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Jerry Spiegel
Professor, Liu Institute for Global Issues & School for Population and Public Health
Office: 430 - 2206 East Mall
Office Phone: (604) 822-1398
Fax: (604) 822-6966

JERRY SPIEGEL, MA MSc PhD is a Professor in the Liu Institute for Global Issues and the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at UBC; and is co-director of the Global Health Research Program, a WHO Collaborating Centre in Occupational and Environmental Health.

Dr. Spiegel  was founding President of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research; was director of the UBC Centre for International Health from 2003 to 2010; and received the Canadian Public Health Association’s 2011 International Award.  Jerry’s research focus is on sustainable approaches to promote equity and health, with active projects in Cuba, Ecuador and South Africa and is active in the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health.  Dr. Spiegel’s academic training is in economics and sociology (McGill, MA); environmental health and health administration (U of Toronto, MSc); and Community Health Sciences (Manitoba, PhD). He has led research and capacity building programs and projects in Cuba, Slovakia, Ecuador and South Africa In addition he has 15 years of experience as a senior policy official with the Manitoba Government Department of Environment and is a Senior Editor of the International Labour Office Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety.

Dr. Spiegel’s research interests include the effects of globalization on health, ecosystem approaches to human health, understanding and addressing influences of physical and social environments on health, global health and human security, the economic evaluation of interventions, and health and equity in Latin America.

Graduate Students

Carolina Vidal
Developing a clinical tool to treat depression in Spanish-speaking Latin American immigrants in Canada: Applying a global mental health perspective for improved mental health outcomes

Kendra Mitchell-Foster
Interdisciplinary knowledge translation and evaluation strategies for participatory dengue prevention in Machala, Ecuador

Ben Brisbois
Interrogating knowledge translation in global health: Latin American pesticide epidemiology and pesticide risk perception in Ecuador’s banana industry

Kelly Garton
Assessing Equity in Access to Healthy Diets in Ecuador Following the Addition of Food Sovereignty to the Constitution

Lawrence Santiago
Spaces of expertise and the brokerage of knowledge Regiane GarciaIThe right to health and community participation in Brazil

Mira Ziolo
A Comprehensive Evaluation of a Leading Employee Health Program in the Context of the Mountain Gorilla-Human Interface in Rwanda: A One Health Tool in Improving Human, Animal and Ecosystem Health

Bjorn Stime
How can ‘wellness indicators’ embracing an Aboriginal wellness approach to health be operationalized for health surveillance to replace the standard illness indicator set? [preliminary theme]

Prince Adu
Globalization and the health of health workers in South Africa [preliminary theme]

Chris Hergesheimer
Exploring cases of supply chain hybridization in conventional and alternative food chains in Latin America and Canada [preliminary theme]

Recently completed

Kristi Kenyon (2013)
Choosing rights: The puzzle of the rights frame in HIV activism Kavita Sarwal (2012)International Cancer Control Congresses: Do They Make a Difference?

Ben Warren (2012)
The Impact of International Trade Agreements on Health - Access, Innovation, and Medicines in Mexico

Fabio Cabarcas (2011)
Harnessing the community capacity of small farmer organizations to reduce pesticide-related environmental health risks: A case study in an indigenous community in the southern ranges of Ecuador, 2007-2008

Patricio (Colon) Velasquez (2010)
Mercury in artisanal and small scale gold mining: identifying strategies to reduce environmental contamination in southern

EcuadorIreh Iyioha (2010)
Health governance, medical pluralism and the politics of integration: A legal theory for increasing access to healthcare

Robert Huish (2008)
Going where no doctors has gone before: The Place of Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine in Building Health Care Capacity for Ecuadorian Public Health Care

Selected Publications

1. Spiegel JM, Lockhart K, Dyck C, Wilson A, O’Hara L, Yassi A.  Tool, Weapon, or White Elephant? A realist analysis of the five phases of a twenty-year programme of occupational health information system implementation in the health sector.  BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.  2012, 12:84  2.      

2. Yassi A, Breilh J, Dharamsi S, Lockhart K, Spiegel JM. The Ethics of Ethics Reviews in Global Health Research: Case studies applying a new paradigm. Journal of Academic Ethics. 2013. DOI 10.1007/s10805-013-9182-y.3.      

3. Yassi A, Lockhart K, Sykes M, Buck B, Stime B, Spiegel JM.  The effectiveness of joint health and safety committees: A systematic review.  American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2013 Apr;56(4):424-38.

4. Huish RL and Spiegel JM.  First as Tragedy and then on to Farce: Canadian Foreign Aid for Global Health.  Canadian Foreign Policy.  2012; 18(2): 244-246. 5.        

5. Spiegel JM, Alegret M, Clair V, Pagliccia N, Martinez B, Bonet M, Yassi A. Intersectoral Action for Health at a Municipal Level in Cuba. International Journal of Public Health. 2012; 57(1): 15-23.

6. Yassi A, O’Hara LM, Lockhart K, Spiegel JM. Workplace programmes for HIV and Tuberculosis: A systematic review to support development of international guidelines for the health workforce. AIDS Care.  2012 DOI:10.1080/09540121.2012.712668.

7. Muñoz G, Mota L, Bowie W, Quizhpe A, Orrego E, Spiegel JM, Yassi A. Ecosystem approach to promoting appropriate antibiotic use for children in indigenous communities in Ecuador.Rev Panam Salud Publica  2012, vol.30, n.6, pp. 566-573. ISSN 1020-4989.

8. Kone B, Kouassi E, Fayomi B, Houenou Y, Feagan M, Spiegel JM.  Facilitating the Relationship Between Researchers and Policy-Makers: Experiences from Three Ecohealth Projects in West and Central Africa. Ecohealth. 2011; 8: 413–417. DOI:10.1007/s10393-012-0740-3.

9. Spiegel JM, Breilh J, Beltran E, Parra J, Solis F, Yassi A, Rojas A, Orrego E, Henry B, Bowie W, Pearce L, Gaibor J, Velasquez P, Concepcion M, Parkes M. Establishing a community of practice of researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and communities to sustainably manage environmental health risks in Ecuador. BMC International Health and Human Rights. 2011; 11(Suppl 2):S5.

10. Yassi A, Bryce EA, Breilh J, Lavoie MC, Ndelu L, Lockhart K, Spiegel JM. Research collaboration between infection control and occupational health in three continents: A success story with international impact. BMC International Health and Human Rights. 2011; 11 (Suppl 2):S8.

11. Webb JC, Mergler D, Parkes MW, Saint-Charles J, Spiegel J, Waltner-Toews D, Yassi A, Woollard RF. Tools for Thoughtful Action: the role of ecosystem approaches to health in enhancing public health, Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2010; 101(6): 439-441. 

12. Spiegel JM and Huish RL. Canadian foreign aid for global health: Human security opportunity lost.  Canadian Foreign Policy 2010; 15(3): 60-84.

13. Spiegel JM, Wasan K, Dharamsi S, Yassi A. Strategies for Neglected Global Diseases: Why we are still failing. PLoS Medicine. 2010; 7(5): e1000255.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000255 1-5.

14. Pagliccia N, Spiegel JM, Alegret M, Bonet M, Martinez B, Yassi A.  Network analysis as a tool to assess the intersectoral management of health determinants at the local level: An exploratory study of two Cuban municipalities. Social Science & Medicine. 2010; 71(2): 394-399.

15. Yassi A, Dharamsi S, Spiegel JM, Rojas A, Dean E, Woollard R. The good, the bad and the ugly of partnered research:  Revisiting the sequestration thesis and the role of universities in promoting social justice. International Journal of Health Services. 2010; 40(3):  485-505.

16. Yassi A, Nophale LE, Dybka L, Bryce EA, Kruger W, Spiegel J. Building capacity to secure healthier and safer working conditions for healthcare workers: A South African-Canadian collaboration. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.  2009; October 15(4): 369-80.

17. Yassi A, Bryce EA, Spiegel J.  Assuming our global responsibility: Improving working conditions for healthcare workers globally. Open Medicine. 3(3):174-177. 2009.

18. Parkes M, Spiegel JM, Breilh J, Cabarcas F, Huish R, Yassi A.  Building sustainable capacity to promote the health of marginalized populations through international collaboration: Examining community-oriented training innovations in Ecuador. Bulletin of the World Health Organization  87(4):312–319

19. Huish RL, Spiegel JM.  Integrating Health and Human Security into Foreign Policy: Cuba's Surprising Success.  The International Journal of Cuban Studies 2008;1(1):42-53.

20. Spiegel JM, Gonzalez M, Cabrera GJ, Catasus S , Vidal C, Yassi A. Promoting Health in Response to Global Tourism Expansion in Cuba. Health Promotion International. 2008; 23(1): 60-69.

21. Spiegel JM, Bonet M, Ibarra AM, Pagliccia N, Ouellette V, Yassi A.  Social and environmental determinants of Aedes aegypti infestation in Central Havana: Results of a case-control study nested in an integrated dengue surveillance program in Cuba.  Tropical Medicine and International Health 2007 12(4):503-510.

22. Bonet M, Spiegel J, Ibarra AM, Kouri, G, Pintre A and Yassi A.  An integrated ecosystem approach for sustainable prevention and control of dengue in Central Havana.  Int J Occup Environ Health 2007 13(2):188-194.23. 

23. Spiegel JM, Garcia M, Bonet M and Yassi A.  Learning together: A Canada-Cuba research collaboration to improve the sustainable management of environmental health risks.  Canadian Journal of Public Health 2006;97(1):50-55. 24. 

24. Neufeld V, Spiegel JM.  Canada and Global Health Research: 2005 Update. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2006;97(1):39-41.25. 

25. Spiegel JM, Yassi A. Lessons from the margins of globalization: Appreciating the Cuban health paradox. Journal of Public Health Policy. 2004;25(1):85-110.26. 

26. Spiegel JM Commentary: Daring to learn from a good example and break the ‘Cuba taboo’. International Journal of Epidemiology 2006;35:825–826.27. 

27. Spiegel JM, Bennett S, Hattersley L, Hayden MH, Kittayapong P, Nalim S, Wang DNC, Zielinski-Gutiérrez, E, Gubler D. Barriers and Bridges to Prevention and Control of Dengue: The need for a Social-Ecological Approach. EcoHealth 2005; 2:273-290.28. 

28. Spiegel JM, Labonte R, Ostry A. Understanding “globalization” as a determinant of health determinants: a critical perspective. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2004;10:360-7.29. 

29. Labonte R, Spiegel JM. Setting global health research priorities. British Medical Journal. 2003;326:722-723.30. 

30. Spiegel JM, Labonte R, Hatcher-Roberts J, Girard J, Neufeld V. Tackling the 10-90 gap: A report from Canada. Lancet. Sept 13 2003;362(9387):917-918.31. 

31. Spiegel JM, Bonet M, Yassi A, Tate B, Concepción M, Cañizares M. Evaluating the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention to improve health in an inner-city Havana community. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2003;9(2):118-127.

Current research projects involving students include:

Food systems and health equity in an era of globalization: Think, Eat and Grow Green Globally (TEG3)

  • 5 year CIHR funded research program on pathways to health equity
  • Being conducted in Ecuador and Canada with an interdisciplinary team in both countries

Tool, Weapon or White Elephant?: Assessing the use and perceived usefulness of a State-of the-art Information System adapted for an Occupational Health Program in South Africa         

  • Assessing the application of information technology to improve health equity (among health workers) in South Africa – CIHR funded
  • Linked to a CIHR research program on “Promoting Health Equity by Addressing the Needs of Health Workers: A Collaborative, International Research Program” including impact of globalization on occupational health and safety

Meeting capacity-building and scaling-up challenges to sustainably prevent and control dengue in Machala, Ecuador         

  • IDRC and WHO Tropical Disease Research Program funded research project applying an ecosystem approach to health
  • Includes development and evaluation of new information system approach to promote health equity
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Shafik Dharamsi and Jerry Spiegel published an article in Springer about global health research ethics.
19 April 2013
Jerry Spiegel, Robert Huish
This article examines how Canada has approached the challenge of global health in its foreign policy and the degree to which the much-discussed concept of human security has influenced this. In exploring this subject, we specifically focus on Canadian provision of foreign aid for health. It observes that despite the needs and opportunities for stepping up assistance in recent years, Canada’s foreign policy has not transformed itself to meet the challenge of overcoming global inequalities.
27 May 2010
Jerry Spiegel, Robert Huish
This article provides a case study of how Cuba’s foreign policy initiatives in primary health-care provision has led to a practice that addresses basic needs and enhances capabilities for the marginalized – at root a central concern of human security!
1 June 2008
Jerry Spiegel
Promoting Health in Response to Global Tourism Expansion in Cuba. J. M. Spiegel; M. Gonzalez; G. J. Cabrera; S. Catasus; C. Vidal; A. Yassi. Health Promotion International 2007. Health Promotion International Advance Access published December 14, 2007.
14 December 2007
Pagliccia N, Ibarra AM, Bonet M, Jerry Spiegel, Ouellette V, Yassi
Over the past 20 years, dengue fever (DF) has emerged as a serious global health problem
1 April 2007
Jerry Spiegel
As antiretroviral (ARV) therapy becomes increasingly accessible in sub-Saharan Africa, it is important to understand whether and how the associated clinical improvements correspond with changes in the incidence of pregnancy and fertility
6 December 2006
Jerry Spiegel
When confronted by observations of unusually positive or negative outliers, epidemiologists and other scientists are typically drawn to better understand what could be producing such results. Recognition of diminishing HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda,
30 August 2006
Jerry Spiegel
On the fateful day of Sept 11, 2001, a group of 25 Canadian university-based and low and middle income country (LMIC) health researchers were wrapping up a workshop with funding agencies and non-governmental organizations at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues.
8 February 2006
Jerry Spiegel
Jerry Spiegel, Director of Global Health at the Liu Institute reviews The end of poverty: economic possibilities for our time by Jeffrey D. Sachs.
8 November 2005
  Sustainably Managing Environmental Health Risk in Ecuador
This project was established to build human resources and institutional capabilities to reduce health impacts associated with environmental health risks in this low-income country. In order to achieve health and ecosystem outcome improvements, this 6 year CIDA-funded University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development (UPCD) project relies on the strengthening of links between universities and communities as well as the creation of a regional network involving Latin American centres of excellence in Cuba and Mexico to enhance sustainability.
  Social Organization and health in a Globalizing Era: What We Can Learn From the Cuban Paradox
This CIHR sponsored pilot study will develop a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analytic approach to assess health determinants in Cuba, with the goal of delineating “pathways” that affect the “social construction of health”, the framework employed in Cuba and analogous to the determinants of population health model widely adopted in Canada
  Building Interdisciplinary Capacity in Environmental Health Risk Assessment and Management Across Cuba
This project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Cuban partner institutions to upgrade their teaching programs in environmental health at the diploma, Masters and PhD levels across Cuba. The philosophy of the project is that of sustainable development and inter-sectoral collaboration, including strong collaboration with industry and government authorities in Cuba. It brings together expertise in population health, economic evaluation, environmental management, health and database research, and information transfer.
  Building an Ecosystem Health Research Program on Effective Methods for Preventing Vector-borne and Other Infectious Diseases in the Americas
This interdisciplinary research program is enabling researchers from Mexico (based at the National Institute for Public Health) and Canada (based at the University of British Columbia and the BC Centre for Disease Control) to collaboratively develop a program of research around the theme of effective methods for controlling and preventing vector-borne and other infectious diseases. This program will not only serve to rapidly initiate new specific research projects in this area, but will accelerate the establishment of further research collaborations throughout the Latin American region, where development of such capacity is needed.
  Applying an Ecosystem Approach to Sustainably Prevent and Control Dengue in Central Havana, Cuba
This IDRC funded project, conducted in Centro Habana, Cuba (one of 15 municipalities in Havana City) was developed to implement and evaluate an integrated dengue surveillance system. It built on the recently completed, IDRC-funded project “Applying an Ecosystem Health Approach to Evaluating Health Interventions in Centro Habana”, which had demonstrated a highly productive and effective partnership between Canadian researchers and Cuban researchers and contributed considerably to new world knowledge.
  A Collaborative Cuban-Mexican-Canadian Pilot Study of the Impact of Tourism on Gender and Health in Coastal Communities
With the support of the Global Health Research Program, a strong multi-disciplinary team of Canadian, Cuban and Mexican researchers was assembled to 1) improve understanding of the impact of globalization on upstream political, cultural, social and economic determinants of health; 2) generate hypotheses as to the pathways involved so that these can be pilot tested through analysis of relevant indicators as well as field research; and 3) consider policy implications.
  Developing a Research Program on Globalization, Social Organization and Health
This Canadian-Cuban-Mexican collaboration is investigating the effects on health that are attributable to the impact of globalization on the social organization within our communities. Specifically, the program of research seeks to develop greater clarity around conceptual frameworks and then build on this to develop methodologies and research protocols for conducting cross-country studies that in turn can provide insights into the forces at play, the health implications and policy options for mitigating the negative effects of globalization.
  Community of Practice in Ecosystems to Human Health in Latin America and the Caribbean
This IDRC project has allowed us to create opportunities for deepening understanding and excellence while creating new possibilities for involvement among researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and communities. The COPEH that we intend to build is a network of partnerships of trans-disciplinary, multi-agency, community-linked, international expertise, based on the three pillars of an eco-health approach: trans-disciplinary, participation and equity.
  Global Focus: UBC researchers call for “social offset” to tackle neglected tropical diseases
Public health and international development experts at the Liu Institute are calling for a “social offset” mechanism to set aside a portion of research funding slated for neglected tropical diseases (NTD) to address broader social determinants of disease.
Currently Teaching:
Global Health and Human Security INDS 502S / SPPH 523
Graduate Student Supervision:
Ben Warren, Carolina Vidal, Veronic Ouellette, Fabio Cabarcas, Robert Huish
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