Summer School 2019: Draft Agenda Released and Speakers Announced

the 10th annual public health summer school

Simplifying Complexity:

Public Health Approaches and Practice in Complex Systems

July 4th & 5th, 2019

BC Sites: University of BC, University of Victoria, University of BC: Okanagan, University of Northern BC

Draft Agenda & Speakers Released!

Registration is open now! Click here to register



We are excited to release the draft agenda for our two-day summer school, “Simplifying Complexity: Public Health Approaches and Practice in Complex Systems”, coming up on July 4th and 5th, 2019. Main BC sites will be at the University of Victoria in Victoria, University of BC in Vancouver, University of Northern BC in Prince George, and University of BC: Okanagan campus in Kelowna.


We know many of you have been waiting patiently for the agenda release and we hope that it was worth the wait! Our two days will be jam packed full of excellent opportunities to learn about the latest issues and research in public health and population level interventions as well as network with like-minded people across western Canada and have a chance to put theory to practice with workshops tailored to each subtopic.


Speakers for the two-day school include: Dr. Perry Kendall, former provincial health officer and co-executive director at the BC Centre on Substance Use, Val Morrison, scientific advisor for the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy, Dr. Marjorie MacDonald, professor emerita in the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria, Craig Thompson, director of Immunization at the BC Ministry of Health, Dr. Keith Ahamad, medical director of the Regional Addiction Program at Vancouver Coastal Health, Richard Han, provincial manager of Farm to School BC, Dr. Wanda Martin, assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Ian Roe, content strategist at I Boost Immunity and Kids Boost Immunity, Chris Van Veen, director of Strategic Initiatives and Public Health Planning at Vancouver Coastal Health,  Samantha Gambling, Vancouver region animator at Farm to School BC, and Hawkfeather Peterson, secretary at the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs.


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Registration is on now and will remain open until the morning of July 4th, 2019. To register today click here or follow the link below. Remember, all non-PHABC member registrations will receive a complimentary one year membership to the Public Health Association of BC; giving you access to discounts for our annual events, including the fall conference from November 14th to 15th, 2019 at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver, and will connect you with a community of public health professionals dedicated to improving the health of all British Columbians.


Thank You

We would like to thank everyone involved with putting on the 2019 summer school, including our scientific co-chairs, Dr. Marjorie MacDonald and Dr. Wanda Martin, the entire scientific program committee (see below), and our summer school partners; Saskatchewan Public Health AssociationManitoba Public Health AssociationYukon Public Health Community of Practice, and the Public Health Agency of Canada for their tireless commitment and effort in expanding the summer school across western Canada for its milestone tenth year. We would also like to thank the School of Population and Public Health at the University of BC for their dedication to the summer school over the last ten years; without their support we would not be able to offer this continuing education opportunity year after year.


Summer School Co-Chairs

Dr. Marjorie MacDonald

University of Victoria

Marjorie MacDonald is a Professor Emerita in the School of Nursing, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy, and a Scientist in the Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research (CISUR), all at the University of Victoria. She co-directs the Research in Public Health Systems and Services Initiative (BC) (formerly CPHFRI) and is leading an initiative to develop a Public Health Systems and Services Research agenda for Canada. Marjorie held one of 15 inaugural CIHR Applied Public Health Research Chairs from 2008-2014, and was President and Past President of the Public Health Association of BC from 2011 to 2016. Research interests include public health systems renewal, health equity, public health and primary care collaboration, adolescent health promotion and drug use prevention, and public health ethics. Marjorie also is interested in the application of complexity science to research methods in public health.


Wanda Martin

University of Saskatchewan

Wanda Martin, RN, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research focuses on climate change and resilience, particularly in urban agriculture and health equity, from a complex adaptive system perspective. Dr. Martin is the past president of the Saskatchewan Public Health Association and a board member for the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment.


Scientific Program Committee

Thank you to everyone on the scientific program committee for your invaluable contributions to the development of the summer school 2019 curriculum!

Michael Spowart            Regional Director, Western Region, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Shannon Turner              Executive Director, Public Health Association of BC

Dr. Theresa Healy           Capacity Building Committee Co-Chair, Public Health Association of BC

Samantha Salter             A/Territorial Epidemiologist, Health & Social Service, Government of Yukon

Lara Frederick                 North East Preventive Public Health Program Lead, Northern Health

Sarah Prowse                  Healthy Public Policy Specialist, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Jackie Wu                         A/Manager, Public Health Capacity & Knowledge Management, Western Region, PHAC

Sarah Dyer                       Office & Events Coordinator, Public Health Association of BC

Nicole Braun                   Population Health Promotion Practitioner, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency

Maureen Rowan             Capacity Building Committee Co-Chair, Public Health Association of BC

Hannah Moffatt               Population Health Equity Initiatives Leader, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Christina Harding          Summer School Coordinator & Project Coordinator, Public Health Association of BC



Due to unforeseen circumstances we are looking for one more volunteer at our Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George sites. If you live in one of those cities and would like to attend the summer school but the cost of registration is impeding your participation please contact Christina Harding at to see if volunteering is right for you.



We look forward to seeing many of you this July!