UBC President Santa J. Ono Visits SPPH

March 10, 2020 – Last week, Director Dr. Peter Berman welcomed UBC President Santa J. Ono to the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH). President Ono met with faculty, staff and students to hear about their ongoing work to find solutions to complex health challenges at home and around the world.

Peter Berman and Santa Ono

During his visit, the Senior Leadership Team shared the impact of the School’s work through a presentation and discussion that encompassed our successes in fields like cervical cancer prevention, innovative teaching methodologies, antimicrobial resistance, and the opioid crisis.


President Ono also heard about SPPH’s strategic planning process, and how the School is taking a holistic view of its operations to ensure maximum impact in the field of prevention of illness and promotion of well-being. “We are agents of change in transforming the health and well-being of populations, and through this strategic planning process, we are re-iterating our focus on impact in the field,” Dr. Berman explained.


President Ono added, “SPPH is well-poised to scale public health projects in British Columbia to address global issues. I am excited about SPPH’s new compelling vision and look forward to being supportive in the years ahead.”


Faculty and staff shared the benefits to SPPH’s interdisciplinary and collaborative environment by highlighting three of the many research themes that span across the School: Indigenous health, environmental health, and data and health systems.

SPPH Faculty and Staff

In addition to the wide-reaching impact of faculty research, SPPH has a proud history of educating future leaders in health care through its professional and research-based graduate education programs. President Ono met with current graduate students to learn about the way SPPH is preparing them for careers and teaching them the skills to excel in public health research.


Graduate student Mohammad Karamouzian added, “I’ve gained so many skills during my time at SPPH, but the most important thing I have learned is that the crucial part of any research study is asking the right and relevant questions first and then finding ways to answer or investigate them. That is what I would always remind myself of in my future career, and carry forward from my time here.”

SPPH Students

President Ono praised the work of SPPH in advancing public health education and research, and the impact of the research being conducted by SPPH faculty: “I was excited to learn more about how SPPH’s interdisciplinary environment drives collaboration within the school. By working alongside partners in different fields, faculty have really succeeded in asking the right research questions, creating unique solutions, and addressing complex challenges from a new perspective.”


By Elizabeth Samuels