From quiet evolution to global impact

2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and there was much to celebrate, much to be proud of, be thankful for, and to ponder.

Established in 2010, Institute Seven — or the Institute for Public Health as it eventually became known — carved out a unique but critical niche. Embracing cross-sectoral cooperation, multidisciplinary collaboration, disruption and societal impact, the researchers, clinicians and policy makers who joined the fledgling organization sought to gain a holistic understanding of all those aspects of a person’s life that shape and determine their health.

Soon after, the Institute came under the leadership of its scientific director, Dr. William Ghali, MD. In 2014, a naming donation — made to the Institute by Calgary philanthropists Gail and David O’Brien — set the Institute on a path that would eventually see it become an influential health research entity and a nationally-respected public health organization. 

It has been truly a decade of IMPACT. From informing policy and practice at the highest levels, to tackling the biggest public health challenges facing our community head on, the Institute has employed novel lenses to look at old problems, and formulated brave interventions to modern challenges. And now, into a new decade, the work continues. 

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the inaugural O’Brien Institute Signature Event on Oct. 31, 2019.

10-years of IMPACT - the book

Marking 10 years of innovation and courageous solutions, the 10 stories contained in this book showcase just some of the ways the Institute has left its mark at the University of Calgary, in Canada and around the world.


A New Decade in Public Health: O'Brien Institute's 10-year anniversary event

On March 6, 2020, the Institute celebrated its first decade of impact, while looking forward to the next. We also celebrated Dr. William Ghali, the Institute’s inaugural scientific director, who left the role on February 29 to guide the University of Calgary’s research efforts and mandate as its new Vice-President (Research). While at the Institute, Bill enacted a vision of collaboration, academic courage, research excellence and societal impact that set the Institute on a path of meteoric growth towards becoming not just an incubator of ideas and community, but a respected and trusted knowledge broker.

When: March 6
Where: The Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Featuring special guest Mr. André Picard

André Picard