Our Team


Dr. Patricia O’Campo, Co-Leadocampo_p

Pat is Director of the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital, Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Research Chair in Intersectoral Solutions to Urban Health Problems, and co-lead of the ACHIEVE Research Partnership, CRICH’s post-doctoral training program. As a social epidemiologist she has been conducting research on the social determinants of health and health inequalities for over 25 years. She has conducted a number of longitudinal studies and program evaluations in a variety of areas including mental health, intimate partner violence, children’s well-being, HIV prevention, infant mortality prevention and homelessness.

Dr. Blake Poland, Co-LeadBlakePhoto

Blake is a social geographer currently appointed as Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, with a cross-appointment in the Department of Geography. His research focuses primarily on urban community development in North America, inter-sectoral collaboration, the role of place in intervention design and evaluation, social justice, and issues of theory and method in critical qualitative research. Since 2008, Blake has increasingly reoriented his work to issues of urban environmental justice, community resilience, and the role of social movements in the transition to a low- carbon future. 

Ben Brisbois, Postdoctoral Fellow

Ben joined the team in October, 2015 to facilitate development and coordination of Hub activities. His PhD research at the University of British Columbia focused on preventing health effects due to pesticide exposure in Ecuador’s banana industry. He is also involved in ongoing research projects on the health effects of climate change, and of resource extraction. Cross-cutting themes in his work include political ecology, community-based approaches, and critical and postcolonial theoretical perspectives on health research.

Brenda Ross, Hub Development Consultant/Facilitatorbross

Brenda has been hired on a part-time, short term contract to facilitate the development of the Healthier Cities and Communities hub. She is the former Operational Director of the University of Toronto, Centre for Urban Health Initiatives, a CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health, Research Development Centre, She brings community, policy and academic stakeholder perspectives to the hub as well as former relationships with inter-disciplinary faculty interested in social and physical determinants of health and addressing health inequities. She will play a key role in building research and education infrastructure for the hub and supporting the development of new interdisciplinary research teams with their community and policy partners. Her experience in research development, program planning and in building partnerships between researchers across disciplines and with stakeholder users of research will be an asset in this phase of hub development.

Rebecca Cheff, Coordinator059_2_2

Rebecca has worked with Blake and Pat to coordinate Hub activities, events and communications since summer 2013. She is committed to and passionate about community-based health equity research, evaluation and advocacy. Rebecca is a recent MPH (Health Promotion) grad from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She also helps coordinate the ACHIEVE Research Partnership at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital.


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