Population & Community Health Unit

Service |  Information |  Research |  Education |  Network  


The Population and Community Health Unit (PCHU) is a research organization that is associated with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. Our purpose is to engage in epidemiological, analytical, and evaluative research, and health related data collection. We focus on a population health approach with a special interest in the communities of London and Southwestern Ontario, Canada, using prevention and health

Functions of the Unit

Service: Provides response, where possible, on various health-related issues identified by stakeholders and public.

Information: Gather and be aware of local health-related population data and resources.

Research: Conduct literature reviews, meta-analyses, secondary data analyses, original and program evaluations on population health issues.

Education: Provide information obtained for use in specialized education curricula.

Network: Provide the opportunities and forums for various health-related stakeholders to collaborate on issues related to education, programs and research.

Why Population & Community Health?

Challenges for health and well-being in the new millennium:
  • Shifting disease and health problems
  • Broader determinants of health
  • Growing disparity between rich and poor
  • Health care affordability

Challenges move beyond individual-focused "to change behaviour".

Must also tackle social, cultural, environmental, economic factors locally, nationally and internationally.

Must build teams and be multidisciplinary


Most major population-based problems transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Most major problems are complex.

Therefore, we must bring the disciplines to the problem, not the problem to the disciplines.

Research is not an end in itself, but a means to enhance the health and well-being of our community.

The Community Is Our Laboratory

I. Identification of Strengths & Problem(s), Community Health Indicators

Alder, Vingilis &; Mai

Special Populations

  • Person with serious mental illness
  • Alcohol, drugs, driving, and youth

    II. Causation of Problem(s)

    Health determinants and interactions

    Community Health Knowledge, Knowledge Diffusion / Utilization

    • Poor understanding of community health = Poor prognosis for community mobilization
    • Economic Indicators and Their Relationship to Health Care Utilization

    Special Populations



    III. Solutions to Problem(s)

    Health Policy / Program Formulation, Implementation & Evaluation

    Community Health Education

    Special Populations

    Injury Prevention and Control

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    The Population & Community Health Unit, Family Medicine,
    Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, 2nd Floor,
    Dr. Don Rix Clinical Skills Building, London, ON, Canada N6A 5C1
    Telephone: (519) 858-5063, Fax: (519) 661-3878,
    The University of Western Ontario