What does a career in Health Sciences and Public Health look like?

Not sure what an MPH or MHSc degree can do for you? After graduation, students go on to work as public health consultants, policy analysts, public health nurses, epidemiologists, academics, infectious disease consultants, health promoters, and more!

Examples of organizations where Master of Public Health (MPH) students have found employment include:

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Health Canada
  • The Government of Ontario
  • Ontario Public Health Association
  • Centre for Mental Health & Addictions (CAMH)
  • Health Authorities (Various provinces/locations)


We're celebrating 20 years of public health at Lakehead University! Read stories below from past students on their experiences with the Master of Public Health program.


Click here for testimonials on the Master of Health Sciences programs.

Have something to share?  Tell us about your successes by clicking here. Don't forget to include a photo!


Photo of MPH Alumni"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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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


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 "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





Photo of MPH Alumni"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




Photo of MPH Alumni“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



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"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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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



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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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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


 Photo of MPH Alumni“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!



Photo of MPH Alumni"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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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



Photo of MPH Alumni“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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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


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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.




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“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



Photo of MPH Alumni“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



Photo of MPH Alumni"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


Epidemiology Specialization


Harleen Hans and Ekjot Grewal (two Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology graduates, 2021) accepted permanent roles as Policy Analysts after completing their practicum placements with Health Canada in 2021.

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 Photo of MPH Alumni"I completed my practicum for the MPH program with the PPE strategy team of Health Canada’s Covid-19 Task Force, and I was incredibly excited to have accepted an offer from Health Canada to continue employment with them as an Analyst. My practicum experience was quite literally life changing. Working with the Covid-19 Task Force was such an enriching, eye opening experience, as I was able to see certain aspects of the federal response for the Covid-19 crisis up close. I had the privilege of working with and learning from some remarkable people, and hope to continue doing so in my journey with Health Canada. 

‘The opportunity will present itself; you just have to be prepared to meet it’ – and I wanted to give my sincere thanks to Lakehead University for helping me prepare for such an amazing opportunity through all the support and learning they provided to me during my time as a student.”

Zarin Tasnim, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology, 2021



Photo of MPH Alumni"In the last semester of my MPH program, I completed my practicum with a Public Health Unit where I was in charge of the climate change portfolio. My work included: understanding the burden of climate change on vulnerable populations by laying the foundation for a heat vulnerability assessment map, improving knowledge exchange strategies by creating content for a webpage on climate change and human health, assisting with climate change policies for the Official Plan, improving stakeholder engagement by connecting various staff in other departments working on climate change to share one unified vision, liaising with municipal climate change advisors to support local bylaw development for adaptation/mitigation, providing data analysis consultation at a partnering university working on climate change and vulnerability, hosting monthly lunch & learn sessions with regional staff to discuss the impacts climate change will have on their health, compiling a list of ways the public health department has mitigated climate change, creating a climate change committee, and presenting all of this work to my board of health.

Following the completion of my program, I was able to keep my promise to continue to fight for climate change work in my region. Since graduating, I have been promoted to a team lead position at the health unit (where I am employed) and I was allowed to continue to work on the climate change portfolio. Recently, myself and three other colleagues were able to produce a report to our senior leadership team outlining climate change strategies that we could adopt within our public health department to help tackle climate change in the region. Our report was well received and I am looking forward to seeing how our recommendations will be implemented.

I also would like to highlight that my MPH has been able to open other doors for me as well. I was able to teach my own course this past spring/summer at TMU’s Chang School for Continuing Education, which has helped me to realize that my passion is in academia. I have applied to a PhD program and I am hoping that I will get in! Without my MPH, I would not have been able to take this next step. I am very grateful for my time at Lakehead.”

- Kaitlyn Irving, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology, 2020



 "The Masters of Public Health program offers lectures, readings and coursework which foster a comprehensive understanding of core health concepts; these are both fascinating and deeply significant, and generally tied to the Social Determinants of Health. 

Specializing in Epidemiology, I became deeply interested in more specific issues associated to Health Literacy; Antimicrobial Resistance, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and infectious diseases more generally. 

The greatest aspect of the MPH program is the practicum placement. I completed mine in Sioux Lookout with an Infectious Disease physician. Here, I was able to match the theoretical knowledge I acquired through my coursework, with the concrete realities of life in northern Indigenous communities. I observed the interplay of infectious disease, health determinants (overcrowded housing and lack of access to safe drinking water), history, cultural and politics, and how all of these influence what we call "Indigenous Health". 

I feel well-equipped for a long career in working to alleviate unnecessary human illness and suffering. I also feel equipped to advocate for health policy change, and to articulate the profound value of our shared Public Health."

- Travis Kirkwood, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology, 2018



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"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 with an in-depth knowledge and experience in conducting a research project from start to end. This is helping me a lot in my current work as a Research Analyst. Throughout the MPH program, 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 the 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 had 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 and apply the knowledge and skills that I have learnt to make a sustainable impact on the health and well-being of communities.”

- Nancy Gupta, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology, 2018


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“In the final term of my MPH program, I was offered a Federal Student Work Program (FSWP) student position with the equity analysis and policy research team of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa, which allowed me to complete my practicum requirements. In this position I was able to look at data gaps using survey data and vital statistics data from the new health inequalities report for small jurisdictions (such as Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon). I created knowledge translation products to visually display this information for provincial stakeholders to use for future priorities and funding. It was very exciting to see how my education plays a role into the real world; my experience allowed me to apply my epidemiology, health promotion, and data analysis courses. Following my placement, the Public Health Agency kept me on a casual contract as a policy analyst. I highly encourage others to apply to the Federal Student Work Program with the Federal Government!

I am now currently an epidemiologist with the Office of Drug Research and Surveillance team at Health Canada where I have worked on quarterly surveillance analysis and data release of opioid- and stimulant- related hospitalizations poisonings in Canada (https://health-infobase.canada.ca/substance-related-harms/opioids-stimulants) and I have just recently worked on the analysis and data release of the 2022 Canadian Cannabis Survey (https://health-infobase.canada.ca/cannabis/).” 

 - Jeanette Bourne, Master of Public Health with Specialization on Epidemiology, 2018



Photo of MPH Alumni"The MPH Epidemiology 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 Canadians. Working with Dr. Vicki Kristman during my directed studies course provided me with in-depth knowledge

and experience in conducting epidemiological studies and acquired data analysis skills. I was also fortunate enough to secure a practicum position at the Ottawa Public Health where I worked as a student Epidemiologist with six Epidemiologists who provided me with a lot of experience in this field.

Currently, I am working as an Epidemiologist with the Regional Government (Durham Region) where I am responsible for conducting an epidemiological analysis of surveillance data, including monitoring trends over time, emerging trends and priority populations, in accordance with Ontario Public Health program standards and protocols.

I have a background in integrative biology and neuroscience from the University of Toronto. I have almost 10 years of experience in the public and private health sectors and had recently worked for seven public health units throughout my student and working life, most recently Public Health Sudbury District and York Region.

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

- Saad Pervez, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology, 2017


Photo of MPH AlumniAvril Beaubien graduated from the Master of Public Health (with specialization in Epidemiology) in 2017.  She is now working for the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development as part of a small specialized team focused on workplace guidance related to COVID-19. During the 2020 Alumni Homecoming event, she shared the story of her career journey through an engaging presentation entitled "Well that’s a unique career path… and it turns out you can make an elevator pitch in an elevator".  Avril’s story was inspiring because it demonstrates how a wide diversity of work and education experiences, combined with natural curiosity and a willingness to learn, can contribute to success.



Gerontology Specialization

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“Over the last two years, I completed a Master of Public Health with a gerontology specialization at Lakehead University. At last, I can finally say that I am done with school (at least for the foreseeable future), and I have achieved the graduate student dream – getting a job right after completing the program. I am currently working a full-time contract position as a Health Promotion Planner at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. Without the education I received throughout my MPH and the support I always received from Dr. Elaine Wiersma, I do not believe I would be where I am today. In particular, my practicum experience ultimately set me up for success in my current position. I completed my practicum at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, where I was responsible for learning and working in the Health Promotion Planner position. I am so happy with the whole MPH experience at Lakehead University, and I know this program is designed for students to learn, get experience, and achieve their dream job in public health.”


- Lindsay Watt, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Gerontology, 2022

Indigenous and Northern Health Specialization


Photo of MPH Alumni"With my background in research (thanks in huge part to the MPH program!), I wanted to complete a practicum somewhere at the intersection between research and the community, and found BC Healthy Communities. It’s a non-profit that supports health authorities and local government organizations throughout BC with program planning. As I finished up my practicum, I realized that my passion lies in working within a health authority where I would be able to affect change right from the start. I applied to a public health leader position with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and with the support of Dr. Møller, I was offered the job!"

 Halley Cote, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Indigenous and Northern Health, 2021


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“Lakehead's MPH program provided me the flexibility to pursue graduate studies online while continuing to work full-time as a federal public servant. While it made for a busy life, it was worth the time, dedication and experience!

When I started my studies, I already had some public health (PH) experience. The MPH allowed me to fine tune my existing knowledge while opening my mind to new ideas and principles.

The practicum at the  Northwestern Health Unit enabled me to gain insight into some of the PH challenges facing Indigenous and northern communities and to
                                                                        better understand the role that local PH units have in communities.

While I didn't work in PH after finishing my MPH, I certainly had a keen desire to support Canada's COVID-19 response when the pandemic was declared. I felt it was a duty. I served as a Senior Policy Advisor on the Health Canada COVID-19 Taskforce, supporting key files such as the COVID Alert app and rapid testing. I also supported the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Health Portfolio Operations Centre COVID-19 Incident Management System response.”

Currently, Elizabeth works as Chief of Staff at the PHAC - Vice-President Office, Health Security and Regional Operations Branch.

- Elizabeth A. Venditti, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Indigenous and Northern Health, 2018



Photo of MPH Alumni"Lakehead’s MPH program helped me discover my passion for health equity. I was given an incredible opportunity to complete my practicum with the Canadian Mental Health Association in Thunder Bay. I used my program planning and evaluation skills to implement a project that brought together over 35+ service providers to coordinate wraparound supports for people with complex social and health needs. My practicum turned into a full-time job opportunity, and I continued honing my partnership development and stakeholder engagement skills. Since this time, I have relocated closer to my hometown and currently work as a Partnership and Engagement Lead on a federal project hosted by CHEO that seeks to improve equity for newcomers across Canada. Pursuing my MPH at Lakehead significantly shaped my career and set me on a course to work in the health sector on issues I am passionate about.”

- Mariah Maddock, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Indigenous and Northern Health, 2017



Social-Ecological Systems, Sustainability, and Health Specialization

Photo of MPH Alumni"After graduating from the MPH program at Lakehead University in August 2022 I began my job search to apply my education and experience. After my MPH Practicum at a student wellness centre I knew I wanted to work in a holistic health centre where primary care and allied health teams apply a health promotion lens to work alongside community members to promote wellbeing. As a result, I applied to a Health Promoter role at Grand River Community Health Centre where I am working now. With the skills and lessons learned from my professors, GA roles, practicum experience and many courses, I felt prepared and confident in my ability to start my role at GRCHC where I am focusing on program planning and harm reduction in the community.”


- Magdalena Bentia, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Social-Ecological Systems, Sustainability, and Health, 2022


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“The two years I spent at Lakehead completing my Master of Public Health were nothing like I expected when I first applied, given a global pandemic and fully remote learning. However, these years also provided a deeply enriching experience I didn’t quite expect either, thanks to incredible professors, classmates, and opportunities along the way.

One notable experience was working as a graduate research assistant with Dr. Rebecca Schiff and team, where I lead-authored a Voluntary Local Review of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for Thunder Bay. With this project, I learned so much about partnerships, collaboration, and sustainability-related work in the region which, when combined with my coursework, proved to be very supportive for the practicum I completed with BC Healthy Communities in Victoria, B.C.

Since graduating, I have decided to travel before jumping into a career. I am currently living in New Zealand and thoroughly enjoying connecting with the breathtaking landscapes and people on this side of the world. When I return from exploring, there is no doubt that the personal and professional growth I gained during my MPH will serve me well for my next steps, whatever they may be!”

- Amanda Dodaro, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Social-Ecological Systems, Sustainability and Health, 2022



Photo of MPH Alumni"I am an MPH graduate and now Alumni of Lakehead University. I chose Lakehead University because it was one of the only MPH programs which allowed me to balance my busy work schedule with post-graduate studies.

I’m a Family Medicine physician in my final year of residency training. Combining my MPH with a family medicine residency allows me to understand the dynamics of clinical medicine and preventative health. I don't want to just treat disease. I want to engage in preventative health measures that reduce the occurrence of the disease.

Lakehead University has done a remarkable job helping me understand various factors that determine health. This provides a better context in which to understand patient's concerns and barriers to achieving optimal health.

My other passions include various community health initiatives. I'm currently one of six women who are in the process of growing FemCare, a non-profit organization which aims to provide feminine hygiene products to homeless and marginalized women in Hamilton, Ontario. FemCare was recently featured on 
CBC newsGlobal news and other notable news organizations.

Lakehead has been an incredible force in allowing me to combine my public health education with my clinical experience to positively impact healthcare and women's rights in a global health scenario.”  

- Dr. Vanora D'Sa, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Social-Ecological Systems, Sustainability and Health, 2021

Nursing Specialization

Photo of MPH Alumni"My name is Michaela Parenteau, and I am anishinaabekwe from Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation in Treaty #3. 

I graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Lakehead University in 2018 and began my nursing career with Indigenous Services Canada working in remote northern First Nations communities in Ontario. The health inequities and barriers to care in our fly-in communities led me to
pursue the Master of Public Health Program, with Specialization in Northern and Indigenous Health, to prepare me to better advocate for Indigenous Health Rights. 

This part-time program gave me the opportunity to both study and continue working in the north through distance classes. I was able to apply some of the concepts and ideas I learned into my every day nursing practice. This program helped me to focus my interest on reproductive justice issues that Indigenous Water Carriers and Birthing Persons experience. 

The MPH program at Lakehead culminated in a practicum in Yellowknife, NWT. Here I worked along side the amazing people at the Northern Birthwork Collective who were advocating for reproductive justice and fostering core concepts of anti-racism, cultural safety, inclusivity, respect, holistic and client centred care. Their advocacy ideas and goals aligned very closely with my own, and I felt this placement was the perfect fit for my learning. This non-for-profit organization gave me new perspectives, amplified my voice and I was so grateful to be a part of the work that they are doing in the field of Birthwork and reproductive justice. 

While enhancing my learning in practice, this practicum also allowed me to be immersed in the culture and community after hours. Yellowknife gave me the opportunity to fully experience the amazing Aurora Borealis, traditional dog sledding, taste local customary dishes and learn more about the rich culture that exists in a part of Canada that I was less familiar with. 

Lakehead University gave me an opportunity to further my education in the direction I wished to explore. I cannot thank the MPH department enough for their guidance and the continued support from my professors along the way! I will be returning to Lakehead as a full-time student this fall to complete the Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program!"

- Michaela Parteneau, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Nursing, 2018

Hear more from Michaela after she completes her Nurse Practitioner Certificate program!



Photo of MPH Alumni

"I am a graduate from Lakehead’s Master of Public Health - Nursing Specialization program. As I look back upon the two years I dedicated to the advancement of my education, and of the sacrifices my family and I 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, broadened my understanding of what constitutes health for individuals, communities and populations. This program 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 the final practicum in the program, I began 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 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.”

- Lori McDonald, Master of Public Health with Specialization in Epidemiology, 2018