The O'Brien Institute for Public Health

A trusted, independent voice in public health research and policy development

Better health and health care 

Education, income level, employment opportunities, race and gender equity — these social determinants are key predictors of health outcomes throughout an individual’s lifetime.

With a keen understanding of the impact of these determinants, the O’Brien Institute embraces a cross-sectoral approach to research and serves as a hub for innovative minds across the health sciences spectrum. Together, we advocate for better solutions and models of care, and to generate crucial data to improve health and health care for everyone.


health care worker and patient

Enhanced health systems performance

In its present state, our health care system is not sustainable. Currently more than $0.50 of every tax dollar is directed towards health care. In addition, Canadians are aging and more than 60 per cent of us have a chronic disease needing care. One of the Institute’s primary goals is to achieve transformational change in our health care system.

city lights at night

Big data, innovative tools and methods for public health

Over the last decade there have been huge advances in the amount of data we generate and collect in all aspects of our lives, as well as in our ability to use technology to analyze and understand it. The intersection of these societal trends is called Big Data and Smart Analytics, and it is helping us shape health care to become more efficient and productive.

family outdoors

Improved population health

The O’Brien Institute’s leading edge research programs in Population Health and Inequities focus on the health of the entire population, taking into account the environmental, social, and economic factors that determine our health potential. We research new ways to improve health and prevent disease in the general population.

Gail and David O'Brien

Meet the O'Briens

In 2014, the Calgary Institute for Population and Public Health was formally named the O'Brien Institute for Public Health, in recognition of a generous gift from David and Gail O'Brien, supporting our research efforts toward better health and health care. Their continued close involvement with and support of the Institute has been instrumental in its success.