About the Institute
|Population Health is an interdisciplinary field of investigation that addresses the full range of factors which directly or indirectly influence the health status of the population. The Institute remains committed to the definition of population health approved by the Senate of the University in 1998: ‘… population health depends on a wide range of inter-related determinants, including the physical and socio-economic environments, lifestyle, health services, and genetic susceptibility to disease. Effective population health strategies must focus on all of these determinants and the complex interactions among them. More than simply characterizing the health status of the population, we approach population health as an inter-disciplinary field of investigation whose ultimate goal is to improve the health of the population by environmental change, prevention and health services’.|
|The inaugural launch of the Institute of Population Health was held between
June 28 - 30, 2000. The Faculties of Health Sciences, Law, Management, Medicine
and Social Sciences were the founding members. Currently, researchers in the
arts, education, engineering, environmental science and other disciplines
with a focus on the health of aggregates and communities at home, nationally
or globally are partnering with the IPH.
Download the Launch Final Report.
The Institute continues to develop strategic directions for population health with other partners such as the hospital-based research institutes, NGOs, government agencies and local communities, and will continue to build on the unique history of population health and extend its academic boundaries, impact and recognition.Our Vision
Since 2000, we have become an internationally recognized inter-disciplinary Institute that, through its research, its training and its partnerships, has lead the creation of knowledge and understanding of population health, its equitable distribution, and has raised local, national and global capacity to improve the health of individuals, communities and societies.
- Scientific excellence and research relevance
- Student-oriented teaching and high-quality training, particularly through close links between research and training
- Individual and organizational investment in trans-disciplinarity
- Respect for academic and cultural diversity
- Promotion and support of bilingualism
- Collaboration and shared decision-making, transparency and equity
- Commitment to the unique opportunities arising from our location in the nation’s capital
- Research: To produce outstanding trans-disciplinary research of significant interest to science, policy makers, service professionals, the public including health care users, and other researchers who seek to understand and improve the population’s health and reduce inequities in its distribution. The Institute’s presence brings research involving various disciplines to a new level of integration and impact.
- Education and Training: To provide graduate education and training unique in Canada because of its contemporary orientation to population health and commitment to bilingual education. Our Ph.D. graduates excel in mixed methods and are instantly recognizable by their intelligent application of population health perspectives to complex health issues and their facility with inter-disciplinary approaches to these.
- Partnerships: To create and sustain partnerships within and outside the University to ensure that our activities meet the highest academic standards while remaining relevant and applicable. In particular, the Institute pioneers innovative partnerships with services, decision-makers and key organizations to ensure that policy, programs and services benefit from sound science; maintain dialogue and assure that our research agenda is highly relevant and applicable outside academia.
The Institute of Population Health is working to create an international centre of excellence in inter-disciplinary projects and programs, particularly but not exclusively based on three major themes:
- health inequities and inequalities within and between populations
- vulnerability, risk and resilience
- interventions and their impact
Each theme is distinct but all are inter-related:
HEALTH INEQUITIES AND INEQUALITIES WITHIN AND BETWEEN POPULATIONS, measures and emphasizes the differential distribution of health opportunities and potential for mitigation of A) social organization and other up-stream macro-factors, including those not immediately apparent as health-related, such as education, welfare, income distribution and environment policies; and B) downstream determinants such as health knowledge and behaviours. While inequity will be visible in all themes, it is particularly germane to this first theme.
VULNERABILITY, RISK AND RESILIENCE, addresses how this differential distribution mediates or is itself mediated by increased risk or vulnerability (whether genetic, psychological, environmental, or economic) amongst individuals and population groups, recognizing their inequitable distribution and designing innovative research and policies to enable their redress. Resilience is the counterpart to vulnerability.
INTERVENTIONS AND THEIR IMPACT, examines the new frontier of intervention sciences in population health to evaluate strategies to mitigate risk or enhance resilience or to influence social organization (norms, structures, laws, policies) in response to the insights created by the other two themes.
Through their implementation, each of these three themes will elicit different contributions from across the University and bring together different disciplines to create unique ‘intellectual capital’ at the Institute.