SPPH Director Dr. Aslam Anis is pleased to announce three new Associate Director appointments, effective Spring 2021. Dr. Mieke Koehoorn has been appointed as Associate Director, Research; Hugh Davies as Associate Director, Education; and Craig Mitton, Associate Director, Partnerships and Community Engagement.
Dr. Anis says, “with such heightened public awareness around the vital importance of population and public health, these three Associate Director roles are crucial to ensure we continue to lead with exemplary education programming and research expertise. Drs. Davies, Koehoorn and Mitton bring a unique combination of skills and strengths to their new roles and I look forward to working closely with them as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”
Dr. Mieke Koehoorn, Associate Director, Research
As Associate Director, Research, Dr. Koehoorn will provide leadership to support, develop and expand the School’s capacity and excellence in population and public health research. This will include advancing innovative approaches to support faculty research initiatives and enhancing the School’s ability to attract research funding.
One of Dr. Koehoorn’s primary goals will be to maximize collaborations and partnerships, focusing on interdisciplinary research clusters within SPPH, across UBC and in cooperation with community partners. She is hoping to foster effective and meaningful engagement from participants on all levels. Dr. Koehoorn points to the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of how this can effectively help solve complex health challenges.
Dr. Mieke Koehoorn
Dr. Koehoorn added, “I’m keen to capitalize on large strategic funding opportunities for the renewal of the School’s long-standing strengths and to evolve areas of innovation in population and public health. I think it’s also important we document the impacts of our research.”
With a PhD in epidemiology and a focus on current and emerging issues in occupational health, Dr. Koehoorn’s career has included numerous research projects investigating sex and gender and work injury, workers’ compensation policies and programs, and occupational diseases. In 2013, she was named the CIHR Chair in Gender, Work, and Health, and awarded the Alf Nachemson Memorial Lectureship as an individual who has made a significant contribution to the role of evidence in policy-making in the work and health field. Dr. Koehoorn was also a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar and Senior Scholar. She is co-director of the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety — a partnership model between WorkSafeBC and UBC – which has proven to be a model for collaboration between researchers and policy partners.
“I want to help support everyone to thrive in their research career and in our research environments so we can continue to generate impactful evidence to improve population health,” said Dr. Koehoorn.
Dr. Hugh Davies, Associate Director, Education
As Associate Director, Education, Dr. Davies will provide leadership to support the School’s educational mission and further enhance the exceptional university experience for students. This will include ensuring provision of relevant and timely training in graduate, residency, undergraduate, and continuing education programming.
Dr. Hugh Davies
Dr. Davies, an Associate Professor at the school, currently serves as the Chair of the MSc/PhD Admissions Committee, and was recently awarded a prestigious Killam Teaching Award. His research investigates human exposure to hazardous chemicals and physical agents in the workplace and community. He is also a Principal Investigator of the Canadian Workplace Exposure Database Project, a repository of half a million occupational exposure measurements from around Canada.
In his new role as Associate Director, Education, Dr. Davies will be prioritizing the creation of opportunities to expand and improve program offerings, including new delivery models and targeted training programming. Another goal identified through the SPPH strategic planning process is the development and implementation of strategies to ensure equitable, diverse and inclusive access to all programs.
Dr. Davies explains, “I see my role as guiding and enabling continual improvement through adoption of innovative programming and technology, coordinating ongoing resources and training for faculty and staff, and strengthening stakeholder and student engagement to ensure SPPH educational offerings meet the evolving needs of students and society.”
Dr. Craig Mitton, Associate Director, Partnerships and Community Engagement
In his new role as Associate Director, Partnerships and Community Engagement, Dr. Mitton will provide leadership to support, develop and expand partnerships and engagement with stakeholders. He will also collaborate with the other SPPH Associate Directors, Division Heads, Program Directors and Centre Directors in matters of common interest in relation to partnerships and community engagement.
“Advancing partnerships both internal and external to UBC is fundamental to advancing SPPH,” Dr. Mitton explains. “Like many faculty within SPPH, this is an area that I’ve spent many years on, developing partnerships with health authorities, Ministries and other key stakeholders in the health system. The next step is moving from strong individual relationships to outstanding institutional relationships.”
Dr. Craig Mitton
Dr. Mitton holds an MSc and PhD in health services research from the University of Calgary and a BSc in Biopsychology from UBC. His research is focused on the application of health economics to impact health policy and to inform clinical practice, providing him a strong basis from which to liaise with policymakers, partners, and other stakeholders.
“At SPPH we want to be in alignment with the broader health system goals and also be in a position to innovate and lead in both research and teaching,” Dr. Mitton adds. “If a given Ministry has a particular challenge, we’d like SPPH to be the first research group they call for answers. We’d also like to be more present within the Faculty of Medicine, UBC Health and other units across campus in fostering innovative collaborations.”
Please join us in welcoming Drs. Koehoorn, Davies, and Mitton to their new roles.