The World Health Association defines health promotion as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions”.
Health promotion and disease prevention strategies focus on keeping people well and preventing diseases from occurring. These strategies are referred to as primary prevention activities. Each FHT plans health promotion and disease prevention strategies that can assist in maintaining and improving the health of their patients.
Health promotion strategies in primary care may include education and counselling programs that promote physical activity, improve nutrition or reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
Disease prevention activities may include well-baby visits, immunizations, cholesterol assessments during annual health exams, and screening for cancers like breast, colorectal, cervical and prostate.
Ontario has a separate Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport which encourages Ontarians to lead healthy, active lives and make the province a healthy, prosperous place to live, work, play, learn and visit. To learn more, click here.