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Canadian Public Health Association


Three degrees of social influence: the catchy idea of social contagion in public health 

November 6, 2017

Social contagion is catching on, with no vaccine in sight! But don’t panic: exposure to this concept may be beneficial for public health. For one thing, viewing certain harmful social phenomena with public health impacts – such as gun violence, teen suicide, drug use, or obesity – as having epidemic-like features may help fight these otherwise difficult-to-treat problems. Many public health campaigns aim to embed new and positive social norms in a population – such as covering a sneeze with your elbow instead of your…

Physician-assisted death

July 26, 2017

 “If you don’t have liberty and self-determination, you’ve got nothing… and this is the ultimate self-determination, when you determine how and when you’re going to die when you’re suffering (People v. Kevorkian, 2001).” Nearly 15 years after Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s infamously spoken words, physician-assisted dying remains a controversial issue in Canadian society. In 2013, polls demonstrated that 32% of Canadians were either ‘somewhat opposed’ or ‘strongly opposed’ to physician-assisted death (PAD), and only 29% ‘strongly supported’ PAD (Environics Research Group, 2013). However, in…

Radon: A silent threat

April 11, 2017

Canada’s public health community is committed to upstream health promotion and disease prevention. This includes a responsibility to raise awareness on ‘silent’ factors in the physical environment which threaten the health of Canadians. Radon is one of these silent threats.


Interested in research? Tips for success from a fellow student

December 21, 2016

Students are becoming increasingly interested in participating in research. Many already possess the skills required to make meaningful contributions to their field. Learning how to access scientific literature, online training modules, free apps, student grants, and mentorship opportunities, are just some ways students can enrich their skills in research and succeed in the projects they hope to complete.

A humble approach to community-based interventions

October 19, 2016

I recently received a very important piece of advice for moving forward in the field of public health. During a classroom discussion focused on how we, as public health professionals, could help a community deal with a public health issue, my professor asked us “What is the first question you need to ask?” One of my colleagues offered the answer: “How can I help you?”

Canada as a public health powerhouse

August 3, 2016

Canada has developed a reputation as a powerhouse in shaping public health practice and policy. Since the publication of the landmark Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986, we have continued to pioneer work on the social determinants of health and health equity. Public Health 2016, CPHA’s national conference, reinforced this position by catalyzing powerful conversations around timely social issues of racism, violence prevention, and systems thinking.

Student Ambassadors

April 8, 2016

CPHA wishes to acknowledge and thank the Student Ambassadors who volunteer their time to increase the profile of the Association in universities across the country.

Island Health: An opportunity to study civic leaders' perceptions of their impact on community health

January 26, 2016

I recently completed a University of Victoria, Master of Public Health (MPH) practicum with Island Health. My practicum supervisor, Dr. Paul Hasselback, a local Medical Health Officer, and my academic supervisors Dr. Catherine Worthington and Dr. Michael Hayes collaborated to provide me a challenging and valuable learning experience.

Greetings from the new CPHA Student Director

January 26, 2016

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Manasi Parikh, I’m currently a second-year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program with a specialization in Global Health at McMaster University in Hamilton and I am the new CPHA Student Director.


Voting as a health promotion intervention

October 15, 2015

As the federal election approaches, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this year we are witnessing a tight three-way race. This means that the outcome could be decided by a relatively small number of ballots. Therefore, I would like to offer some thoughts to other students and emerging professionals within the field of public health: it is critical that young Canadians vote this year. During the last federal election, Canadians aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 years had the lowest and second-lowest voter turnout, respectively. Further, young Canadians who were completing (or who had completed) post-secondary degrees were less likely to have voted than older Canadians with similar levels of education. I could not find data describing the turnout for students in the health professions, but if you are not yet convinced that you should cast a ballot this year, I would encourage you to think of voting as a health promotion intervention.