An upbeat prognosis for York’s health research

The York Centre for Health Studies (YCHS) threw open its doors recently and welcomed the York community and outside health organizations to visit its quarters in room 214, York Lanes.

The open house gave VP Research & Innovation Stan Shapson (right) the opportunity to introduce the new YCHS executive and director, and the members of the new Strategic Health Research Planning Group at York.

This planning group was recently established by Shapson when health research was identified as one of the four specific research themes in the University’s strategic research plan.

York Centre for Health Studies sent the following account to YFile.

The YCHS open house attracted people from all corners of the campus, reflecting the broad scope of health research in which York faculty and graduate students are involved. Representatives of community health organizations engaged in projects with York also attended. VP Stan Shapson spoke about the incredible strengths in health research that exist throughout the University. “Health research is of strategic importance to York University and clearly our unique ability is the willingness of and opportunity for our health researchers from the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, and the professional schools to come together to tackle the complex health issues facing our society,” he said. “This is an exciting time for health research at York.”

Marcia Rioux (left), the newly appointed director of the centre and Chair of the Atkinson School of Health Policy & Management at Atkinson, emphasized the multidisciplinary nature of the centre’s mandate, which requires exploring the full range of health issues, from bio-medical to structural determinants of health.

“At YCHS we are trying to realistically assess the many structural barriers to health embedded in the social environment and to evaluate strategies for health promotion that seek to eliminate such barriers for all people, including those who are marginalized and face increased health risks,” she said.

“We encourage researchers from various perspectives to work together to find methods of improving health and well-being and to develop new directions in health policy and services.”

Ronald Pearlman (right), Chair of the Strategic Working Group on Health Research, said researchers from across York University campuses will continue to actively participate in a collective, grass-roots process to further develop York’s strengths in health research and create a diversity of research themes.