Planetary Wellbeing Coordinator - Part-time position available in Auckland

05 Dec 2017 8:48 AM | Anonymous

The newly formed Planetary Wellbeing Network (PWN), which currently consists of key people from the Public Health Association, the Health Promotion Forum, and the Prior Policy Centre, is seeking a Coordinator to play a central role in implementing their innovative approach to public health and health promotion. 

This approach addresses the realities of health and wellbeing in the 21st century, with its unique challenges (of which climate change is just one), and seeks to develop new and exciting ways aimed at reinvigorating the fields of public health and health promotion. We are committed to an holistic and ecological approach, with the term “wellbeing” indicating that our concerns are more than just with physical disease; our methods are positive, strength-building, people-centred, environmentally aware, and deeply honouring of culture, diversity, equality and sustainability.

Initially, there is only sufficient funding for about one day a week for upwards of a year, but part of the role will be to assist the PWN to persuade funders to contribute to this innovative enterprise, so that this role will grow and survive accordingly.

This position is based in Auckland, and is for someone with a passion for public health and/or health promotion, is flexible and creative, and who loves new ideas. It would probably best suit a postgraduate PhD student or similar in public health or health promotion, or someone who has experience in these areas and needs a part-time job. The initial work involves helping to develop presentations and proposals aimed at fund-raising and publicity.  In addition, the job involves assisting with the development and implementation of a strategic plan for the PWN, designing a social media-based communications approach to support and encourage a growing network of people interested in this approach, and (in due course) participating in the establishment of one or more evaluated community and policy development demonstration projects designed to illustrate PWN principles in action.

The job is based at the Health Promotion Forum office suite in Grafton Rd, Auckland, where the Forum have kindly provided a hot desk and administrative support for this position, with the Coordinator directly responsible to the PWN via a small management group. However, the applicant can also choose to work at home for at least some of the time if that suits better, and time may also need to be spent networking (etc.) in community settings.  Remuneration is negotiable according to qualifications, experience, etc., but is in the order of $40 – 70 an hour, on the basis of seven or so hours a week, initially for about 10 months.

For further information, please contact Emma Frost at emma@hauora.co.nz

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Letter to the Listener 28 July 2017 in response to Fever Pitch (Listener 21 July 2017)

Catherine Woulfe’s thorough investigation of rheumatic fever brings to the surface a range of important questions not only about this cruel disease, but also wider issues about health policy. The Government’s bold initiative to reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever as one of its 'Better Public Service' targets in 2012 certainly raised awareness of rheumatic fever for the general public as well as communities and families directly affected. But even when medical science and the public have a clearer understanding of the immediate causes of rheumatic fever, interventions like the $65m ‘sore throats matter’ still won’t stop the epidemic. 

Ramona Tiatia’s blunt description of the experience of affected families not only painted a picture of the impact on affected families and communities, it also highlighted the invidious choices our health funders face.  How much should we prioritise health spending between response to the urgent need of young people whose lives and potential can be devastated by the disease versus the expense of addressing the economic and social factors that underlie the reasons we have this epidemic at all?   

As several of the clinicians interviewed pointed out, it’s only when the poverty and over-crowded housing issues are addressed that we will make a real difference.

Rheumatic fever illustrates the contradictions in our health system identified in the recent American Commonwealth Fund report. Of the 11 countries the Fund monitors, the work our health professionals do is ranked among the highest. But our overall performance as a health system falls to the middle ranking because of our poor performance on access and equity. The Fund also notes that our per capita expenditure is among the cheapest. 

Failure to invest in real prevention - that is, poverty, housing, good nutrition etc. - will continue to drive conditions like rheumatic fever, whether the immediate cause is strep throat or skin sores, until we invest upstream.

Why not spend more on these conditions - the economic and social determinants of health? 

We all pay in the long run - the young people whose misery we tolerate and whose potential remains unfulfilled, the families whose sacrifices are unrewarded, and the taxpayer who picks up the tab.

Ngā mihi,
Warren Lindberg

CE Public Health Association of New Zealand

                                            

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