Meet Tracey Tobin who is a Health Promotion Officer & National Co-ordinator of the Foundation Programme in Sexual Health Promotion. Tracey is also an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner.

Pic Tracey

What inspired you towards a career in health promotion?

I trained as a nurse and I worked predominantly the area of cardiology and intensive care. I became a clinical nurse specialist in cardiac rehabilitation and risk factor modification and this lead me to be working with clients around lifestyle; also sexual health and resuming sexual activity after a cardiac event were something I included in consultations as appropriate. It was through this work that health promotion became of interest to me, as I learnt that working with the client where they were at was more effective than trying to put them were I wanted them to be. I had the opportunity to move into health promotion in 2004 and was fortunate to always have a role in training which I really enjoy.

 What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

There is no real typical day, at present I have both a national and local remit in Sexual Health Promotion. I am currently the National Co-ordinator of the Foundation programme in Sexual Health Promotion (FPSHP). This is the HSE 10 day sexual health promotion training programme which has now been rolled out throughout Ireland. My role includes co-ordinating the work of the national FPSHP working group. Providing support to FPSHP facilitators with reference to the programme and to relevant sexual health updates; acting as a conduit for issues and concerns.

The collection and collation of statistics and implementing the quality management measures of the FPSHP with regard to delivery and certification is part of this role. The training manual for this programme is currently being reviewed and I and a group of the facilitators are working on this at present.

I am also the co-editor of Sexual Health News the national newsletter which is produced twice a year, so my role here involves sourcing material and editing and producing the final product with the editorial team and we are currently working on issue 9.

Locally I deliver the Foundation programme in Sexual Health Promotion and support of the past participants to implement the learning.

In the South east we have an LGBT+ steering group, my current work with this group includes the development and delivery of LGB Health awareness training with two LGBT support workers funded by social inclusion. We are presently working with a large employer in delivering LGB Health awareness and plan on using a train the trainer model to build capacity to equip them to deliver training to their work force on site.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in a career in health promotion?

Be aware of the broadness of health and health promotion, the determinants of health provides a framework that acknowledges this and making links and connections in your location with Health and Community services across this spectrum will support the work you are doing. Health is everyone’s business not just the health service.

What does AHPI membership mean for you?

Having a body that is connected to international best practice and the IUHPE gives me a sense of professionalism and a sense of belonging to a wider association of practitioners with clear competencies in health promotion.

What does being a IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner mean for you?

Being a Registered Health Promotion Practitioner gives me a sense of recognition of the skills and competencies I have developed over my career and that they are valued and acknowledged professionally.

What is your proudest working moment?

Each time I see the finished copy of sexual Health news, it is a real sense of pride and achievement.

Each issue goes through a rollercoaster process of great excitement as the new edition is commenced and people agreed to write articles, to a place of will this ever be finished as it needs another edit or typo corrected- to it looks brilliant in the hard copy and positive feedback is being received J

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Formed in 1997, the Association for Health Promotion Ireland provides a forum through which health promotion professionals can exchange knowledge and ideas.