The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) was established in September 2004, as an extension of Simon Fraser University's commitment to excellence in teaching, research and community engagement, and to innovation in the fields of science, public policy and interdisciplinary programs.
FHS serves as an innovative platform to support and develop integrated, interdisciplinary education and research in health sciences at Simon Fraser University, with a particular interest in population and public health. FHS brings together experts from the social, population and policy sciences, biomedical sciences and public health sectors who are dedicated to generating new knowledge and applying their expertise to improving the health of people in Canada and around the world. Since 2004, we have recruited 44 new faculty which include seven Research Chairs, several of whom are supported by generous endowments from the philanthropic community.
A vibrant teaching program is at the heart of FHS. In September 2005 FHS enrolled its first graduate students in our Masters of Public Health (MPH), today offering concentrations in global health, population health, environmental and occupational health and social inequities and health. In September 2006, our Bachelor of Arts program and in September 2007, our Bachelor of Science program were launched. A new MSc was introduced in 2009 and a PhD program was approved in 2011. Our MPH, BA and BSc programs were accredited in 2010 by the US-based Council for Education in Public Health, the first public health-oriented programs in English Canada to receive international accreditation. FHS is committed to providing our students with practical opportunities to apply their knowledge in the lab and to engage with community health problems in British Columbia and around the world.
FHS also contains a diverse and substantial research community. FHS has established several Centres of research and policy excellence in areas of children's health, mental health and addictions, and gender, social inequities and mental health, and continues to develop research laboratories in areas such as immunology, neurobiology, microbiology, virology, toxicology, reproductive health and epigenetics. FHS also maintains a cross-cutting interest in global health, and supports strong interdisciplinary research groups addressing critical population level concerns in environmental and occupational health, infectious disease, and chronic disease.
To house all of this important activity, our magnificent new building, Blusson Hall, opened in June 2008, thanks to a $12-million gift from Stewart and Marilyn Blusson and a $5.5 million gift from the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation. The Faculty of Health Sciences has had a very successful beginning. Its goal is to contribute new approaches to interdisciplinary thinking in teaching, research, and community engagement, and I am very excited by the opportunity to participate in this innovative approach to education and research in the field of health. I am confident that as it continues to grow and diversify it will emerge as an internationally recognized centre of excellence in health sciences.