Populations

By approaching health through a systems lens that integrates social, biological and behavioural considerations, our Populations division works to address some of society’s most pressing public health challenges. The specializations organized under this division include Population and Public Health and Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

Specializations

The following specialization streams are organized under this division:


Population and Public Health

Population and Public Health aims to understand how social, biological and behavioural factors impact the health of populations.
Students in this specialization explore how these complex factors interact, with a focus on the social determinants of health and health inequities. The education students receive is complemented by innovative research that addresses important health challenges, with the goal of generating knowledge that can improve how health systems impact our communities.

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Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (CRDS)

CRDS looks at public health through a social justice framework, exploring how
communities are impacted by disability, chronic illness and other factors affecting quality of life and inclusion. Through an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on capacity building, leadership development and innovation—all aimed at improving the well-being of those with diverse abilities—students in this area help promote social change and health equity in communities at home and abroad.

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We impact community health by:

  • Enhancing and promoting social accountability in health care;
  • Training the next generation of leaders in academia, policy and practice, and preparing them to apply their knowledge to address complex health problems;
  • Leveraging our partnerships with community leaders, practitioners and policy makers to address important health issues;
  • Facilitating and promoting the research and work of our award-winning and internationally recognized faculty;
  • Investigating solutions to pressing community health challenges;
  • Prioritizing research to address the social determinants of health and health inequities.

Information for students

Our Division offers programs of study enriched with research opportunities that address community-identified health priorities. Students can expect to develop skills across a range of competencies, including:

Professional competencies:

  • Strong knowledge of foundational concepts in population and public health (as defined by the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health)
  • Oral presentation skills to support the communication of research findings to a variety of audiences
  • Training in writing research reports and manuscripts
  • Development of skills related to teaching and mentorship
  • Knowledge of ethical conduct of research
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary and collaborative research environment
  • Partnership development
  • Study management skills

Methodological competencies:

  • Training in defining and refining research questions
  • Critical appraisal skills to evaluate the quality of research studies
  • Training in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including data collection techniques and data analysis strategies
  • Skills in biostatistical and epidemiological methods
  • Knowledge of study design

Social competencies:

  • An understanding of the contribution of social sciences regarding studying the health of populations
  • Knowledge of the structure, operation and scope of health systems in Canada
  • A reflexive approach that considers how health systems and health policies both contribute to, and help mitigate health and social inequities
  • An understanding of the cultural and social factors in communities, organizations and policy arenas that influence the social distribution of health

We also provide students with a world-class research environment that provides hands-on, interdisciplinary research opportunities with faculty members and community partners.

There is a vast range of career opportunities available to graduates of the Populations Division, including work in academia, government, nonprofit and public health practice. To learn more about career paths, visit our career resources page.

Division leadership

Katrina

Katrina Milaney

Assistant Professor
403.220.5669
katrina.milaney@ucalgary.ca
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Dana Olstad

Dana Olstad

Assistant Professor
403.210.8673
dana.olstad@ucalgary.ca
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