History of Public Health

The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) marked its centenary in 2010. This voluntary, non-governmental organization was formed by a small group of doctors who were concerned about the state of public health in Canada. CPHA used the centenary of its founding to celebrate the great achievements of public health in Canada. Our goal was to increase awareness of the history of public health in Canada and increase understanding that health is determined by many factors which are outside of the health care system.

During our centenary year, we explored our public health past through a website, a history book, and through an exhibit that was unveiled at the centenary conference in June 2010.

The History e-Book

This is Public Health: A Canadian History is an interactive e-book. It’s engaging, richly illustrated, suitable for a broad audience and available as a free download. Canadian public health history is now accessible and easy to share!

The Virtual expo

This is Public Health! is a “walking tour” of the last 100 years in Canadian public health. The EXPO celebrates our achievements and profiles the people who made them happen.

12 Great Achievements

The average lifespan of Canadians has increased by more than 30 years since the early 1900s, and 25 of those years are attributable to advances in public health. There are various public health achievements that led to this remarkable feat.

Milestones in Public Health

Window on Public Health

1945: The dangers of home canning of foods

Demonstrations and lectures given throughout Canada and particularly in British Columbia had resulted in a much higher standard of home canning.

Christian Smith

Journalist and Social Reformer in Saskatchewan

1985: CPHA establishes international health secretariat

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has granted CPHA $1.3 million block funding over a three year period to establish an International Health Secretariat and to expand its international health activities.

Video galleries

CPHA Centenary poster

This is Public Health

This is public health

Centenary video