About Us

What are Population and Public Health?

Population and public health look at the big picture.

Rather than treating one patient at a time, public health works to find what causes disease and health issues, and then finds solutions for a community as a whole. Examples of public health measures range from Dr. John Snow removing a pump handle to stop the spread of cholera through contaminated water in London, to obesity prevention programs, policies to improve the cost-effectiveness and patient outcomes of health services, healthy city design, social and emotional learning programs for children, and asbestos removal from homes and workplaces.

As the Public Health Agency of Canada describes, public health “is the organized effort of society to keep persons healthy and prevent injury, illness and premature death. It is a combination of programs, services & policies that protect and promote the health of all Canadians.”

Population health focuses on specific populations, or communities, looking at the broad range of factors that influence health, called ‘social determinants.’ These factors include things like economic status, early childhood development, gender, and social structure. The World Health Organization refers to these as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.

Our School has a strong history in population and public health

From faculty and students working on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, to those working on the overdose crisis here in British Columbia, to researching the deadly effects of air pollution, and investigating the cost and benefits of universal coverage for pharmaceuticals, our faculty, students, and staff work every day to help everyone achieve their best possible health, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they earn.




Milestones

  • 2008The School is created by the UBC Senate
  • 2009The inaugural strategic plan is released
  • 2010The School moves to own building at 2206 East Mall
  • 2011The School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (SOEH) merges with School
  • 2012Several centres and units, such as Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, the Human Early Learning Partnership, the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, and Population Data BC become part of the School.
  • 2014The Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health is created.

Resources

Looking for policies, forms or committee information?

View our resource page >

Director’s Message

 

Welcome to the School of Population and Public Health, where we are known as one of the best places in Canada for our next generation of public and population health experts to train, learn and grow.

Our School is dedicated to excellence and integrity across our full range of academic programming, paired with world-class research that spans and bridges multiple disciplines. (Learn more about our Divisions and Centres.) Our ground-breaking work positively impacts population and public health practices and outcomes in communities here in British Columbia and around the globe.

I have worked in different capacities at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) since its inception in 2008. Prior to that, I was part of UBC’s Department of Healthcare and Epidemiology, the School’s predecessor. It has been amazing to see how we have evolved, becoming much greater than the sum of the many different groups and disciplines that came together to form SPPH.

Dr. Aslam Anis

The School’s success is impossible without our learners and graduates. Our programs have produced distinguished population and public health leaders and scholars in our community and worldwide.  Our graduates include Medical Health Officers across the country who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response and professionals who are instrumental in ensuring our work and community environments are safe and healthy places for all through the implementation of equitable and evidence-based best practices. Our researchers are at the forefront of generating impactful scientific evidence to respond to key population and public health challenges locally and globally.

Equity and inclusion are integral to everything we do at SPPH. We embrace the diversity of all our learners, staff and faculty. Further, we are committed to reconciliation for past harms and enhancing Indigenous cultural awareness at all levels. These are fundamental pillars of effective population and public health for the optimal well-being of our society. Key to this is ensuring we provide a safe environment for all our learners. In addition, we are proud to offer career-building opportunities to promote the advancement of individuals from historically marginalized and racialized communities in leadership positions.

For me personally, it is a privilege and honour to lead the School. I am committed to continue enhancing and improving the academic experience for our learners and always welcome your feedback. My hope is that our world-class faculty and staff will help instill a life-long passion in you for improving the health of your communities and the world at large, and provide you the tools to create a meaningful and lasting impact in your field.

 

Dr. Aslam Anis  PhD, FCAHS (He, Him, His)

SPPH Leadership

 

Divisions

The School is organized in four Divisions, each acting as a nexus for SPPH faculty who share common research and interests, and also for internal governance and accountability.

Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health Practice

This Division addresses the fundamentals and practice of biostatistics and epidemiology, and contributes to the understanding of the etiology and prevention of disease through excellence in research. It also integrates public health teaching, research and practice with a focus on improving well-being and preventing disease at a population level.

Division head: Ying MacNab

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Health in Populations

This Division addresses population health perspectives on improving the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples, women, children, youth and their families; and, the determinants of population health, including social, biological, and developmental forces, throughout the life course from birth to death.

Division head: Patricia Spittal

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Health Services and Policy

The Health Services and Policy Division addresses the organization, regulation, accessibility, utilization, and allocation of health care resources, and the resulting costs and health effects.

Division head: Arminee Kazanjian (Interim)

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Occupational and Environmental Health

This Division focuses on health effects and prevention measures related to chemical, physical, biological, and psychosocial hazards, and to the design of buildings, workplaces and communities.

SPPH’s Strategic Framework for 2020-2025 is presented below.

View upcoming and previous OEH Seminars

Division head: Chris McLeod

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Our Strategic Plan

The School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is developing a new strategic plan. The strategic planning process began in Summer 2019 with key stakeholder interviews among students, faculty and staff. These were followed by a small group retreat, which resulted in a draft Strategic Framework that has guided our subsequent strategic planning. Engagement with the School community continued throughout the first half of 2020, and culminated in a virtual retreat in September and October 2020 to which the whole community, including all faculty, staff, and student representatives were invited. SPPH will release a draft strategic plan consultation in early 2021. More information will come as it is available.

SPPH Events

Below is a list of drop down menus detailing the groups that host seminars for SPPH. If you are hosting an event or wish to publish your seminar on our Events calendar please contact hrproject.coordinator@spph.ubc.ca and we will process your request accordingly.

Seminars presenting content about advancing research and teaching of applied ethics. Topics include the application of normative methods to core issues in science and technology ethics and policy, organizational ethics, animal welfare, health, the environment, and research ethics.
CAE Events Page

Seminars presenting content about a sustainable health system in BC and Canada while delivering high quality, effective and accessible care.
C2E2 Events Page

Work in Progress (WiP) seminars provide investigators with an opportunity to present ongoing research, obtain feedback from colleagues and peers, and make new connections for their projects.
CHEOS Events Page

CHSPR hosts a monthly lunch seminar focused on health services research and health policy topics. Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are invited to present their work in progress and give feedback to others. We hold seminars on Tuesdays (usually) from 12-1. Seminars are listed at http://chspr.ubc.ca/events/

Seminars presenting content about improving the health and well-being of children through interdisciplinary research and mobilizing knowledge.
HELP Events Page

This monthly global health event series enriches the global health offerings available to students by bringing expert and diverse multidisciplinary speakers from across the greater UBC community and beyond to share their expertise on global health equity and related topics.
Global Health Event Series Page


The UBC Learning Circle is an ongoing video conference and computer webinar initiative that encourages sharing knowledge about our health and well-being.
Learning Circle Sessions Page

More details will be posted regarding the MPH sessions when available.

The MSc OEH Seminars provides content about occupational and environmental hygiene, policy analysis, health and safety, and more.
OEH Seminar Series Page

The School of Population and Public Health is thrilled to announce a monthly speaker series for the 20/21 academic year called Voices in Health, featuring renowned public and global health experts.
SPPH Voices in Health Seminar Page

Contact Our Staff and Faculty

Academic Program Contact Information

MHA Program email Phone: 604 822-2366
MHSc Program email Phone: 604 822-5405
MPH Program email Phone: 604 822-9207
MSc Program email Phone: 604 822-5405
MSc OEH Program contact Phone: 604 822-2827
PhD Program email Phone: 604 822-5405
Residency Program email Phone: 604 822-7646

SPPH Contact Information

Faculty Directory
Staff Directory

More Contact Information 

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To send feedback on our website, e-mail the Senior Communications Specialist.

News and Newsletters

 

 

Prepare for the Worst: 10 Steps to get Ready for Wildfire Smoke
July 7, 2021The wildfire season in western North America keeps setting new records and the outlook for the coming summer seems grim. On top of the concerning environmental conditions, more people are spending more time outdoors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Given that most wildfires are caused by human activity, the summer of 2021 has the potential to be worse than any […] Read More >

In Memoriam: Dr. Jim Frankish
July 6, 2021  Dear SPPH community, It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend and colleague Jim Frankish, Professor Emeritus, on the evening of Sunday, July 4th. Jim was a member of SPPH (and HCEP) for 28 years and an alumnus of UBC.  Many will also remember his significant contributions as a […] Read More >

Director’s Message 2021
June 28, 2021Dr. Aslam Anis releases his Director’s Message for the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH). Read More >

Dr. Louise Mâsse named SPPH Associate Director, Partnerships and Community Engagement
June 28, 2021  Dr. Aslam Anis, Director of the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), is pleased to announce that Dr. Louise Mâsse has been named Associate Director, responsible for Partnerships and Community Engagement. Dr. Mâsse is currently a Professor at SPPH and Scientist Level 3 at B.C. Children’s […] Read More >

Dr. Anne Gadermann and Dr. Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes named as new Canada Research Chairs
June 22, 2021Two faculty members at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) have been appointed as new Canada Research Chairs (CRC) in the latest round of appointments. Read More >

Extensive Study in Canada to Assess COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Responses and Effectiveness among People Living With HIV
June 16, 2021People living with HIV are less likely to mount an adequate immune response, which may put them at higher risk for both serious COVID-19 illness and reduced response to COVID-19 vaccination. Read More >

One million naloxone kits distributed, 3000 deaths averted
June 16, 2021More than one million naloxone kits have been shipped in British Columbia, averting more than 3,000 deaths, thanks to the tireless work of the Take Home Naloxone Program at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Dr. Jane Buxton, Professor at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) and harm reduction lead for […] Read More >

SPPH Welcomes Dr. Devon Greyson as Assistant Professor
June 15, 2021Dr. Devon Greyson joins SPPH in role of Assistant Professor on July 1, 2021. Read More >

Portraying life with dementia in new light and colour
June 15, 2021Led by Dr. Susan Cox, and UBC postdoctoral fellow Dr. Gloria Puurveen, the research project set out to explore the meaning of living well with dementia through the eyes of those with the disease and their care partners. Read More >

Experiences of frontline workers during COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care, and evaluation of interventions to reduce transmission in long-term care
June 9, 2021Brandon Yau and Rohit Vijh speak about the experiences of frontline workers during COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care, and evaluation of interventions to reduce transmission in long-term care. Read More >