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Building a case for investing in public health – and how SPPH can help

Nov 18, 2016 |


CIHR’s Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH) is actively trying to build a business and political case for investing in population and public health.

IPPH scientific director Dr. Steven Hoffman visited the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) on November 18th on a Canada-wide listening tour, where he spoke with faculty, students and staff about CIHR’s grant processes and figures, and listened to feedback about issues of interest and concern to public health, and potential solutions for consideration by CIHR.

Dr. Steven Hoffman

CIHR IPPH scientific director Dr. Steven Hoffman speaking at SPPH

Dr. Hoffman said the Institute was actively working to build a case for investing in public health which would be based on the evidence around cost effectiveness of population health solutions, as well as the advantages of taking a preventative and population-based perspective.

In an op ed written for the Toronto Star, Dr. Hoffman said public health was “chronically underfunded” by society, with 8% of CIHR funding going to this area, something he reiterated during his visit to SPPH.

“It’s so clear that we’re underinvesting in public health.”
CIHR IPPH scientific director Dr. Steven Hoffman

SPPH was one of the leaders of the field in Canada, he said, and would be extremely important in making sure this research was both being done in a way that was providing real solutions to health challenges, and that those solutions were translated into real action.

Population and public health researchers could do well to think bigger, and in an interdisciplinary way, drawing on the full range of qualitative and quantitative data across countries, in ways that allowed them to understand problems and solutions in a way that researchers had not yet been able to do, he said.

“And certainly SPPH at UBC can have a really important role in leading Canada in that direction.”
CIHR IPPH scientific director Dr. Steven Hoffman

Pictured: Dr. Steven Hoffman with SPPH co-director Professor Carolyn Gotay

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