One helps set public health policy; the other delivers primary health care. One takes a global perspective; the other is focused on the individual patient. They may attack the issues from different vantage points, but public health and family medicine are natural allies in the quest for healthier communities. And now at Western University, the two share a common space, as well as a common goal.
Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry today officially opened The Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine. The $17 million, 66,700 square-foot building off Richmond Street, houses the academic and research sides of the Department of Family Medicine, along with the new Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health which has its inaugural class of 32 students enrolled in a Master of Public Health (MPH) program.
“This building will serve as Western’s hub for knowledge creation and translation in the realm of public health,” says Western president Amit Chakma. “Along with Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, the MPH program taps into eight other Western Faculties as well as Brescia University College. It is interdisciplinary initiative that will facilitate the training of our future leaders in public health and is a perfect complement to one of our oldest and most celebrated medical departments, Family Medicine.”
“Our vision for Schulich Medicine & Dentistry is to be a global leader in optimizing life-long health through innovations in research, education and active engagement with our communities. Public Health and Family Medicine both play important roles in achieving that vision,” says Dr. Michael Strong, dean, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “Having researchers, educators and learners from both disciplines together in this wonderful new facility will lead to new collaborations and innovations to improve health care. I want to thank the Ontario government and Foundation Western for helping to make this possible.”
“This beautiful new facility will help to continue Western’s tradition of excellence in educating the health care leaders of tomorrow,” says Ontario Minister of Health & Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews. “It will ensure that students in the Family Medicine program and the new Public Health program are working together and sharing best practices for benefit of patients.”