- Political ecologies of health and wellbeing; infrastructure, climate and health; urban and community agriculture
- Healthy cities, place-based policymaking, municipal governance
- Applied public policy, health in all policies / healthy public policy, community governance and partnership, government relations
- Comprehensive primary health care, social prescribing, health promotion, community development, community health and wellbeing
- Health equity; Indigenous, Francophone, LGBTQ2S+, Black health
- Discourses of health, environment, development and wellbeing
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)
- Tamarack Institute, Asset-Based Community Development for Healthy Neighbourhoods (2018)
- 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)
Director, Policy & Communications, Alliance for Healthier Communities (formerly 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, Alliance for Healthier Communities (formerly 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 Alliance for Healthier Communities, I lead a team of high performing research, 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. See publications below for a recent paper on our comprehensive Model of Health and Wellbeing.
My current grant-powered work includes implementation research on Social Prescribing Pilot in 10 Community Health Centres, working with UK experts to strengthening links between primary care clinicians and community; and collaboration on a DLSPH training grant to build capacity of Public Health Unit staff and other health service providers to meet the Ontario Public Health Standards, with a particular emphasis on health equity and health promotion. These projects are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Health and Wellbeing Grant Programme.
I’m interested in healthy cities and have recently collaborated or advised with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada, Sidewalk Toronto‘s Community Services Advisory Group, The Nature Conservancy, Altogether Better and the Social Prescribing Network.
Prior to working with the Alliance, 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.
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. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-02-2018-0014
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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2017.12.002
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.