What We Do

The HEAL is a state-of-the-art, inter-disciplinary research and training environment which specializes in the production, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination and mobilization of evidence to support effective policies, programs and professional practice aimed at creating healthy and vibrant communities.

We examine social and physical environments from the scale of entire regions down to the level of individual buildings or open spaces and their inhabitants. We specialize in community-based participatory research and applications of GIS for urban planning and public health.

Graduate students are the core of the HEAL, and team members come from various disciplines, including: geography, planning, health sciences, epidemiology & biostatistics, sociology, paediatrics, food and nutritional sciences. We also work closely with public health professionals, local food agencies, city planners, engineers, land developers, and builders, as well as policy-makers throughout the province, municipalities, and regional school boards.

Current projects focus on issues related to children’s geographies, urban planning & development, urban health (physical activity, food environments, air pollution, sleep, mental health), and transportation (walkability, traffic modelling).

Current/recent clients include: City of London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, Chatham-Kent Public Health, Lambton County Public Health, Grey Bruce Public Health, the Old East Village Business Improvement Area, and others.

The HEALab was first inaugurated in 2003. Funding for the renovation of the current HEALab facility was generously provided by the Estate of Donna and Al (Angel) Angelov in 2015.

Funding for HEAL research projects has been provided by organizations such as the , the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Children’s Health Foundation, andthe Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Click here to see a full list of supporters.

Location: Social Science Centre, The University of Western Ontario, 43.009511, -81.275729