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Moving evidence to policy for health, well-being and equity

Institute for Health and Social Policy

The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy was created to conduct and support world-class research on how social conditions impact population health and welfare.

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Baumgartner Research Group

Exposure to harmful pollutants from cooking with wood and coal is the single leading environmental health risk factor. Dr. Baumgartner researches the effectiveness of novel rural energy interventions in reducing air pollution exposures and improving health

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Student Programs

Student Programs at the IHSP currently offer students 4 unique opportunities to be involved in health and social policy.

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The Québec convergence and Canadian life satisfaction, 1985--2008

Using 25 years of the Canadian General Social Survey, Dr. Barrington-Leigh examines trends in life satisfaction and economic and social variables and find that Québec has undergone a remarkable upward shift in mean life satisfaction.

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Healthier Societies Initiative

The Healthier Societies Initiative identifies policy solutions that address rising health care costs and improve population health outcomes and provides intuitive, interactive tools to help the Canadian public better understand their health system.

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Measuring Global Health

The disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) developed as part of the Global Burden of Disease study has been hugely controversial. Dr. Voigt seeks to evaluate the suitability of this measure for its intended and actual use in policy decisions

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Maternal and Child Health Equity research program

The Maternal and Child Health Equity research program seeks to examine how social policies focused on reducing poverty, income and gender inequality have an impact on the burden of disease among children and women under the age of 50.

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The Transnational Migration of Physicians in the Twentieth Century

Dr. Wright's research group investigates the impact of complex patterns of physician migration, focusing on the impact on source countries and their public health infrastructures and the role of foreign-trained doctors in the evolution of public policy.

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The Montreal Health Equity Research Consortium

Led by Nicholas B. King and Daniel Weinstock, MHERC researchers draw on methods from philosophy, epidemiology, and behavioral psychology to identify novel ethical frameworks to guide public policy and public health interventions that address health equity.

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Social Inequalities in Child Health

Dr. Elgar examines social inequalities in children's health and social development, focusing on the impact of deprivation and income inequality on school violence and mental health, and the protective roles schools, neighbourhoods and families can play.

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The Institute for Health and Social Policy occupies a central role at McGill University as a multidisciplinary centre for research, training and knowledge mobilization on issues of health and social policy. The IHSP conducts and supports world-class research on how social conditions impact the health, well-being and resilience of people and communities, and leads programs designed to translate research findings into policies and programs on local, provincial, national and global scales. The Institute is committed to building collaborations with policymakers, communities and researchers to effectively move evidence to policy.



Physician-Assisted Dying

IHSP Director Daniel Weinstock (Faculty of Law) writes about both the Supreme Court of Canada's and the National Assembly of Quebec's recent decisions on physician-assisted dying. While "the legal status of physician-assisted dying (PAD) in Canada" has undergone "dramatic changes" in the past few months, there will still "likely be movement on both the provincial and federal fronts in the months and years to come." You can read Professor Weinstock's article here.

Bill 10 and Bill 20

Professor Antonia Maioni (IHSP Faculty Member, Department of Poltical Science) writes about the public and professional backlash against Bill 10 and Bill 20. The Bills are intended to streamline the Quebec health care system and improve access to health care. However, they have already proven to be very controversial. Professor Maioni writes about this "season of big changes in the Quebec health care system." You can read her article here.


Common Threads through the Commonwealth Deadline Extension !

We are now accepting applicantions from Canadian students until June 1st, 2015. Learn more about the programs and its training and travel opportunities here.

IHSP is launching its first issue of IHSP News!

Inside the Spring 2015 Issue: Bill 10/Bill 20, physician-assisted dying, recent research, IHSP in the media, upcoming events, student and alumni interviews

Money Is Driving a Wedge in Teen Health - Scientific American, April 14, 2015

Dr. Frank Elgar's study on on the impact of socioeconomic inequalities on adolescent health is featured in the latest issue of Scientific American.

HSI’s new research initiative on Quebec’s child care policies

The Healthier Societies Initiative (HSI) has recently received funding from CIHR for a two-year project on Quebec’s childcare policies! The research program will be led by Professors Daniel Weinstock (IHSP Director) and Seungmi Yang (Assistant Professor in McGill’s Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health). Learn more here.

MACHEquity contributes to the No Ceilings’ Full Participation Report on Women and Girls’ conditions worldwide.

MACHEquity’s research and data are featured in the Clinton and Gates Foundations’ Full Participation Report to assess evidence on the gains and gaps in progress for women and girls worldwide. Over the past year, MACHEquity researchers have looked at the evolution of paid maternal leave across the globe. See what they have found on page 30 of the report.
In addition to these results, MACHEquity has collaborated with the WORLD Policy Analysis Center on a series of policy briefs on labor policies, minimum wage, child marriage, and breastfeeding breaks at work.

The IHSP "Common Threads through the Commonwealth" project is one of two McGill initiatives that have received $500,000 grants from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program. This project, led by Professor Antonia Maioni, will allow students from all over the Commonwealth to explore novel ways to addressing local, national and global challenges to health, well-being and equity. More details on the program and guidelines to apply are available here.

Estimating the Effect of Intimate Partner Violence on Women’s Use of Contraception: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

MACHEquity’s Lauren Maxwell has recently reviewed 23 years of data to find the links between intimate partner violence and use of contraceptives methods and notices implications for family planning and HIV prevention programs. PLoS ONE. Published February 18,  2015

Socioeconomic inequalities in adolescent health 2002–2010: a time-series analysis of 34 countries participating in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study

Frank Elgar led a study on the impact of socioeconomic inequalities on various aspects of adolescent health in 34 high-income countries. The findings, published in the Lancet in February, show that socioeconomic differences in adolescents' mental and physical health increased from 2002 to 2010 in the sampled countries.  This is an area that has typically received less attention from policy makers compared to early childhood. The Lancet. Published February 3, 2015

Increased risk of respiratory illness associated with kerosene fuel use among women and children in urban Bangalore, India

Jill Baumgartner, along with a team of researchers, conducted a study in Bangalore, India, found that the use of kerosene was associated with higher rates of bronchitis, phlegm and chest illnesses compared to cleaner cooking fuels. Occup Environ Med. Published October 23, 2014

Downs: The History of a Disability

IHSP historian David Wright was interviewed by New Books in Medicine regarding his 2011 publication, "Downs: The History of a Disability," winner of the British Society for the History of Science's 2013 Dingle Prize. Published online Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

Cyberbulling Victimization and Mental Health in Adolescents and the Moderating Role of Family Dinners

IHSP faculty member Frank Elgar was part of a team of researchers that conducted a study on the impact of family interaction on the mental health of victims of cyberbulling. They concluded that dining as a family reduced the detrimental impacts of being cyberbullied on adolescents. Published online Monday, September 1, 2014.

Scottish referendum piques Quebecer's interest

IHSP Director Daniel Weinstock discusses the upcoming Scottish referendum from a Quebecois perspective. Appeared on CTV Thursday, September 11, 2014.

How Canadians and Americans view each other's health system

IHSP and McGill Political Scientist Antonia Maioni surveys public opinion on both sides of the border. Published in the Globe and Mail, Friday September 5, 2014.



For a full list of 2014-2015 IHPS seminars, click here.

Each year, the Institute for Health and Social Policy hosts a series of events. These include conferences and workshops with national and global participation, as well as a seminar series for the local community of students, faculty, staff, and others.

To keep up to date with all IHSP events, join our mailing list

Upcoming events

Hospital / Hôpital

IHSP-CIRM Conference, Montreal

October 1-2nd, 2015

Interdisciplinary two-day conference to coincide with the opening of two new “super-hospitals” in Montreal.  Join us to explore the ‘hospital’ from multiple perspectives – including historical, architectural, socio-cultural, and the urban planning dimensions. The conference will provide a forum for dialogue between disciplines and sectors and stimulate wide-ranging reflections on the importance and legacy of the MUHC and CHUM hospitals. Details and registration here.