Welcome back, Dalla Lana School of Public Health Community

September 1/2014

It is with great joy that I see the Dalla Lana School of Public Health community spring back to life this fall.  One of the things that I enjoy most about kicking off the new school year is giving the Introduction to Public Health: Past, Present and Future lecture to new students. I’m reminded what it felt like to be a young public health scholar eager to make a difference in the health of populations locally and across the globe.

What’s my advice for incoming students? Study hard and take full advantage of your peers’ diverse life experience, academic backgrounds and health perspectives.  There is so much you can learn not only from your professors, but also from each other and I truly believe that the strength of public health lies in the richness of disciplines — from biology to sociology — and the collaboration that takes place at the intersection of these fields.

The first question I asked students in the Introduction to Public Health course was if they had parents who were born in a country other than Canada. I wasn’t surprised to see more than half of hands in the auditorium go up, which I find inspiring. We live in a truly globalalized society and the next generation of public health professionals, health policy-makers and health system leaders at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health reflects that and will have a significant impact on the health of people across the world.

Global health is a major priority for the School and we will be hosting a Global Health Summit, Creating a Pandemic of Health,from November 3 to 5 at the MaRS Discover District. This will be a point of convergence for international thought leaders whose collective star power will bring evidence to bear on the most critical issue facing this generation: how do we transform the health paradigm so it’s not just about fighting disease. The School is taking a leadership role by mentoring and inspiring a young generation of public health leaders to advance the idea of creating of health rather than simply the traditional focus on fighting disease.

Dalla Lana School of Public Health students, including both public health and health policy students at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, will have an opportunity to participate in the Summit by attending the event, watching the webcast or submitting a poster presentation.  For more information about the Global Health Summit, visit the website.

I wish everyone in the School a healthy and prosperous year, and look forward cultivating this generation of public health scholars.


Howard Hu