Applied Public Health Chair – Wendy V. Norman

This Chair is supported through the CIHR Community-based Primary Health Care (CBPHC) Signature Initiative.

Wendy V. Norman, MD, CCFP, FCFP, DTM&H, MHSc, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice, and an Associate Member in both the School of Population and Public Health, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Norman is a Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and undertook a Primary Healthcare Research Fellowship through the TUTOR-PHC program at Western University after completing the Clinician Scholar Program at UBC. She completed a MHSc (UBC), a diploma in Tropical Medicine and International Health (Liverpool University) and residencies in Family Medicine (U Alberta) and in GP-anaesthesiology (UBC). Her research interests include family planning health services, health professional education, and population health. Dr. Norman brings this multidisciplinary expertise into her role as CIHR/PHAC Applied Public Health Chair for her program of research on family planning health equity interventions. Dr. Norman was awarded the prestigious Darroch Award in January 2016 sponsored by the New York-based Guttmacher Institute. This award recognizes an emerging leader who is a researcher in the field of sexual and reproductive health, where scientific evidence is essential to guiding the policies and programs of the future.

The decision making collaborators on Dr. Norman’s Chair in Applied Public Health are Dr. Perry Kendall, OBC, MBBS, MHSc, FRCPC, Provincial Health Officer, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health, British Columbia.

Dr. Norman’s Chair

There is considerable inequity in the ability to plan and space pregnancies among Canadians. Vulnerable populations face a disproportionate number of economic, education-related, work and social consequences due to unplanned childbirth and recurrent abortion. Therefore, to address this population health issue, Dr. Norman proposes to collect Canadian context evidence on this topic to inform population health interventions for health system change. These population health interventions, and embedded elements of capacity building and knowledge translation, are founded on both provincial and national gap-analyses and aim to ensure vulnerable Canadian populations will have the equitable ability to plan and space pregnancies. The research program aims to contribute to positive societal change through the many social, educational, workforce and family health benefits Canadians are able to achieve, when they are able to set and reach their own reproductive goals.

Chair Objective

Dr. Norman, as an Applied Public Health Chair, firstly aims to identify mechanisms by which social inequalities contribute to and exacerbate health system barriers, specifically for vulnerable populations. This information will inform the development of innovative population health interventions to optimize family planning policy. The second objective is to advance the evidence base on the effect of innovative models of reproductive care policies and services, in Canada, on the equitable distribution of optimal pregnancy planning and spacing related health outcomes. Thirdly, Dr. Norman aims to increase the knowledge base for equitable quality of care, as well as to identify new knowledge translation strategies suitable for the needs and conditions of the end-users with the goal of reducing undesirable reproductive health outcomes experienced by vulnerable populations (both men and women).

Chair progress: Dr. Norman's Chair facilitated conduct of applied interventions and measurement of population health indicators, which are implementing new knowledge to improve health and health equity. Two major research initiatives have completed in the last year, both demonstrated improved health outcomes and reduced costs through provision of contraception subsidy. Her Chair program has also stimulated a wide range of capacity building initiatives, and engaged 35 trainees in addition to 10 early career researchers, 20 co-investigators, and 38 knowledge user and decision maker collaborators.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about Dr. Norman’s research and projects, please visit:

She can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.


Norman WV, Guilbert ER, Okpaleke C, Hayden A, Lichtenberg ES, Paul M, O'Connell White K, Jones HE. Abortion health services in Canada: Results of a 2012 national survey. Can Fam Physician 2016 Apr 62(4):e209-17

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