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Canadian Public Health Association

Public Health 2015: Connections, commendations and climate change

Annie Duchesne

Annie Duchesne

Climate change is no doubt the most important issue we as students and young professionals will tackle in our lifetime. It will affect the way we practice public health and the way we conduct our day-to-day lives. The Public Health 2015 conference heavily emphasized the environmental determinants of health, both with the release of a new discussion paper on the Ecological Determinants of Health and with the first plenary session, entitled Public health in the Anthropocene: Responding to the ecological determinants of health. The conversation at the conference included a discussion of health challenges in the face of climate change and resource depletion, adopting an ecosocial approach to health, and integrating the environmental determinants with the social determinants. We look forward to continuing this conversation into the future.

Public Health 2015 had a strong student presence. Overall, there were nearly 50 student oral abstract presentations as well as a dozen student posters on a variety of topics, including vaccination, Indigenous health, occupational health, social determinants, physical activity, harm reduction practices, and health systems. Thank you to all the students who shared their expertise.

Beyond the interesting presentations, there were also opportunities to be sociable and make new contacts, including the Student Mix N’ Mingle, which had a great turnout. This conference event allowed students from all across the country to socialize with each other and meet mentors. Many thanks to Jessie-Lee McIsaac, the student representative on the conference steering committee, for helping to make the student-oriented activities a success.

Finally, we took some time to celebrate the exceptional work and dedication to public health with the CPHA 2015 Honorary Awards program. Congratulations to all the student winners:

  • Lindsay P. Galway (Simon Fraser University) – Dr. John Hastings Student Award
  • Catherine Dickson (University of Ottawa) and Heather Palis (University of British Columbia) – Population and Public Health Student Award (Masters Level)
  • Mustafa Andkhoie (University of Saskatchewan) and Sharon Yanicki (University of Lethbridge) – Population and Public Health Student Award (PhD Level)
  • Faith Eiboff (University of British Columbia), Sarah Mathieu-C (Université de Montréal), The Dalla Lana School of Public Health Ebola Working Group, and Elinor Keshet (University of Toronto) – NCCPH Knowledge Translation Graduate Student Award.

See you all next year at Public Health 2016 in Toronto!

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