2013 Message from the Executive Director
First and foremost, thank you to all of my faculty, staff and especially the students, for another successful academic year! We were able to make much progress, and I am delighted with the journey that the School of Public Health has taken thus far. I am honoured to be the Executive Director of an excellent student body, a great faculty, and dedicated staff members.
As the birthplace of universal health care, this province and this university are uniquely positioned to explore paths less-travelled to lead us to healthier, happier communities in Saskatchewan, in Canada, and around the world. Public health is the practice of science, skills, and beliefs that are directed towards the maintenance and improvement of the health of the population as a whole. Essentially, public health is the result of the actions and efforts of society to provide necessary conditions that enhance the well-being of the public.
I am proud to say that the student numbers have increased exponentially since my term began in 2009, now with a total registered student count of 191, from an initial 17. For this upcoming academic year of September 2013, we had a total of 700 applications and are anticipating between 80 and 90 students will enroll and begin the program.
This past academic year has earned excellent recognition for the School of Public Health by attaining the largest international student body of any Public Health program in Canada. We have received student applications from 28 countries. The variety and diversity that exists among all years of our Masters of Public Health (MPH) program, as well as within the other programs of our School, is a foundational strength that makes the University of Saskatchewan School of Public Health unique within Canada.
My commitment to work across the globe is to gain recognition for our School of Public Health by recruiting and attracting students from different areas internationally. In an effort to assist with this process, the School of Public Health has begun its journey toward achieving accreditation through the Association for Schools of Public Health of the European Region (ASPHER). We have spent the majority of the winter preparing and developing the self-study report. This coming October will see the site-visit from APHEA. I am truly excited about this next great stage for our school.
I am delighted to say that through much hard work we have ensured that interdisciplinary and collaborative programs are available within the School. Currently, the School of Public Health is in the process of designing a Master of Health Administration program, jointly with the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy to be offered online through the University of Saskatchewan campus, as well as the University of Regina campus. In addition, the School of Public Health has now signed Memorandums of Agreement with the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan for several new programs including, the Public Health and Preventive Residency Program, the Collaborative Graduate Program in Biostatistics, and a dual degree program of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Master of Public Health (MPH), through the School of Public Health.
I have been fortunate to work with a talented group of people, and bright students that have helped me accomplish my vision for this School. We have seen a significant transformation throughout my tenure. This change was embraced with enthusiasm, and optimism, which helped to develop the promise and potential that our School holds. Knowing that we are capable of such change, I am confident that we will continue to change and redefine ourselves in order to meet and anticipate the needs of our evolving society.
With these great developments and opportunities on our horizon, I am excited to continue watching our School grow and develop.
To all my students and faculty, I am proud you have chosen a career in public health and service to humanity. I am a firm believer that a successful life is not measured by what you do, but by what you do for others. Thank you for dedicating yourselves to addressing the health needs of humankind.
Robert W. Buckingham, DrPH