On June 5, Clinique La Ligniere (Lake Geneva Sanatorium) received the "Health-Promoting Hospital" designation from the World Health Organization, a unit of the United Nations. A Seventh-day Adventist institution, the hospital is the first private Swiss hospital to obtain this recognition, and one of approximately 650 worldwide with this certification.
"This recognition means that the hospital's unique mission is acknowledged and prepares the way for Clinique La Lignière to be a regional leader in this area," says Laurent Bertrand, director of the clinic. "The hospital wants to make its professional knowledge about health-promoting behaviors more available to the community, in the sense of the recommendations of the WHO, and offer a wider range of health-promoting activities."
Opened in 1905, Clinique La Ligniere has identified health education and a tobacco/alcohol-free environment as an integral part of its healing and caring mission. Its overall health program is based on the teachings Ellen G. White, a founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At the clinic, the first Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Center in the French-speaking part of Switzerland opened its doors in 1977. Eleven years later, the "Acquaforme" health and fitness center began its ministry to patients and the community. Last year, the 95-bed facility served 3,610 patients, including 1,214 in-patients.
The hospital hosts a coronary support group, holds exercise programs for seniors and expectant mothers, and assists those afflicted with Parkinson disease. It also offers well-attended vegetarian cooking classes and stop-smoking seminars.
The hospital created a "Health Promotion and Education Department" last year, led by Jacqueline Wosinski, a doctoral student at Loma Linda University. She coordinates the three projects that led to the WHO Swiss Network recognition: a therapeutic education plan for coronary patients, an exercise program for type 2 diabetics, and a program of cardiovascular risks management for the staff.
According to the official WHO Web site, the Health-Promoting Hospitals project began 15 years ago. It is based on the aims stated in the 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, the 1996 Ljubljana Charter on Reforming Health Care, and the Vienna recommendations on health-promoting hospitals. The recommendations are guidelines for initiating a process of strategic development, changing the curative institutional culture into a health culture, as well as promoting the health of staff, patients and their relatives, and supporting a healthy environment.
On June 5, Clinique La Ligniere hosted 50 guests from the public health field for the "Swiss Health-Promoting Hospital" conference. The World Health Organization commended Clinique La Ligniere for its outstanding work in the field of health promotion and Bertrand thanked hospital staff for their multidisciplinary contributions leading to the achievement.
The "Health Promoting Hospital" label increases the commitment of Clinique La Ligniere to foster a healthy lifestyle among patients and staff as well as in the community. [Editor: Jacqueline Wosinski for ANN/APD]