"Over the past three years, I had the opportunity to complete my Masters of Public Health online through Lakehead University while working as a Public Health Nurse at Toronto Public Health in the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program. Lakehead University’s MPH program was truly designed to allow for flexibility, as I was able to balance my work and grow my family while obtaining a graduate-level education.
Throughout the MPH program, I have had engaging discussions with professors and students from different parts of Canada and the world. I completed my practicum placement with eHealth Innovations at University Health Network virtually, where I saw firsthand what goes into the planning phase of conducting a research study and how digital health applications are used to monitor symptoms and provide education and support for those with chronic disease.
I am glad that I pursued my MPH as it has enhanced my knowledge and better informed my practice which will allow me to further pursue my career goals within Public Health.”
- Siham Haddas, Master of Public Health, 2023
"I really enjoyed my time at Lakehead University for the Master of Public Health program. The online option gave me flexibility that allowed me to also work at St. Michael’s Hospital in the Knowledge Translation Department. I entered the MPH program with a passion for knowledge translation and developed the skills to implement it in research and healthcare through this program. I also discovered a passion for health promotion here. The professors are all very supportive and provide an interesting curriculum! I was also happy to be paired with Dr. Lynn Martin for my Graduate Assistantship, who specializes in knowledge translation, and supported my growth in this area. Shortly after graduating, I was offered a position as a Knowledge Broker for the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation, which was very exciting for me. I am also working as a part-time Research Coordinator in the Knowledge Translation Department at St. Michael’s Hospital. Overall I am very glad I enrolled in the MPH program at Lakehead University and am grateful for all the doors it has opened for me.”
- Anitha Ithayalingam, Master of Public Health, 2022
"The Masters of Public Health program at Lakehead University has been an extremely positive experience for me. It encompasses learning independently as well as with fellow classmates, great flexibility to study online, and an invaluable practicum experience. At the end of the program, I completed my practicum with the Digital Transformation Branch at Health Canada. I am incredibly excited to have accepted an offer to continue my employment with them as a Data Analyst.
At Health Canada, I have gained a lot of experience reviewing, transforming, validating, analyzing, and reviewing data quality. This helps to provide insights to mitigate risks and strategies to manage those risks for the many departments. Working as an analyst, you will be required to work on many projects at once, and so time management and setting priorities is very important, which is something I was taught early on in my MPH program.
I am grateful for the online learning aspect at Lakehead University, which allowed me to divide my time between studies and family commitments, while striving to earn a professional degree. The greatest accomplishment (to a student), was knowing that I was able to apply the knowledge and skills I had learned from my MPH coursework and put it into my practicum work. This led to self-confidence in the projects I worked on at Health Canada, and I am excited to progress forward and take on challenging roles.”
- Naveen Ahmed, Master of Public Health, 2022
"The MPH program at Lakehead helped me greatly when preparing for my career in Public Health. The courses at Lakehead taught me foundations that I use in my career to date. After graduating, I landed a role with Public Health Sudbury & Districts assisting with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Since then, I have been promoted to a manager for the COVID-19 program. I appreciate all the support I received from my professors at Lakehead - I could not have gotten to where I am without them!”
- Taylor McCharles, Master of Public Health, 2021
"Completing the Master of Public Health (MPH) practicum at my current place of employment…provided new opportunities to work on a different topic....on a different team...and in a different unit. Overall, I was able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in my MPH coursework...Being able to successfully complete a project addressing such a complex public health issue, that for the most part was new to me, has given me confidence in my abilities. This confidence will be applied to new projects as I continue my nursing career with public health and take on more challenging leadership roles."
- Susan Brown-Charbonneau, Master of Public Health, 2020
“After working for several years in preventive health, I was passionate to learn more about the area of public health. Fortunately, the MPH program at Lakehead University offered exactly what I was looking for and more. The program offered a diverse mix of courses and always encouraged students to share their professional experiences related to the topics discussed. Even though the program was offered virtually, I often had the option to attend in-person as I lived in Thunder Bay. This flexibility not only complimented my busy schedule, but also provided opportunities to become more connected with my classmates, professors and program. I was also fortunate to complete my student practicum with NorWest Community Health Centres and created a project to expand health services to those in need within our community. Since graduating, I have been able to apply my MPH learnings within my current position as Patient Safety Improvement Specialist at TBRHSC. My role requires constant critical thinking and using analytic skills to improve patient safety in an acute care setting.
Enrolling in the MPH Program at Lakehead University has helped to further
my career and expand my knowledge within the public health sector.”
- Katherine Mayer, Master of Public Health, 2020
"I had a great experience with the MPH program at Lakehead University. It allowed me the flexibility of studying from home and while travelling. I appreciated 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 completed my practicum placement at the Canadian Public Health Association. Through this experience, I was 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."
- Jennifer Churchill, Master of Public Health, 2018
"The public health program at Lakehead University stood out to me for its unique course framework of having the flexibility to further my education online and the opportunity to work full-time. The program afforded me with many opportunities to connect with students through collaborative group work and the chance to meet other working professionals in this field.
I completed my practicum experience at Toronto Public Health working in the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Department. My role involved creating a Twitter account for the Diabetes Team and completing a literature review on type 2 diabetes prevention methods to help evaluate and inform the current diabetes programs offered through Toronto Public Health. I was fortunate enough to meet many caring and passionate people in different areas of expertise, which shaped my interest and opened my eyes to new ideas, roles, and work being done in the community that I was not even aware of.
Having completed my Masters in Public Health, my career goals are to listen and work with communities to empower them to recognize their strengths and understand their problems in order to help them engage with resources to create change. I hope to make a positive impact and improve the well being of populations locally and globally by using the knowledge and experience gained throughout my academic and practicum experience."
- Blanca Gabriela Gonzalez, Master of Public Health, 2018
Thesis: Exploring Older Adult Male Participation in a Free, Biweekly, Group-based, Indoor Walking Initiative
"Lakehead University 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 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."
- Kassandra Fernandes, Master of Public Health (Thesis), 2018
"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 at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre 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."
- Jackie Allen, Master of Public Health, 2017
“As an alumni of Lakehead university, I am so thankful for my experience and learnings. This experience shaped me in my goal to support older adults and allowed me to achieve my lifelong goal and calling to become a family physician.
Prior to attending Lakehead, while working as a Registered Dietitian, I realized that I had missed my true calling of becoming a family physician in my rural community in Green Bay, NL. Growing up in Triton, a small coastal rural community in NL, of approx. 1000 people, I had not been exposed to people going to university to become a medical doctor. It was within the first few months of practising as a dietitian that I felt compelled to pursue medicine as it was the career designed for me, and would best allow me to serve the people in my area. Despite just starting a new career in dietetics, I set out on the journey of pursing medicine.
I completed the MCAT, and applied to medical schools (MUN & NOSM). I had not gained acceptance to either after multiple applications. As such, I decided to build on my education at Lakehead University, to acquiring an MPH degree with a strong focus on research. During this program, I had the opportunity to learn from amazing professors who were passionate about the importance of primary and secondary prevention. As I pursued my research options, I had the privilege of learning about Dr. Wiersma’s scholarship with supporting those people living with dementia."
- Dr Melinda Roberts Noel, Master of Public Health (Thesis Stream), 2015
To read more of Dr Noel's story, click here!
"I highly recommend the MPH program at Lakehead anytime I am asked about my experience. The support from the faculty and staff was very personalized, and as a student I really felt like my success mattered to them. My practicum with Thunder Bay District Health Unit, along with the distance education option, allowed me to begin my career with Northwestern Health Unit before my educational career was actually completed. Over the course of my 10 years with NWHU, I have had the opportunity to utilize the foundations of the MPH program in health promotion in chronic disease and injury prevention, program planning and evaluation, and most recently, project management and health promotion within health protection programming. I am always learning as I move through different aspects of public health, but know that I would not be where I am without the practical opportunities and individualized support that the MPH program at Lakehead provided.”
- Lindsay Burry, Master of Public Health, 2013
"I was already working for several years in clinical trial research when I decided to pursue a graduate degree. My intent was to continue working while studying and therefore, I was looking for a program that offered flexibility. The MPH program provided me with an amazing and unique learning experience. What stands out with the Masters of Public Health program at Lakehead University is its Distance Education component on a flexible full-time basis, which allowed me to continue living and working in Toronto.
The MPH program offers a broad number of courses, and for me, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Bioethics were of particular interest, as I could draw from and deepen my experience with clinical trials and develop and apply critical analytical thinking to research outcomes. Understanding social determinants of health is crucial knowledge in clinical studies to recruit from a broad patient population but are often overlooked.
I remain incredibly grateful for the time, trust, and mentorship I received from the faculty, which has helped me grow and develop as a scientist.
Upon completing the MPH program, I continued working in my field of clinical trial research where my focus is on global clinical trials in oncology.”
- Constanze Schweikert, Master of Public Health, 2012
"The MPH program at Lakehead University was a turning point in my academic journey that set me on an exciting career path. The classes were engaging, the practicum placement was incredibly valuable, and with a smaller student body there were many opportunities for development and growth outside of the classroom. Most importantly, the flexibility of the program (completing one year in Thunder Bay and the second through distance education) allowed me to get out of the city and experience northern Ontario (cross-country skiing on weekends!) before returning to Toronto during my second year of the program and starting a full-time student position at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer before I had even completed my degree.
That full-time student position at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer turned into 11 years of health system and health policy implementation in the areas of cancer prevention, screening, and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cancer care. Now, I'm nearing one year with AstraZeneca as Senior Manager, Patient Engagement and Policy Strategy where I am applying my public health background and health systems experience to create access to preventive therapies against infectious diseases like RSV and COVID-19 for the most vulnerable populations. I'm grateful that Lakehead University had such a high-quality MPH program with opportunities and flexibility that propelled me towards a rewarding professional career.”
- Chris Politis, Master of Public Health, 2011
“Enrolling in the Lakehead University Master of Public Health degree was such a great decision for me as a practicing chiropractor. I graduated in 2009 from the Health Studies program. The program allowed me to find a thesis supervisor at the Centre for Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes at Toronto Western Hospital (Dr. Pierre Côte). While working on my thesis at TWH I got to know Dr. Vicki Kristman who was doing her post-doctoral studies. Since graduating I was able to continue publishing papers with Dr. Kristman who was now at Lakehead University as the Director and Senior Scientist at EPID@Work Research Institute. We were able to publish eight papers together. While continuing to practice as a chiropractor I have been working on my PhD in Forensic Medicine at the CAPHRI School of Public Health and Primary Care at Maastricht University publishing on injuries from motor vehicle collisions.”
- Paul S. Nolet, Master of Public Health, 2009
"Lakehead’s MPH program provided the foundational knowledge required for my career in public health. The program’s broad scope included a variety of public health-related teachings, and I was able to apply the principles and tools learned in various work settings.
Since graduating, I have been employed for nearly 14 years at Northwestern Health Unit. My career has evolved from chronic disease prevention and health promotion work to planning and evaluation, communications, and project management roles. Working in public health during a pandemic was challenging, however, it was also a great learning experience that reconfirmed my passion for population health.
I am grateful to play a role in making our communities healthier places to live and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the MPH program at Lakehead University.”
- Jessica Kivell, Master of Public Health, 2008
Ann-Marie Kungal graduated from Lakehead University's Master of Public Health Program in 2008, and is now a city councillor in Barrie, Ontario, and CEO of her own company that provides health and mediation services. She shared her story and her passion for supporting community well-being in Lakehead University's Alumni Newsletter. Read the full article here.
“Although I had been working in Public Health for several years, the MPH program provided me an opportunity to consolidate my understanding of Population and Public Health theory and how to integrate that into practice. My primary project around sexual health promotion allowed me to apply research, analysis and health promotion skills to implement a social marketing campaign targeting youth! Since completion of the MPH program, I have held a variety of leadership roles within Public Health as well as Primary Care. Currently, I am a Director with Population and Public Health in BC and am appreciative of the foundation that the MPH program has provided.”
- Sherry Baidwan, Master of Public Health, 2007
“Obtaining my MPH degree through distance/online studies at Lakehead University has opened opportunities for me to work in the public sector. Right after completing the program requirements, I was offered a job to be part of a project at Continuing Care eHealth Program in Ontario to develop an eReferral system from Emergency Department to continuing care. Later on, I landed a job as a program consultant at Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in the area of health informatics standards. Through these work engagements, I became involved in the development and governance of pan-Canadian health informatics standards. Currently I serve as a Vice-Chair of ISO/TC 215 – Health Informatics for Canada and lead for a couple of international health informatics standards projects for ISO. I am also one of the founding leaders and currently serve as co-lead of the pan-Canadian Health Analytics Community at Infoway. Over the years, I have developed expertise in health informatics standards including Health Level 7 (HL7), ISO,
and SNOMED CT. I am currently a senior consultant with CGI involved in planning,
implementing, and managing health analytics platforms that provide vital information
for health system planners and decision makers.”
- Finnie Flores, Master of Public Health, 2006
"In 2004, I enrolled in Lakehead University’s burgeoning MPH program. I was in search of options to expand my career opportunities and drawn to the flexibility offered by the program, which allowed me to maintain full-time employment while balancing a growing, young family. Fast forward nearly 20 years, and I am amazed at how this decision played (and continues to play) such an influential role in my life. My career as a research coordinator has been a natural extension of my degree. Working in both academic and health care settings, I draw on the knowledge and tools I gained during my MPH on a daily basis. My degree also introduced me to a valuable network of peers and mentors with whom I continue to work, collaborate, and grow. Finally, as a third-year PhD Health Sciences student at Lakehead, I see how my MPH set the perfect foundation for this exciting step in my lifelong learning journey.”
- Hillary Maxwell, Master of Public Heath, 2004