Faculty Member

Kate Mulligan

Email Address(es)
Office Address
500-970 Lawrence Ave W Toronto, ON M6A 3B6
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
Assistant Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member
Appointment Status
Status Only

Research Interests

  • Ecological and environmental approaches to public health; political ecologies of health and wellbeing
  • Infrastructure, climate and health
  • Applied public policy, Health in all policies / healthy public policy
  • Place-based health policymaking, community governance, antioppression and health equity, Indigenous health and well being

Education & Training History

PhD, Geography, McMaster University (2013)

M.A., Adult Education and Community Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the University of Toronto (2003)

B Arts Sc., Arts & Science Programme, McMaster University (2001)

SPOR Support Unit Masterclass on the conduct and use of Patient-Oriented Research (2017)

CIHR Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy, University of Toronto (2013-2014)

CIHR Summer Institute on Space, Place & Health. Canadian Institutes for Health Research Institute for Population and Public Health (2009)

Other Affiliations

Director, Policy & Communications, Association of Ontario Health Centres (2017-present)

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

Instructor, CHL5809H Ecological Public Health

Mentor, Collaborative Program in Public Health Policy

Preceptor, MPH Practicum Placements

Preceptor, NFS 1210 Foundations of Practice III Field Experience, Management of Community Food Systems

Current and recent students: Sarah Elton, PhD SBHS; Anneke Hobson, MPH Nutrition and Dietitics; Kavalpreet Grewal, MPH Lakehead University; Livinus Numfor, MPH University of Guelph; Evita Basilio, PMDip (Dietetics), Ryerson University; Chi-Ling Joanna Sinn, Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

Professional Summary & Appointments

Director, Policy & Communications, Association of Ontario Health Centres (2017-present)

Mentor & Public Health Policy Associate, CIHR Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy, University of Toronto (2013-present)

Health Research Specialist, Healthy Public Policy, Toronto Public Health (2012-2017)

Scientific Reviewer, Toronto Public Health Ethics Review Board (2016-2017)

Research Consultant, United Nations University Institute on Water, Environment & Health (2008-2012)

Field Researcher/Program Evaluator, Water for People, Bolivia, Honduras & El Salvador (2008,2009)

Researcher, Health & Social Policy, Ontario New Democratic Party (2004-2008)

Legislative Intern, Ontario Legislative Internship Programme (2003-2004)

Honours & Awards

Civic Action Diversecity Fellowship (“the civic MBA”)

Agent of Change: Climate Solutions, Centre for Social Innovation and Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change

SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Dr. Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Fellowship

Action Canada Fellowship

IDRC Doctoral Research Award

Toronto Public Service Awards for Leadership and Commitment

THINK Canada – American Association for the Advancement of Science

(full list available upon request)

Current Research Projects

As an executive for the AOHC, the alliance of Ontario’s Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Community Family Health Teams and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, I lead a team of 8 high performing policy, communications and member relations staff to advance health equity in Ontario through comprehensive primary health care. I also spearhead our annual conference on Health Equity: Action and Transformation, featuring community leaders on harm reduction, Indigenous, francophone, immigrant, women, trans and black health, youth, and white privilege.

Prior to working with the AOHC, my research focused primarily on the political ecology of climate change and human health in Toronto. With Toronto Public Health, I led adaptation and mitigation research and action in two main areas: 1) food system safety,  security and sustainability and 2) preventing vector-borne diseases. I worked with researchers, policy makers, residents, students and practitioners to understand and communicate the determinants of health in Toronto. We used this knowledge to help identify and implement policy changes to improve public health in our city.

My work has been funded and/or supported by Toronto Public Health through the Healthy Public Policy Directorate and the Toronto Food Strategy, Health Canada’s Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, the Institute for Global Health Equity and Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change and the Centre for Social Innovation. For an overview of my approach to the political ecology of urban health and building healthy public policy, check out my Public Health Policy Rounds on Designer Healthscapes.

Representative Publications

Local Health

Mulligan K, Archbold J, Baker LE, Elton S, Cole DC 2018. Toronto municipal staff and policy makers’ views on urban agriculture and health: a qualitative study. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (Accepted for publication, 2018-1336).

Rayner, J; Muldoon, L; Bayoumi, I; McMurchy, D; Mulligan, K; Tharao, W 2018. Delivering Primary Health Care as Envisioned – A Model of Health and Wellbeing Guiding Community-Governed Primary Care Organizations. Journal of Integrated Care (Accepted for publication).

Camden, A.; Levy, J.; Vanderlinden, L.; White Barnett, O.; Minaker, L.; Mulligan, K.; Campbell, M. 2018. A Census of Mid- to Large-Sized Supermarkets in Toronto: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Consumer Nutrition Environment. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (in press).

Global Health

Mulligan K, Elliott SJ; and Schuster-Wallace CJ. “Global public health policy transfer and dengue fever in Putrajaya, Malaysia: a critical discourse analysis.” Critical Public Health 22.4 (2012): 407-418. Critical Public Health Editor’s Choice, featured in Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies

Mulligan K., S. J. Elliott, and C. Schuster-Wallace. “The place of health and the health of place: Dengue fever and urban governance in Putrajaya, Malaysia.” Health & Place 18.3 (2012): 613-620. Featured in Most Downloaded Health & Place Articles

Mulligan K, Dixon J, Sinn CL & ElliottSJ  (2015). Is dengue a disease of poverty? A systematic review. Pathogens and global health, 109(1), 10-18.  Featured in #ReadMyResearch Medicine and Health Science

Mulligan, K., Vine, M.M., Schuster-Wallace, C. and Elliott, S.J. 2010. Sanitation as a Key to Global Health: Voices from the Field. Policy Brief. Hamilton, Ontario, UNU-INWEH.