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Alumni

Dr Franklin White

Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University

 

Dr Franklin White graduated in Medicine in 1969 from McGill University, Montreal.  After an internship and a year of public health training in Canada, he studied at LSHTM, receiving an MSc Social Medicine in 1973. In 2003 Dr White launched Pacific Health & Development Sciences Inc., a consulting firm based in Victoria, British Columbia, focusing on international health monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The firm has undertaken key roles in evaluation of AMREF, ICDDR,B, Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers Programme, and the MOPAN evaluation of WHO, among others. He is also a member of the Support Group, Technical Review Panel, The Global Fund. Dr White remains active in scholarly work and is an Adjunct (full) Professor at Dalhousie University, and is advising the University of Victoria, British Columbia on its new School of Public Health and Social Policy. Dr White was a Visiting Professor at Kuwait University in 2008, and keynote speaker at the University of Wisconsin in the same year. Dr White is an awardee of the Environmental Health Foundation of Canada, the (US) Academy for Educational Development, the Government of Sindh, Pakistan, and the Medal of Honor, highest award for staff of PAHO/WHO. In 2003 he was elected Fellow, Faculty of Public Health, Royal Colleges of Physicians UK, for “distinguished contributions to the field”.

 

“I discovered while studying medicine at McGill that so much illness results from how people live, that so many come to attention too late for effective intervention, and that better solutions lie more in the direction of preventive strategies at community level. Also, I was influenced by sound advice from my father (an Australian mining engineer who died when I was in my mid 20s), and from my mentor J Corbett McDonald, then McGill’s Chair of Epidemiology and Health, to diversify my education and try if possible to avoid the trap of developing only within one culture, whether this be institution or country. LSHTM was recommended as an internationally recognized location to study public health, so I applied and (to my surprise) was accepted into a new MSc in Social Medicine, under the leadership of Jerry Morris. This innovative programme blended mainstream public health disciplines such as epidemiology with the social sciences, and was among the first in the world to do so: a progenitor of what today is referred to as the “social determinants” approach. I enjoyed the curriculum, especially the bonus that about a third of it was contributed by LSE (a true multidisciplinary effort). All my professors were good teachers and excellent guides, but greater value came from discovering that LSHTM was at the cross-roads of international and global public health with an ongoing stream of visiting lecturers, many leaders in their own right, as well as a highly diverse student body. My favourite “social memory” is lunches at SOAS, where the tastiest and best value meal was vegetable curry spiced with cross-cultural conversation. It was this quality at all levels, from faculty to student body, that helped form my emerging professional values, skills and interests and which steered me eventually and perhaps inevitably towards international and global health. “

 

“Fellow alumni “pop up” in every part of the world where I have been active. They of course represent different cohorts, and (funnily enough) increasingly more of them are younger than me! On a more meaningful note, numerous LSHTM alumni and faculty have been among my active colleagues on research, development and educational initiatives. Also, I often recommend LSHTM to aspiring students (future alumni) for their formal public health education. In particular the increasingly available option of distance based programmes has opened doors to an even more diverse student body, who in turn will help sustain the impact and reputation of the institution over the longer term. It is to a large extent a result of the work of its graduates that LSHTM will continue to grow as a force for health, and its presence felt virtually everywhere.

 

”I am not much of an “old school tie” person, and do not own any LSHTM paraphernalia except for my degree certificate which remains in its cylindrical box, never framed. However, I feel truly privileged to have had the opportunity to study at the school, and greatly value the association. Due to geography I regret not being able to participate in school activities in an active way. I do appreciate how the school is now reaching out to its alumni, and would like to experience more of this. I still consider LSHTM to be the most international of all schools of public health, and as a standard bearer for our vitally important field of endeavour.”

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