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Monday, March 22 2010
Press release

Canada’s Only Health Promotion Centre for Children, Teenagers, and Mothers

Montreal, Monday, March 22, 2010 – The CHU Sainte-Justine will inaugurate its Health Promotion Centre today, the only one of its kind in Canada. The Centre will develop and run prevention and health promotion programs and services for expectant mothers, children, teenagers, families and staff. It will occupy a storefront space at 5757 Decelles Avenue.

OPERATIONS AND MISSION

Health promotion is one of the CHUSJ's mission areas along with education, research, clinical care, technology assessment and rehabilitation. It is for this very reason that the Department of Health Promotion was created in 2007. "We are preparing a five-year plan to further develop the Centre," confirmed Dr. Fabrice Brunet, CEO of the CHU Sainte-Justine.

Dr. Christine Colin's arrival in the CHU Sainte-Justine Department of Health Promotion was a major achievement in the Centre's establishment because of her extensive experience in the field of public health, academic pedigree, and international expertise. Recruiting Isabelle Bayard as Assistant Director will also contribute to the further development of this new department and help build relationships in different academic and institutional areas, namely in the public health field and the health care network.

PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION PROGRAMS

To improve the health of children and teenagers, it is crucial to act early, ideally from the time of pregnancy. "At the CHUSJ, we believe that it is no longer enough just to aim for excellence in delivering clinical care to sick children; we must also strive to prevent the onset of health problems," said Dr. Christine Colin. "The Centre is the result of a vision - to take action before illness strikes an individual, a vulnerable population group, and even the community; of our commitment to the health of children and families; and of the conviction that we can contribute to improving the health of Quebec youth and their families," she added.

Our health promotion approach consists of individual and collective programs and research that foster healthy lifestyle habits and the development of an environment that supports good health. The centre will host a number of programs currently being developed in partnership with the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon, such as the Centre of Excellence for the Health Promotion of Toddlers, the Baby Friendly Hospital initiative, and awareness campaigns to promote healthy eating habits. Other programs include the Health Promoting Hospital initiative, the universal hearing screening program for newborns, and many others.

The Centre will also play an active role in generating and transmitting knowledge by way of telehealth and international collaborations.

CIRCUIT PROGRAM

Under the leadership of Dr. Marie Lambert, Geneticist, and Dr. Jean-Luc Bigras, Cardiologist, the Health Promotion Centre has launched the CIRCUIT Program (Centre d'intervention en prévention et en réadaptation cardiovasculaires pour toute la famille). This program is intended for children and teenagers who are likely to develop heart disease as adults, namely those with dyslipidemia, excess weight, metabolic syndromes, diabetes, congenital cardiopathies, heart transplants; and those with overweight parents. This vulnerable population group – the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents – represents more than a third of Quebec children and teenagers.

The launching of the Health Promotion Centre and the CIRCUIT program was possible thanks to donor contributions from the Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine. "These two initiatives are important for our community because they promote good health at the earliest age possible," said Pierre Boivin, President of the Board of Directors of the Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine.

INITIATIVES IN OTHER SECTORS

Some new projects will soon be added to the Health Promotion Centre's list of initiatives. These include a research project, directed by Dr. Émile Levy, aimed at enhancing our understanding of nutritional needs, and various studies, directed by Dr. William Fraser, on the course of pregnancy and the effects of a mother's and father's health on the development and health of a child. Other development initiatives for the Centre are under way.

About the CHU Sainte-Justine
The Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre is the largest mother-child centre in Canada and one of the four most important pediatric centres in North America. Its team consists of more than 5,000 support staff and medical practitioners. Affiliated with the Université de Montréal, the CHU Sainte-Justine is the largest pediatric teaching centre in Quebec and one of the top in Canada. Its research centre is composed of more than 200 researchers and 400 students. It is recognized for its leadership, particularly in the areas of brain disease, musculoskeletal diseases and movement science, fetomaternal and neonatal diseases, metabolic health, viral diseases, immune disorders and cancer, and for the advancement of health care. In 2007, the CHU Sainte-Justine celebrated its centennial and was accredited as a "Health Promoting" hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is also a member of the Réseau d'Excellence en Santé de l'Université de Montréal (RUIS).

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