The HPH Network of Austria
Prof. Gernot Brunner, MD
President, Austrian HPH Network
Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG)
Austrian Public Health Institute
Stubenring 6, A-1010 Vienna
+43 1 51561 380
Governance Board of the Austria HPH Network (ONGKG)
Outstanding characteristics of the ONGKG
The Austrian Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Care Institutions (ONGKG) was founded as one of the first national HPH networks in 1996 during the first Austrian HPH conference. From the outset, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health has been an important partner and driver of the network. Another outstanding characteristic is that the ONGKG has been accompanied and scientifically supported by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care (WHO-CC-HPH) since its beginnings. From 2006 onwards, the network is organized as an independent registered association by Austrian law and finances its activities by membership fees, similar to the international HPH network.
Today, the network is proud to say that it is growing continually. It currently comprises 25 regular as well as 12 associated members. Additionally, 26 health services are closely related with ONGKG, by being certified either as "tobacco-free health service" or as "baby-friendly hospital". As such, these hospitals belong to one of the two specific departments of the network. The first department is responsible for certification and re-certification of hospitals and other health services following the requirements of the Global Network for Tobacco Free Health Care Services (GNTH). The other department coordinates the implementation of the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), originally developed by WHO and UNICEF in order to promote breastfeeding on maternity units. By that, two internationally recognized and agreed upon health promotion programs are integrated into the ONGKG.
1996 - ONGKG is founded: The first newsletter and first national HPH conference are established.
1997 - ONGKG comes to life: The first 6 member hospitals from 4 different provinces join the network, the 5th International HPH Conference takes place in Vienna and the Vienna Recommendations on Health Promoting Hospitals are adopted.
1998 - ONGKG goes online: The first website is developed.
2000 - ONGKG goes scientific: Start of the first joint project with 3 participating member hospitals focusing on "empowerment and co-production"
2001 ONGKG looks beyond its horizons: first German-speaking conference takes place together with the German and Swiss HPH networks.
2003 ONGKG relaunches its website: the network makes its website more user-friendly.
2005 ONGKG moves forward: the network begins to coordinate ENSH Austria ONGKG helps to make health promotion part of the Austrian health quality law the second joint project on the topic of staff health in hospitals starts.
2006 ONGKG becomes a registered association: following this development a governance board is elected for the first time a third joint project on the standards of health promoting hospitals starts.
2007 ONGKG supports the 15th International HPH Conference: the ONGKG functions as one of the conference co-organizers
2008 ONGKG takes up ENSH: the department on "Tobacco-free health services" is founded
2010 ONGKG further specifies itself: founding of the department on "Baby-friendly Hospitals"
2014 ONGKG again acts as pioneer: another joint project on the topic of health literate health care organizations is started
2016 ONGKG looks back and thinks ahead: a strategy process with the goal to further develop the ONGKG is initiated
2017 ONGKG goes international: the network hosts the 25th International Conference on Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services
Currently, the governance board of the ONGKG and all its members are working in a development process to sharpen the strategy and goals of the ONGKG for the 2017–2021 period. After more than 20 successful years, the members of the network and its governance board critically take a step back. They reflect on areas that need to be worked upon in order to maintain the network for another 20 years and to remain attractive in times of increasing restrictions on human and monetary resources.
Ultimately, the ONGKG strives for the establishment of health promotion as a MUST-HAVE instead of a nice-to-have in Austrian health services.