Susan Chatwood, BScN, MSc, PhD

Professor, School of Public Health
Associate Dean Education, School of Public Health

Pronouns: She, her, hers


Professor, School of Public Health
4-391 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9

Associate Dean Education, School of Public Health
4-391 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9


Area of Study / Keywords

Health systems research community-based research mixed methods research.


I have spent most of my career in remote and northern communities, working in the clinical setting, public health and research. My work aims to build capacity for research in the Arctic and promote partnerships and methodologies that respect multiple ways of knowing. I also focus on health systems research frameworks that address inequities and include related systems that drive the determinants of health in the Arctic. These determinants include climate change, Indigenous values and geographical challenges. I was awarded the McCalla Professorship to support innovation in curriculum development and teaching. I am fortunate to work with Elders and Indigenous Adjunct Professors as we develop and implement the Indigenous curriculum in the SPH.

I am a council member of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), I sit on the UAlberta General Faculties Council, and co-chair the Mamaweh a towskiwin Indigenous Working Group. I am an executive member and commissioner for the Lancet Commission on the Arctic: Urgently Accelerating Indigenous Health and Wellbeing. My contributions to northern research were recognized through the Governor General's Polar Medal Award.


PhD, University of Toronto, 2016

MSc, McGill University, 1996

BScN, University of British Columbia,1989


circumpolar health

health systems 

health systems stewardship

determinants of health in the Arctic


My research interests include circumpolar health systems governance, policy, performance, and the synthesis of knowledge that promote broader connotations of systems for health and wellness in the Arctic. I am pleased to work with community partners, researchers, and governments on research projects that advance our understanding of the community factors and policies that impact health and wellness. I enjoy working in collaborative research partnerships that promote interdisciplinary work. My term as a Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar provided opportunities to advance the understanding of mixed research methods with Indigenous knowledge holders and decision-makers.

Community-funded projects include:

Tłı̨chǫ Government, Addictions and community wellness in the Tłı̨chǫ region. Development of an evidence-based strategy for community wellness

First Nation Inuit Health Branch. First Nations Baseline Health Status Assessment Program. Smith’s Landing First Nation: Baseline Health Condition Reporting Program 

Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Catalyst Grant. Establishing a platform to monitor the performance of public health systems across Canada

Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Project Grant, Health System Learning from Knowledges and Evidence held within Indigenous Communities: A Multiple Case Study and Two-Eyed Seeing Review. 

Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Community Engagement, Mentorship, and Training in Northern Health Research. Northwest Territories Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research 

National Science Foundation. CoPe RCN: Arctic Migration in Harmony: An Interdisciplinary Network on Littoral Species, Settlements, and Cultures on the Move. 

The University of Alberta, Office of Provost, Professional Development Fund. For the Good of the Public’s Health: Reaching Beyond Institutional Walls through Community and Northern Engagement in Public Health Education and Research. 

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Together in a Good Way: Fostering Reconciliation through Institutional Excellence. 


I supervise and advise students in the School of Public Health MPH, MSc, and PhD programs, and the Masters of Arts in Community Engagement. Primary areas include students working with northern and Indigenous communities. 


SPH 530 - This is Public Health

This course is an introduction to: how the field of public health has evolved, views of health and wellness, determinants of health, social justice and health inequities, systems thinking, core public health functions, community-based strategies and interventions to improve public health, intercultural competence, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the role of evidence in public health planning and evaluation. The course uses a problem-based learning (PBL) approach to respond to a specific public health crisis in real time. PBL is based on the complex problems encountered in the real world as a stimulus for learning and for integrating and organizing learned information and concepts in public health in ways that will ensure recall and application to future public health problems. The course also introduces Canadian experiences related to Indigenous history, treaties, and Indigenous values and creates an environment where students can reflect on their position as individual public health practitioners and their collective role in advancing reconciliation in public health. SPH 530 is the required first course for the degree of Master of Public Health in General Public Health.

SPH 609 - Individual Directed Reading and Research in Public Health

Browse more courses taught by Susan Chatwood

Scholarly Activities

Research - Circumpolar Health Systems Innovation Team

2014 to 2019

Research - Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research

Started: 2018

Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Planning Grant

Research - Performance measurement in a circumpolar context: Developing indicators of health system responsiveness for maternity care

Started: 2016

Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Patient Engagement: Collaboration Grants

Research - Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, Operations and Management

2015 to 2020

Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Featured Publications

Elman A, Etter M, Fairman K, Chatwood S

Int J Circumpolar Health. 2019 January; 1

Chatwood S

Healthcare Papers. 2018 January; 17 (3)

Chatwood S

Healthcare Papers. 2018 January; 17 (3)

Chatwood S, Paulette F, Baker R, Eriksen A, Hansen K, Eriksen H, Hiratsuka V, Lavoie J, Lou W, Mauro I, Orbinski J, Pabrum N, Retallack H and Brown AD

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 January; 14 (12)