MPS graduate | Public Service

Khanh DangAfter completing her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Health Studies at McMaster University, Khanh Dang wasn’t exactly sure which career to pursue, but she knew she was interested in health policy.

“I knew that I wanted to be in an industry where I could positively impact others and contribute to my community,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be able to participate in and influence the design of our communities and structure of our systems.”

Khanh was drawn to Waterloo’s Master of Public Service program because it allows students to explore their interests in a variety of sectors, whether it be in education, environmental sciences or health, while learning hands-on practical skills. “The program was the perfect mix between theoretical-based learning, drawing on the fundamentals of Canadian public administration and the policymaking process, to project management and economic-based scenarios we would find ourselves facing in the public sector.”

Co-op was another big draw of the program. For her work term in 2013, Khanh was a health promotion assistant within the Region of Peel Public Health department for nine months and has continued working at the Region ever since. In 2014, she became a health promoter in the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention division and, last year, became a research and policy analyst supporting the Long Term Care department. With her multidisciplinary team, she provides direction and support to all five of the Region’s long term care homes, ensuring programs and services are guided by evidence and best practices.

Through her work, Khanh hopes to be able to support the Region deliver health services across the continuum of care, towards a more integrated health system. “My role is to encourage collaboration with health system partners such as those at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, our Local Health Integration Networks, hospitals, clinicians, and research and academic institutions,” she says. “I can support this by contributing to research, evidence-based practice, and  knowledge sharing across the seniors’ care sector."

When she joined the Region of Peel, she was excited to see the culture of learning and range of opportunities available to staff. “One of the things I love the most about working for the Region of Peel is the opportunity to grow,” she says. “The Region delivers a wide range of programs and services for residents and clients of Peel, supported by dedicated staff, there are many opportunities to learn and become involved in different areas of this organization.”