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Meet some of our DPH teachers at Wellington campus

Dr Caroline Shaw

Teaches PUBH733 Environment and Health

Dr Caroline Shaw 2019 thumbnailI’m a medical doctor with training in public health medicine. I’ve always enjoyed teaching. PUBH733 covers issues within environmental health, such as how to manage our precious fresh water, how to reduce the impacts of climate change, how we grow our food and what our cities should be like – these are some of the most interesting, complex and controversial problems we face. They are absolutely fundamental to good health and everyone should know something about them as they impact on our day to day lives.

As well as teaching, I also carry out research in the area of climate change, transport and health which is a fascinating area that includes some of the most complex policy problems we are facing, and has the most potential to improve long and short term public health.

Professor Janet Hoek

Teaches PUBH723 Survey Methods

Professor Janet Hoek 2019 thumbnailMy background is in medieval literature and I came to public health by a non-traditional route! I teach a Survey Methods paper within the DPH programme. As a post-graduate student I did a PhD in survey question wording and studied surveys tobacco companies had used to ‘measure’ public support for smokefree planes. I noticed it was impossible for people to answer questions by indicating they did not want smoking anywhere on planes. So being appalled at how questions (and words generally) can be mis-used was what first got me interested in public health.

Ive been working in smokefree research for several years and my happiest achievement has been working with many people to establish ASPIRE2025, now a University of Otago Research Centre, where people from different disciplines work to support the Government’s Smokefree goal. In PUBH723 the focus is on how we can find answers to important questions, and what is the best way to gather information – something we all benefit from knowing how to do well.

Professor Richard Edwards

Teaches PUBH732 Using Epidemiology in Public Health Practice

Professor Richard Edwards 2019 thumbnailI trained in medicine and public health in the UK and have taught many aspects of epidemiology and public health. PUBH732 appplies some of the epidemiological principles and methods covered in PUBH711 to key aspects of public health practice – including surveillance, screening, needs assessment, prevention and evaluation of public health interventions.

My main research interests are in tobacco use epidemiology and tobacco control (see the ASPIRE 2025 website). Our research has been influential in the development and implementation of tobacco control policies such as the Smokefree Environments Amendament Act, point-of-sale display bans, standardised cigarette packaging and smokefree cars.

Dr Ruth Cunningham

Teaches PUBH711 principles of Epidemiology with Dr Melissa McCleod

Dr Ruth Cunningham 2019 thumbnailI am a public health doctor and epidemiologist by training. Prior to public health I worked as a psychiatric doctor and this has influenced my research focus on public mental health, health services and equity. My main area of current research is the physical health of people using mental health services.

Melissa and I co-teach 711. It is a really fun course to teach, with lots of participation form the students and I hope we make epidemiology seem a lot less scary.

Dr Melissa McLeod

Teaches PUBH711 Principles of Epidemiology with Dr Ruth Cunningham

I am a public health physician by background. My research interests are in Māori health, equity and epidemiology.I have worked on a number of projects all with common themes of working to improve the health status of Māori, often through projects that actively engage with providers of health services. I recently completed my PhD for which I adapted economic models to additionally account for value and health equity. Through this phD I became engaged in the topic areas of colorectal cancer and CT screening for lung cancer.

PUBH711 is a pleasure to teach as it has been designed to encourage active engagement of students. I really enjoy getting to know the class and drawing upon the enormous resources and enthusiasm the students bring to the course.

Dr Johanna Reidy

Teaches PUBH737 Public Health Law and Public Health Ethics – Fundamentals and PUBH742 Global Health and International Health Systems

I work part time in the Department of public health at UOW and I also work freelance in the health sector, having worked for a variety of organisations in New Zealand and overseas in a range of policy, purchasing and strategic planning roles. What I enjoy most about teaching these courses is that our DPH students have such an interesting mix of skills, work and life experience, ethnicities and ages. This makes discussions very animated and interesting because everyone has a different perspective they can apply to a particular topic. The concepts covered in the course are also very broadly applicable to a wide range of sectors beyond health, which also makes it appealing. Another highlight is that we invite guest speakers to share their real world experiences, which often link the high level concepts within the course to examples of global health action. The fact that PUBH742 is a distance taught course is also an advantage, as students can attend the webinars from work or home.