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Environment and Human Health

Large smokestacks behind residential homesEnvironment and Human Health | June 6-10, 2022


Online only. Course will be live approximately 8:00am-12:00pm (Montreal time) each day June 6-10, 2022. Live content will be recorded.


Global crises that are unfolding around the world are inextricably linked to the sustainability of vital bio-physical systems. Environmental health approaches explore the interdependent relationship between human health and natural ecosystems. This course examines the environment-health links from health care practitioner, policy and public health perspectives. It is designed for those who wish to gain insight into how human health and well-being is directly affected by environmental factors and a variety of approaches to environment and health problems on macro and micro-scales.


Neil Arya (BASc MD CCFP FCFP DLitt)
Founding Board President PEGASUS Institute
Adjunct Professor- Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo
Former Chair Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) Environmental Health Committee and member Pest Management Advisory Council of Health Canada

Detailed biography of Dr. Arya


Mary Louise Kattides- Associate Professor in Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo

Simron Singh- Professor & Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo

Riina Bray- Medical Director of the Environmental Health Clinic at Women’s College Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine with cross-appointment to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Lynn Marshall- Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Dorothy Larkman- Director, School of Social Work / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - School of Social Work, Nipissing University

Jean Zigby- Palliative Care McGill University and Clinical Jewish General Hospital (JGH)

Catherine Vakil- Health Sciences, Medicine, Family Medicine, Queens University

Susan Elliott- Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo

Theresa McClenaghan- Executive Director and Counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association

Faculty are still being confirmed and there may be changes to the above list.


The course will introduce health issues related to toxins found in land water air and food and an approach to individual illness that may relate to the biophysical environment. It then looks at elements of human development such as extractive industries, forestry agriculture and energy productions and resultant waste as they relate to health of vulnerable populations and approaches to risk management followed by ways of societal design to minimize negative effects and create healthy resilient communities. We then look at climate change and reducing the impact of health care on negative change and finally look at advocacy particularly for Indigenous populations. Course participants will be encouraged to reflect and share their own observations and examples.


  • To foster an understanding of the interconnections between public health, and environmental systems
  • To encourage participants to apply an environmental perspective to their own areas of interest with respect to human health.
  • To explore and share different approaches to human health ranging from the biomedical model and evidence-based medicine to a broader environmental perspective affecting public and individual health
  • To consider what role environmental advocacy may be playing in health care and the implications for human health and the advocate/practitioner.


  • A transdisciplinary group with an interest in the relationship between human health and the physical environment with backgrounds in health, law, medicine, ethics, global health, political science, international development, governance
  • Social and health decision-makers, administrators and policy advisors
  • Public health graduate students and faculty with an interest in global and community health
  • Health practitioners
  • Programme managers, government and public health junior faculty
  • Funding, advocacy and policy bodies
  • Development and environmental studies students
  • Advocates and civil society




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