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

Grand Rounds
Grand Rounds, the School’s monthly seminar series, runs during the academic year. Presenters include faculty, students, staff, and guest speakers, who share new and innovative research, and current issues in population and public health.

OEH Seminars
The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these weekly seminars. Attendance is mandatory for MSc OEH students.

UBC Learning Circle
UBC Learning Circle is a partnership between UBC’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health (CEIH) and the First Nations Health Authority. Attendance is by video conference or online webinar. Pre-registration is required.

Global Health
Global Health events at SPPH bring expert and diverse multidisciplinary speakers from across UBC to share their expertise on global health equity and related topics. Events run throughout the academic year and provide students with opportunities to enrich their global health learning.

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 

UBC Directory
UBC Pt Grey Campus WayFinder
UBC Media Experts Guide
UBC Library


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News and Newsletters



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

Voices in Health: January 21, 2021, 10:30-12:00 PST
January 7, 2021Come join us virtually for our Voices in Health webinar on September 24, 2020 from 10:30-12 PM! Read More >

‘In Plain Sight’ Report: Systemic Racism in B.C. Healthcare
December 18, 2020As a School and community, we must work to address the systemic racism affecting Indigenous peoples and other racialized groups within our institutions, health care, and society to build a future with better health for all. Read More >

Congratulations to Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl
December 15, 2020The School of Population and Public Health would like to congratulate Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl, one of North America’s top applied developmental psychologists and a renowned expert in the area of social and emotional learning, or SEL, for her new appointment as the next NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair of Social and Emotional Learning at the University […] Read More >

CEIH Recruitment – Wylie
December 11, 2020Engaging for Change: Building Culturally Safe Care through Indigenous Narratives December 16, 2020 1pm-2pm Read More >

SPPH Winter Celebration
December 10, 2020Please join us for the SPPH Winter Celebration 2020 on Thursday, December 17 from 3-5 pm. See the attached graphic for more details.  SPPH WINTER CELEBRATION activities In addition to a talent show, festive music, fun and games, we will be holding a few contests, including a surprise challenge! For some of these activities, you […] Read More >

Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education’s Shifting Focus Exhibit
December 9, 2020The photo exhibit features men who have experienced incarceration, challenging the stigma associated with trauma, incarceration, and substance use. Read More >

CEIH Recruitment – Pollock
December 3, 2020Place-based knowledge in Indigenous health and rural health services. Join us for the public seminar on Wed, Dec 9 at 1pm PST Read More >

BC Covid 19 Symposium
November 26, 2020While British Columbia’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in better public health outcomes than in many jurisdictions, the long-term psychological, socio-economic, and health impacts remain unknown. In September 2020, over 80 BC researchers, administrators, funders, and patient representatives came together to organize a virtual COVID-19 Symposium to raise awareness of the […] Read More >

Shared Approaches to Indigenous Health Services Research
November 26, 2020Shared Approaches to Indigenous Health Services Research Read More >