Jan 29 2010 Posted: 00:00 GMT
Ms Áine Brady, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, today launched the establishment of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research at NUI Galway. The work of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is supported by a global network of collaborating centres, with the centre at NUI Galway one of only three in Ireland, and one of only 26 centres around the world dedicated to Health Promotion. The designation comes as a result of the important role the University's Health Promotion Research Centre has played over the past 20 years in health promotion education and research to support national policies and development. The Centre at NUI Galway is the only one of its kind in Ireland and has an active multidisciplinary research programme of work supported by an experienced team of some 30 staff. "I am very pleased to launch this WHO Collaborating Centre at NUI Galway. The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway plays an important role in providing the research and knowledge base for the development of national policy and best practice on promoting the health of the population. I am confident that the Centre will continue to make a very valuable contribution to the work of WHO in health promotion and public health at both national and global levels", said Minister Brady. Following today's announcemnt, the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway will collaborate with WHO on the effective production, dissemination and translation of health promotion research. This will support the development of effective practice and policy at national, European and global levels. The Centre will focus on supporting evidence-based practice and policy in a number of areas including; research on promoting youth health in schools, the health of staff in the workplace, and advancing the implementation and evaluation of health promotion interventions including those that target improved mental health and social wellbeing. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This is a tremendous achievement and is an important recognition of the international standing and quality of the research produced at the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway. The designation of the Health Promotion Research Centre as a WHO Collaborating Centre highlights our international leadership in this field". The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway is officially designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for an initial period of four years, led by Professor Margaret Barry. who commented: "Health promotion is proven to have a wide range of health and social benefits and our work over the last 20 years and been focussed on informing policy decisions and best practice in this area. We look forward to working with our colleagues at WHO and our national and international partners on the advancement of research for the effective promotion of population health and wellbeing".