MPH and MHSc Alumni

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Student Names: Ambili Kariaparambil Rajan and Andrea Fortin

Graduated Program: Masters of Health Sciences with Specialization in Epidemiology

Andrea Fortin and Ambili Kariaparambil Rajan presented their poster presentations at the 2018 APHEO (Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario) Conference & Workshop which was held November 25-27 at Crown Plaza, Niagara Falls. Both completed their theses on cancer patients and multimorbidity in Ontario. Andrea explored the effect of socio-demographic and health system factors on the association between multimorbidity and colorectal cancer survival. Her supervisors were Dr. Anna Kone Pefoyo and Dr. Lindsay Galway. Ambili examined (a) whether the effect of comorbidities on survival in cancer patients is modified by the presence of depression and (b) among cancer patients with depression whether the effect is modified by minimally adequate pharmacotherapy for depression. Her supervisors were Dr. Anna Kone Pefoyo and Dr. Deborah Scharf.


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Student Name: Kaitlyn Irving

Graduated Program: Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology

"I specifically chose Lakehead because they were the only university giving me the time of day as an applicant by answering all of my questions. I knew you guys would treat me like a person, instead of a cash opportunity. Sure enough, you’re not only treating me as a person but as an immediate family member who you love and support. It’s great! I would (and do) highly recommend Lakehead to people considering grad school. This is exactly how an academic institution should be."



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Student Name: Jessica Lowey

Graduated Program: Master of Health Sciences with Specialization in Epidemiology

Thesis: Age and Sex Influences on Health Care Utilization through the Ontario Telemedicine Network

Why Lakehead Health Sciences?:
"I chose to further my education at Lakehead University as I am interested in directing my education and career paths towards northern health, particularly improving access to specialized health care for those residing in northern, rural communities. The experiences and opportunities I have gained thus far in the MHSc Program have been overwhelmingly positive. I initially entered the program unsure of how I wanted to focus my research. The insight and guidance provided by students and faculty within the department helped focus my interests and ideas, leading to the development of my thesis research exploring virtual health care utilization among Ontario residents.



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Student Name: Lori McDonald

Graduated Program: Master of Public Health with Specialization in Nursing

"I am a recent graduate from Lakehead’s Master of Public Health - Nursing Specialization program. As I look back upon the two years I have dedicated to the advancement of my education, and of the sacrifices my family and I have made to achieve this goal, I am quite certain it was the right decision.

As a Registered Nurse, I already had a solid understanding of the necessary skills and personal attributes that contribute to the enhancement of health for the patients I was charged to care for. Lakehead’s MPH program however has broadened my understanding of what constitutes health for individuals, communities and populations. This program has challenged me to look deeper into the underlying causes of health and illness, to evaluate fundamental structures in our environment and personal lives that may influence physical and mental wellness, and to challenge the policies of our governments so that they may reflect the needs of its citizens.

Since the commencement of my final practicum in July of this year, I have begun a new job as a Clinical Nurse Researcher, a job I would have never been qualified for if I had not completed a Masters program. I now spend my time in my new career helping to implement new policies and innovative technologies to help enhance the quality of life for aging Canadians. Going back to school can be a difficult decision, even more challenging after working as a professional for many years. For me it was the best decision. My experience at Lakehead was challenging and rewarding, it was a decision I am certain I will never regret.

Good luck to all of you who are completing you graduate degree, congratulations to all of you who have recently graduated!!!"



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Student Name: Kassandra Fernandes

Graduated Program: Master of Public Health (Thesis)

Thesis: Exploring Older Adult Male Participation in a Free, Biweekly, Group-based, Indoor Walking Initiative

"Lakehead University has provided me with a great opportunity to apply key tenets of public health and health promotion in an aging context. Having small class sizes allowed you to get to know and build strong connections with your professors and instructors. I learned a lot about the research process and was able to conduct innovative research in an area I was passionate about, with excellent support from experts in the field. The 400-hour practicum requirement was fantastic. I worked on dementia-related projects for the nationally and internationally renowned Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health, where I was able to work with the community as well as academic experts to put evidence into action. Upon completion of my placement, I was employed by CERAH where I am currently involved in the planning and delivery of palliative care education series across Ontario. Graduate studies at Lakehead allowed me to gain valuable academic, research, and real-world knowledge and experience. "


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Student Name: Jackie Allan

Graduated Program: Master of Public Health

Practicum Location: Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre

Where I am at today: Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre, Decision Support Consultant

"The Masters in Public Health program offered by Lakehead University was an excellent opportunity to further my education in the healthcare field while working full time as a chartered accountant.

My practicum focused on further analyzing access to healthcare in remote First Nations communities for Indigenous patients by providing relevant research through collaboration with internal and external system partners.  This experience has provided me with valuable insight into furthering a professional career in health policy and management. I am now confident and aware of the endless possibilities a career in public health has for me.



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Student Name: Jennifer Churchill

Graduated Program: Master of Public Health

"I have had a great experience with the MPH program at Lakehead University. It has allowed me the flexibility of studying from home and while travelling. I appreciate how the professors and instructors truly care about their work and student progress. My most memorable experience of the program was engaging with peers and faculty through online communications and presentations. I am currently completing my practicum placement at the Canadian Public Health Association. Through this experience, I am able to apply all the knowledge and skills from the program in a non-governmental organization which is the national voice and trusted advocate for public health."



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Student Name: Nancy Gupta

Graduated Program: Masters in Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology

"The public health program at Lakehead University with a comprehensive course curriculum provided me an extensive knowledge and skills to apply in the field to improve the health and well-being of communities. Working as a Graduate Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Helle Moeller provided me an in depth knowledge and experience in conducting a research project from start to end, which is helping me a lot working as a Research Analyst. I had an awesome experience working in groups and learning from classmates with different backgrounds.

 I was fortunate enough to secure a practicum position at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) where I worked on a provincial report regarding the “Gaps in the Use of Health Care Services by Adults with Developmental Disabilities’. I also got the opportunity to work with their internal database to review Autism Charts. Upon completion of my practicum I was offered a position as a Research Analyst at CAMH.

I hope that I will continue to work in this field, apply the knowledge and skills I have learnt to make a sustainable impact on the health and well-being of communities."