Robert McDermit (he/him) grew up with his parents, Julie and Dale, and his brother, John, as a settler on the Coast Salish territory of the Quw’utsun Mustimuhw in Quw’utsun.
He followed his love of community and passion for sustainable and preventative approaches to health equity through kinesiology (University of Victoria) and medicine (University of British Columbia) into public health. As a resident physician, he is now training to specialize in Public Health and Preventative Medicine and completing a Masters of Public Health at the University of British Columbia.
Partnering with communities in sustainable community health development, rural preventative health promotion, and inner-city healthcare accessibility, Robert has learned and worked with organizations including Global Brigades Canada, Action for Children And The Aged Fiji, the Community Outreach telehealth program for COVID education and Health promotion (COACH), and the Victoria Inner-City COVID response.
Robert’s research has shifted from decision-making in cognitive fatigue and diabetes prevention to the structural barriers and enablers of preventative health, harm reduction, and allyship.
His public health interests include community partnerships in healthy public policy advocacy, harm reduction, decolonizing community mental health support, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health. Robert is a member of the Youth Suicide and Self Harm Prevention working group, involved in climate response coordination, and working to co-create the BC Collaboration Center with particular interest in participatory consultation pathways and anchor institution coordination in approaches that co-benefit equity, climate, and health.
Outside of medicine, Robert’s own pursuit of personal wellness includes connecting with family and friends, exploring the outdoors through rock and alpine climbing, learning new boardgames and creative outlets, training in martial arts as a retired sensei well past his prime, and watching objectively too much Lord of the Rings.