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Research at the O'Brien Institute for Public Health

The O’Brien Institute for Public Health brings together an interdisciplinary group of population and health services researchers, health practitioners, trainees, and decision-makers, working together toward a common goal: Better Health and Health Care.

We study health care systems in search of ways to make them better. We also study new ways to prevent disease and promote health in the general population. And we engage our communities to understand what matters to them most. Our mandate is to produce new knowledge through academic excellence, in order to inform public policy for health and to create a direct impact to our communities.

Three Priority Themes Guiding Research to Practice

Enhanced Health Systems Performance

Improved Population Health

Innovative Tools and Methods for Public Health

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. We are searching for ways to make care better.


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.More 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. Our members focus on the development and application of new data and information methods to improve both the health of our population and our health care system. More