VIU Welcomes New Dean Of Health And Human Services

Dr. Patricia O'Hagan is the new Dean of Health and Human Services at VIU.

September 7, 2018 - 3:30pm

Vancouver Island University (VIU) is pleased to announce Dr. Patricia O’Hagan has accepted the role of Dean, Health and Human Services. O’Hagan brings ten years of experience in post-secondary education in BC and a strong background in population health, health promotion and prevention to this important VIU role. She also has many years of international experience, including in the US, China, Singapore, and Columbia, as well as with the United Nations.

In addition to providing academic and administrative leadership to the Faculty of Health and Human Services, O’Hagan will be responsible for several key initiatives, including communicating the vision, strategic direction, and goals of the Faculty to stakeholders in associated institutions, government, and community. These activities help faculty members participating in research, teaching and service throughout the academic community by ensuring they are recognized and rewarded for their contributions, which then fosters an environment for innovation in learning, teaching, scholarship, and service.

O’Hagan’s work focuses on Interprofessional education (IPE). “Interprofessional education occurs when two or more professionals learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” (World Health Organization, 2010).

She sees that “there are innovative synergies that result from Interprofessional education learning and research partnerships. I am excited to expand IPE partnerships to address the determinants of health.  For example, the increasing growth of the elderly population means a projected need for long-term care graduates with the knowledge and skills of ambulatory and rehabilitation therapeutic devices.  When faculty and students in gerontology, occupational and physical therapy programs collaborate with engineering around the amazing developments in medical robotic technology, the outcomes are threefold: we expand student interest in the field of long-term care, we improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our communities, and finally we are addressing the social determinants of health.”

Previous to her VIU appointment, O’Hagan was most recently the Dean, Health Sciences, Nursing and Emergency Medical Services at the University of Hawaii, Kapi’olani Community College. Prior to that appointment, she managed the Continuing Professional Education for the Faculty of Health Sciences at Douglas College. Dr. O’Hagan was a member of a nation-wide team of faculty who taught international nurses through the University of Toronto.  She also taught at Simon Fraser University (SFU), served as an adjunct instructor faculty member at the University of British Columbia, and was the Provincial Education Director of the Eating Disorder Resource Centre of BC at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

O’Hagan holds a number of professional memberships, including a Member of the Board for the National Consortium for Health Science Education; Board Chair for the High School - Health Sciences Pathway Advisory Council; and previous Board Chair, O’ahu Regional Board, Long Term Care, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.

“My previous experiences and responsibilities have enabled me to effectively respond to trends in teaching, research and workforce development that will support VIU purpose and core values set out in the Academic Plan.  Most importantly, connecting that experience and responsibilities which focused on Native Hawaiian and BC Indigenous health and educational issues helps me to act upon the strategic outcomes in the Aboriginal Education Plan including IPE partnerships.” 

O’Hagan has published articles in one of her areas of expertise, the topic of eating disorders/disordered eating, and has received numerous grants and contracts for her professional work. She holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology from Western University, a Masters of Sociology from University of Hawaii with a focus on Medical Sociology, and a PhD in Sociology with a focus on population health and demography from University of Hawaii.

Dr. O’Hagan began her role on June 1. 2018.

Tags: Teaching and Learning

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