I have just returned from a University delegation to Hong Kong. My focus for the trip was on raising awareness and partnership building for AHS. There is great interest in our prevention, health promotion, and systems approaches to health and well-being in Hong Kong. Asia’s aging demographic lags Canada’s by about two decades and thus it is recognized that there is a lot of experience for Canada to share regarding approaches to healthy aging, chronic disease prevention, and well-being. I had the opportunity to meet with leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors regarding potential academic and research partnerships and philanthropic support. I will continue to update the AHS community as opportunities arise. 

In news this month:

  • As announced in a memo earlier this month, I am pleased to share that Craig Janes has been reappointed as Director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Under Craig’s leadership the School has achieved a number of important academic and research goals, and continues to thrive.  Craig’s second term will run from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.
  • Thank you to those who joined the Teaching Fellows for the November Teaching Fellow Monthly Meet-Up. The final event for the term will be held on Tuesday, December 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in AHS 1686. This event will serve as the TF's term wrap-up. All faculty and graduate students are invited to share feedback on any teaching-related priorities for the winter term (including setting the Monthly Meet-Up topics for January to March). Lunch will be served. Please visit the Teaching Fellow website for information on this and future events. 
  • The Advisory Committee on Health and Well-being received 135 responses to the survey conducted as part of Mental Health Wellness Day. The feedback was very thorough, providing valuable information for directing future committee work. The majority of respondents were undergraduate students (72%) followed by graduate students (12%) and faculty/staff (10%). When asked to provide “one thing you would like [the committee] to focus on over the next year” the majority of respondents mentioned the availability of resources and services, as well as healthy, affordable food options and financial support. Opportunities for networking and relationship building were also mentioned, including an ongoing series of Wellness Days. Participants also contributed numerous perspectives to what mental health means to them. A word cloud summarizes the findings below:Word cloud
  • November 15 marked National Philanthropy Day, a day that reminds us of the tremendous contributions our volunteers and donors make to the Faculty— whether that contribution be a gift of time, talent or financial support. We are so fortunate in AHS to have a wonderfully supportive network of people; many of whom also give back in the community or across campus. You may not be aware that our own Heather Mair is Co-Chair for the University Keystone Campaign, which works year-round to inspire faculty, staff and retirees to engage in philanthropy. In the spirit of the day, I also announced the appointment of Dorothy Dowling (BA ‘80, MA ’83 RLS) as Special Advisor to the Dean. Dorothy, along with members of the Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) (whom I met with the same day), continue to offer valuable insight to help shape the future of the Faculty. Thank you to all who help make AHS such a strong and vibrant community.
  • A reminder that tomorrow the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies will host a Hallman lecture featuring the 2017 Shaw-Mannell award recipients, Dana Kivel and Doug Kleiber. The lectures begin at 1 p.m. in QNC 0101. If you are interested in attending please email the Department's Special Event Coordinator, Jenna Remedios, with your name, contact information, and the number of guests who will be attending.
  • Finally, a reminder to please join me for the AHS holiday gathering at the University Club on Tuesday, December 5 at 4 p.m. If you plan on attending, kindly RSVP to Eden MeKonen before December 1.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Jim Rush.

Wishing you well as you wrap up the fall term,


James W.E. Rush, PhD
Professor and Dean
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Have a news item for the monthly update?

Submit to the AHS communications team for consideration.