity to bring nature to our people.
The garden produces nutritious herbs, vegetables and native garnishes to enhance the hospital menu for inpatients and offers staff healthy herbal teas and other produce to add to their meals. Staff and community volunteers support horticultural therapy opportunities for in-patients as well as connecting with staff and visitors through shared gardening and general interactions in the garden.
Community members and staff register as volunteers through Gold Coast Hospital’s volunteers program
The viability of the GCUH community garden is reliant on community donations and volunteer time. Anyone interested in contributing to the community garden should email the garden coordinator for details on the types of donations or assistance being sought (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Carrara community garden was established by public health staff at the Carrara Health Centre in 2017. The garden brings nature into the concrete courtyard and is a great source of fresh herbs and vegetables. Staff participate by contributing to gardening, donating seeds and plants as well adding healthy herbs and produce to their meals.