CHÉOS Director Dr. Aslam Anis has been warmly welcomed to his new role as Director of UBC’s School of Population and Public Health (SPPH), where he has been a vital member of the community since 1995. Dr. Anis will be taking on this role pro tem, effective March 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023.
Dr. Anis was born in Bangladesh, obtained his BSS (Honours) in Economics at the University of Dhaka (1981) and completed his MA and PhD in Economics at Carleton University (1983, 1990). He has demonstrated excellence in teaching, including educating graduate students at the School in health economics and providing mentorship to trainees. Through his research, Dr. Anis has created impact in wide-reaching areas of health sciences including arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and health economics.
Concurrent with his position at CHÉOS and new role at SPPH, Dr. Anis is the National Director of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network where he has achieved remarkable growth, developed a reputation for leadership and administrative excellence, and further established himself as one of the pre-eminent health economists and health services researchers in Canada and internationally. He is also a Senior Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada.
Dr. Anis’ priorities include finalizing the strategic planning process currently underway, enhancing the scope of SPPH’s research to include implementation science, equity of access, and correcting the historical harms of colonization and neglect of vulnerable populations. Going forward, the mantra of the School’s academic programs will be providing cutting edge education and mentoring programs for the health leaders of tomorrow.
“As the next generation of population and public health experts, students are a top priority for me. They are our greatest assets at SPPH, and in my new role, I am keen to continue mentoring and guiding them to achieve success,” Dr. Anis explains.
He notes that now, more than ever, the work being conducted at SPPH is timely and of public interest. Dr. Anis looks forward to promoting and supporting the work of colleagues, including many who are involved in the provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an incredible time to be in population and public health. People have a much greater understanding of what we do, and they now recognize the importance of how our work supports the health of populations and the public health system. It isn’t just about treatments and drugs once someone gets sick. As we can see so clearly demonstrated by the pandemic, keeping people healthy and preventing illness is equally as important.”
SPPH is uniquely positioned to bridge different areas of research and policy, and to connect trainees, researchers and stakeholders to reduce health inequities and to improve health outcomes within B.C. and abroad, Dr. Anis adds.
“The pandemic has opened up a large window into the world of population and public health and how research and service delivery intersect. SPPH faculty member Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recent decision to delay the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine is an excellent example of this. She was able to evaluate real world data from the vaccination roll-out to make this unprecedented change to the protocols in B.C. Now other jurisdictions are following her lead. This is what our public health experts do.”
Please join SPPH in thanking Drs. Peter Berman the past Director, Mieke Koehoorn and Craig Mitton for providing interim leadership for the School, and in welcoming Dr. Anis to his new role!
This article was originally published by UBC’s School of Population and Public Health