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.


  • 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.


Looking for policies, forms or committee information?

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Director’s Message


SPPH Leadership


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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News and Newsletters



Dr. Veena Sriram investigates how COVID-19 has changed the role of health care associations in the policy process
April 14, 2021Dr. Veena Sriram, a recently appointed Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy at the School of Population and Public Health and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, conducts research at the intersection of global health, social science, and public policy. Read More >

Staff Spotlight – Alexandra Warren
April 13, 2021One of the School of Population and Public Health’s greatest assets is the people who support important research and facilitate the education of health leaders. In this series, we feature Alexandra Warren! Read More >

UBC Giving Day 2021 – Wednesday, April 7
April 1, 2021On Wednesday, April 7, UBC will hold its first ever university-wide day of giving. Driven by online engagement, this 24-hour giving challenge will bring donors, alumni, and friends together to support the UBC causes that matter most to them. Read More >

Voices in Health: March 25th, 2021, 10:30-12:00 PST
March 24, 2021Come join us virtually for our Voices in Health webinar on Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 10:30-12 PM! Click "Read More" for more details on how to join! Read More >

Staff Spotlight – Jyotica Saini
March 23, 2021One of the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH)’s greatest assets is the people that support important research and facilitate the education of health leaders. In this series, we will be featuring some of our incredible staff so you can get to know them better and learn about their impressive backgrounds.   What attracted […] Read More >

SPPH Welcomes New Director Dr. Aslam Anis
March 9, 2021SPPH welcomes Dr. Aslam Anis to his new role as Director of the School, where he has been a vital member of the community since 1995. Read More >

SPPH Celebrates Our Community on International Women’s Day
March 8, 2021SPPH Celebrates our community on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. Read More >

MSFHR and BC-AHSN Consolidate
February 17, 2021MSFHR and BC AHSN intend to join forces to drive discovery and innovation in BC’s health research enterprise The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) and the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces to create a dynamic and integrated health research organization that will […] Read More >

Readying the leaders of tomorrow for health system transformation
February 8, 2021One of Dr. David Hsu’s fondest memories from graduate school at UBC is discussing current health policy issues with fellow students and senior managers in British Columbia’s health care system at the home of his professor and mentor, Dr. Anne Crichton (1920-2007). “Dr. Crichton helped her students become better analytic thinkers,” says Dr. Hsu, BSc’74, […] Read More >

CEIH Recruitment – Nash
January 8, 2021Community-engaged cancer research with Alaska Native people January 15, 2021 1pm-2pm Read More >