I am a family physician by training, with an MSc in epipdemiology and biostatistics and a DrPH in health behaviour and public health leadership; I received board certification in the U.S. in preventive medicine.
I was first launched on a career trajectory focused on community health in low-income settings as a volunteer in India, in the early 1980s. Over the interval since then, I spent a period of six years involved in such work with First Nations and Inuit communities in Quebec. But most of my work has focused on South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past 25 years, I have been working in global health, focusing especially on maternal-child health, nutrition and primary health care. This has included extended periods living in Zambia and Nepal (where I've had a continuing engagement since 2003). I have worked at local, national and global levels, including a period of 8 years based in Washington, DC. I have been practice-based but with a consistent substantive involvement in applied research.
I believe that effective public health practice requires being grounded in the complex, real-world settings where our efforts are meant to achieve impact. Such practice requires critical thinking and genuine commitment. Too often, our practice lacks rigor and our research lacks real-world relevance. Sounder work and more rapid progress on improving population health require putting the two together. That’s the passion of my professional life. One of my continuing activities is serving as Editor-in-chief for the journal Global Health: Science & Practice; this offers an ideal platform for bringing together rigor and relevance.
DrPH (Health Behaviour and Public Health Leadership), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000
MSc (Epidemiology & Biostatistics), McGill University, 1991
MD, McGill University, 1989
community health workers
primary health care
improved service delivery in low income countries
effective scale up
To date, in my research activities there have consistently been tight evidence-practice linkages. In almost all such work I’ve been involved with, the research was done directly in response to a need identified on the program side. More recent efforts have focused on broader synthesis across multiple related program efforts. This has included:
Link for publications indexed in medline
My teaching draws heavily on my background of 30+ years of public health practice, which has always included a strong emphasis on critical inquiry and learning / adaptation.
I seek substantial convergence between the focus of my teaching and my research involvement with—on both sides—an emphasis on: real-world grounding, bringing rigorous inquiry to high priority program challenges; and, thinking critically and creatively about public health practice and implementation. I bring my personal experience in global health program work to my interactions with students, helping them better understand the role they can play.
I am particularly interested in taking on mid-career graduate supervisees who expect to continue working in their agency settings for their dissertation/ thesis.
Currently accepting MSc and PhD students. Note that I do not currently have research grants allowing full support for those seeking dissertation/ thesis opportunities.
This course will help students acquire and build conceptual tools and approaches to equip them for effective global health practice in low-income countries. It will draw on case material from diverse program experience, particularly in maternal-child heath. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both PHS 542 and SPH 542.Winter Term 2022