To be the leading model for public health and health systems learning, research and service, with impact at local and global levels.
Public health and health systems scholarship built on engagement, excellence and impact.
In order to fulfill this mission and vision it will be important for the DLSPH to continue to invest thoughtfully in collaborative models that integrate decision-makers and institutions in government, civil society, the public and private sector, and community-based organizations, with the potential for population health and health systems impact.
Independence, Integrity and Rigour: in striving for and adhering to the highest standards of scholarship, scientific evidence, critical thinking, innovation, professionalism and leadership in the creation and dissemination of knowledge
Engagement and Collaboration: in identifying, evaluating and addressing public health, health systems and bioethics issues, questions and solutions-based partnerships
Equity and Social Responsibility: by promoting the inherent dignity and right to health and healthcare and social justice of every human being
Ethical and Responsive: in our conduct and in the manner in which we engage with our communities, respectful of diverse perspectives, values and cultural framings
Accountability: to our working community of scholars, learners and staff, our partners across multiple sectors of society, and the communities in which we work
Sustainability: by working in mindful ways to ensure the long-term sustainability of our school’s environmental services, the health-enhancing environmental resources of our host societies locally and beyond, and the biotic diversity of our planet
Healthy Work: by supporting and promoting healthy workplace initiatives, best practices in occupational and environmental health and safety, and work-life balance
Within Reach of Everyone: The Birth, Maturity and Renewal of Public health at U of T
The School dates back to the 1920s when the School of Hygiene was created at the University of Toronto with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, which also supported similar institutions at Hygiene at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. The School — including its Connaught Laboratories — became a world leader in sanitation science, nutrition and vaccine development by the mid-1930s.
By the 1970s, Connaught Laboratories was privatized, communicable diseases seemed vanquished by antibiotics and U of T turned the School into a community health department in the Faculty of Medicine. This shift served as a launching pad for the development of specialized graduate programs to train public health professionals and researchers for practice across Canada and beyond.
Several public health crises, including the SARS epidemic of 2003, spurred a resurgent interest in public health in Canada. The School was reborn in 2008 and renamed following Paul and Alessandra Dalla Lana’s $20-million gift in 2009, the largest ever given to public health education in Canada.
The School continues to leverage its longstanding collaborative partnerships with institutions in Canada’s largest health science research complex, and central location in Toronto.
The Dalla Lana School of Public Health embarked on an accelerated trajectory of institutional growth after the July 2012 arrival of Dr. Howard Hu, a physician-scientist who held leadership roles at Harvard and the University of Michigan.
In mid-2013, the School became U of T’s first new Faculty in 15 years, with a vision and mission distinct from the Faculty of Medicine. At the same time, the School launched several strategic research and training initiatives capitalizing on key strengths.
On July 1, 2017, Professor Adalsteinn Brown, Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy, became Interim Dean of the School. On June 18, 2018 he was appointed Dean of DLSPH for a five-year term from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2023.
By the Numbers
98 CORE FACULTY
789Community & partner-based FACULTY
741 MASTER’S PROGRAM STUDENTS
304 PHD PROGRAM STUDENTS
22 RESIDENTS AND POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWS
$35.9 MILLION IN ANNUAL RESEARCH FUNDING