Inaugural meeting of Healthy Ireland Council
Keith Wood Appointed Chair of the Healthy Ireland Council
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly today (Thursday 26 June 2014), speaking in advance of the first meeting of the Healthy Ireland Council in Dublin Castle, announced the appointment of Mr Keith Wood to the position of Chairperson of the Council. Mr Wood is a former Irish International rugby player and founding Director of W2 Consulting. Minister Reilly also announced the names of the 37 members of the Council and said that he was very impressed with the calibre of people who applied and were appointed.
President Michael D. Higgins has agreed to be the Patron of the Healthy Ireland Council.
“I am delighted that Keith Wood has accepted the position of Chairperson of the Healthy Ireland Council” said the Minister. “While he is best known as an outstanding sports star who did his province and country proud on many occasions, I am equally impressed by the commitment he has shown personally and in his business career to community and health related initiatives. I believe that given the passion and commitment he has displayed as a sportsman and the high esteem in which he is held by all sectors of society, Mr Wood is the ideal person to lead the important work that this Council will undertake in the coming years.”
Commenting on the appointment of Mr Wood and the Council members, An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny said "Healthy Ireland is an initiative aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland now and for generations to come. I am delighted to see so many leaders from different walks of Irish life coming together to endorse, support and drive Healthy Ireland. I am delighted that Keith Wood has agreed to chair the Council and I wish him and the Council every success at its inaugural meeting today and in its important work over the years ahead."
Minister Reilly continued “The importance of the Healthy Ireland Council and its potential to contribute to the vision of a Healthy Ireland is underscored by the presence at today’s meeting of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organisation. The Healthy Ireland Council is integral to delivering the “whole of society” approach to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation. I see the Council as the champions for delivering the vision of a Healthy Ireland, where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential, where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society.”
Thanking the Minister for appointing him as Chairperson, Keith Wood said “I am honoured to accept the role of Chairperson of the Healthy Ireland Council. I understand the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland and believe that the Council will bring a new approach to engaging all of society as agents of change. I look forward to playing my part in making health and wellbeing a priority for all of us and finding ways of encouraging everybody to understand the role they have to play in a healthier future.”
Note for Editors
Healthy Ireland: A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025 (http://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/healthy-ireland-a-framework-for-improved-health-and-wellbeing-2013-2025) was launched in March 2013. It provides a framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of our population over the coming generation, to achieve a greater emphasis on prevention, early intervention and to support keeping individuals and communities well.
Healthy Ireland sets out a vision where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential, where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society and is everyone’s responsibility. The framework has four key goals:
- Increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life
- Reduce health inequalities
- Protect the public from threats to health and wellbeing
- Create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland
Healthy Ireland aims to achieve these four key goals through better leadership and governance, better partnerships and better use of resources and evidence.
Healthy Ireland Council
Healthy Ireland proposes a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to improving the health and wellbeing of Irish people over the coming generation. The establishment of the Healthy Ireland Council is the most significant action within Healthy Ireland to leverage engagement with whole-of-society. The Council will provide the platform to connect and mobilise communities, families and individuals into a national movement with one aim: supporting everyone to enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing.
The Council will be established for an initial 3-year period and comprises 36 members and a chairperson (membership list attached) from a wide range of sectors including the health sector, academia, older people, sport, non-government organisations, media, youth and diversity. They are recognised leaders and influencers in their respective fields who have a genuine passion for health and wellbeing.