The Story of HealthFirst
When Dr Penny Fraser, one of the original founders of HealthFirst, first moved to Switzerland in 2004, she regularly received questions about medical problems from friends, parents and other carers of children. She soon realised that there was a need for high quality, formalised training in her native English, covering common childhood health problems as well as First Aid. So Dr Penny created and developed a “Child Illnesses and Injuries” course. This was piloted in June 2008 and subsequent courses were quickly oversubscribed.
Dr Penny met Dr Michelle Wright in November 2008 through Dr Michelle’s radio show, Health Matters, on World Radio Switzerland. The two British-trained doctors discovered they shared a passion for delivering health education and training to the English-speaking community in Switzerland.
For ten years they worked together, creating a range of interactive First Aid courses and Health Education seminars. At the same time, they built a unique, dynamic team of doctors, nurses, midwives and administrators. HealthFirst has now trained nearly 8000 people in First Aid throughout the country.
In December 2018, Dr Penny said goodbye as one of the HealthFirst Medical Directors and First Aid trainers. Penny has not gone far though. She will remain as one of the original authors of the extensive catalogue of HealthFirst booklets, presentations and other training materials for many years to come. She will also continue her clinical practice as a medical doctor in the hospitals of Geneva, caring for patients and their families.
In the meantime, HealthFirst goes from strength to strength. Since its launch, Dr Michelle and her team have added to their portfolio of courses, products and services.
Firmly believing that prevention is better than cure and using her experience as a General Practitioner and health promotion advocate, Michelle has created a series of bespoke Health Education Seminars. HealthFirst also delivers Health Screening Assessments within companies and organisations. The aim being to empower individuals to lead healthier lives.
Using the skills of experienced midwife, Polly Pupulin, HealthFirst has also developed their Birth Preparation courses for expectant parents. These build on the concept of a healthy lifestyle – this time aimed at the whole family during pregnancy and the post-natal period.
As well as this, HealthFirst is currently expanding their Life Skills Programmes in schools. Midwife Mags Sheldon brings her expertise here, incorporating her theatre background to bring Sex and Relationship and Drug and Alcohol Education alive in the classroom.
Stay posted for the next exciting developments!