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HPI is made up of a Secretariat of core leaders, staff and interns that coordinate, facilitate, and liaise with three levels of HPI Membership who are leaders and champions for change, and a Governing Council from our three founding faculties that provide oversight and stewardship.


Dr. Sara Kirk, PhD

Scientific Director

Dr. Sara Kirk is a Professor of Health Promotion and Scientific Director of the Healthy Populations Institute, at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. She also holds a cross-appointment with Community Health and Epidemiology, an honorary senior scientist position with the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, and adjunct faculty status in the Applied Human Nutrition department at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her program of research explores the creation of supportive environments for chronic disease prevention. Her research uses a ‘socio-ecological’ approach that considers how individual behaviours are influenced by other broader factors, such as income, education and societal norms. 

Gillian Ritcey, MPA

Managing Director

Gillian Ritcey is an alumnus of Dalhousie's Masters of Public Administration program. After completing her MPA, Gillian moved to Toronto where she worked in the Ontario health system in various capacities for almost ten years; at the Health Council of Canada, the Ontario Medical Association and the majority of her career at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. At IHPME, Gillian was the Director of the Ontario provincial quality improvement-training program (IDEAS) and most recently the Director of Continuing Professional Education. She is a Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems and is passionate about being a catalyst to create sustainable health systems in a climate crisis.


Cecilia Carrea, PhD

Research Faciliator

Cecilia Carrea is an academic by training with 10 years experience doing research in Biology (specialized in Population Genetics, Molecular Ecology, Phylogeography), including MSc and PhD degrees. Passionate about science with impact, Cecilia decided to transfer her scientific and professional skills to support Population Health research. Motivated by the interdisciplinary nature of Population Health research and with mobilizing knowledge into action, Cecilia’s role at HPI is to support our members with grant capture and integrated (iKT) and end of grant (egKT) knowledge translation activities. She is also involved in capacity building through our Postdoctoral Fellows Top-up Awards program and supervision of HPI interns. Her drive is to maximize the impact of the research produced at HPI for the improvement of population health and health equity.

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