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SPPH could be the “critical department” for transformational change

Oct 26, 2016 |


Faculty of Medicine Dean Dermot Kelleher has said the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) could be the critical department in the Faculty in terms of transformational change in the area of health.

Dean Kelleher spoke to SPPH faculty today (October 26th) about the new Faculty of Medicine Strategic Plan and ways for the School to contribute to the Faculty’s goals for the future, and answered questions from the assembled faculty members.

“Public health is an area that is probably the most impactful area of medical science at a global level and at a local level as well.”

Dean Kelleher said medicine was likely to be very different in five to 10 years, with healthcare and medicine on the cusp of potential major paradigm shifts. “We need innovation, we need innovative solutions, we want to play a key role in this university, and in this province, and in the world, in terms of health care…we’re funded because we produce the agents of change for health.”

Impactful research should be enabled across the entire faculty, with every member given the opportunity to play an academic role within it. Strengths could be coalesced to create something greater than the sum of its parts. SPPH, he said, could be the critical department when it came to the transformational change signaled in the strategic plan. dsc_0008

Dean Kelleher said when looking at population and public health around the world, one saw instruments for health change.

“We need to really strongly believe we can be such huge instruments for change – and we are.”
Dean Dermot Kelleher

Research at UBC had a significant impact, he said, and SPPH needed to communicate this impact to the public, as well as the political and international community.

“It is easy to identify the significant advances that have occurred in the health of the population here as a consequence of work the people in the School have done.”
Dean Dermot Kelleher

Overall, Dean Kelleher said, he would like to see a multi-faceted, agile School, able to embrace disciplines both within and outside the Faculty of Medicine.

To close the meeting, SPPH co-director Professor Carolyn Gotay summed up the dean’s message: “We need to believe we can be the change we want to see.”

Pictured from left: Professor Carolyn Gotay, Dean Dermot Kelleher, Professor Chris Lovato

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