Public health house

The project

Helping to finance the creation of a public health house.

The project leaders

The project is piloted by Professor Virginie Migeot, Doctor Marion Albouy-Llaty, and the Agence régionale de santé de la Nouvelle-Aquitaine (regional health agency).

Maison de la santé publique du CHU de Poitiers

Project details

Today’s hospital is called upon to develop its missions and no longer be simply a care facility where patients are treated once a pathology has been found to exist, or following an accident.

It must take into account the fact that one out of every five patients has a chronic disease. On the one hand, it must intervene upstream, and on the other hand, it must improve quality of life during the illness by carrying out campaigns of information and education on themes associated with health and environmental factors. What is the goal? The goal is to ensure that through his behavioral and consumption habits, a given individual become an active participant with regard to his health, and develop what has been termed salutogenesis, producing good health by paying close attention to nutrition and environmental factors.

In the framework of its 2013-2017 development project, the Poitiers CHU has committed itself to implementing an innovative project, the only one of its kind in France: creation of a public health house, that is to say a contextualized place dedicated to sensitizing, informing and educating the general public on health promotion and environmental factors.  

Given the evolution of people’s health needs and the latest recommendations of the French National Authority for Health (HAS), over recent years public hospitals’ missions have been undergoing continuous change. Today’s hospital must meet a new demand and develop preventive and educational actions designed to anticipate chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, which have been becoming increasingly frequent, for reasons that are to some extent behavioral and environmental.

It is consequently of paramount importance that a given individual become an active participant with regard to his health. That he be able to anticipate some pathologies through involvement in preventive and educational initiatives, and that he adapt his behavioral and consumption habits in view of preserving his health.    

This represents a new approach for the hospital, which thereby expands the scope of its missions not only by treating, but also by anticipating and safeguarding the health capital of the population.  

The public health house will consequently be located on the site of the Milétrie hospital; at the same time, it will be totally open to the town of Poitiers. It will welcome every public, proposing organized activities and providing information for all visitors not only in the house itself, but also on other sites, such as mother and child protection centers (PMI), schools, associations… In a word, the hospital shall be decompartmentalized as it scales its walls, opens itself up to the town, and multiplies its lines of communication.

The house will be at the disposal not only of hospital users – patients, their friends and relatives, health care professionals and other hospital staff, visitors… -, but also of the general public: individuals, private as well as health care professionals from other establishments, schools, associations, etc.

It shall be a house where it is possible to feel at home: a place for living, place where users can feel safe and serene as they move around. It will be structured and furnished like a traditional house, with a living room (sitting room-salon), a large kitchen, bedrooms and a bathroom. And given its location, it will also feature a landscaped garden area.

The different themes will be associated not only with health, sexuality and overall well-being, but also with risks and environmental factors, which will be highlighted in exhibitions, workshops and games, with the collaboration and contributions of health care professionals and/or associations. The themes will more often than not revolve around the calendar of nationwide, European and worldwide dedicated “days”, but at times will be determined according to recent news, to current events.

Examples :

  • – a nutrition workshop in the kitchen, in the framework of educational therapy programs for diabetic patients,
  • – activities in the bedroom to evoke sleep disorders or problems related to sexuality,
  • – exhibitions / simulation games, on accident prevention in daily life,
  • – activities in the garden on problems stemming from allergies to pollen and grasses…

The public health house will be a model to follow in terms of its furnishings and equipment, which will be free from environmental pollutants, and conceived so as to minimize domestic risks and accidents (prevention of falls, burns…).

Pr Virginie Migeot

Professor Virginie Migeot has consecrated her career to public health. After having carried out her residency in Toulouse, she earned a master 2 degree (“Epidemiology and intervention in public health”) in Bordeaux. Virginie Migeot entered the Poitiers CHU in 2001 and became “professeure des universités” in 2014. She is currently the public health department head at the Poitiers CHU and the person in charge of public health teaching at the Poitiers faculty of medicine and pharmacy.