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OVC professor receives Health Promotion Canada award

Prof. Jennifer McWhirter, Ontario Veterinary College, University of GuelphOntario Veterinary College professor Jennifer McWhirter has been recognized with a Rising Star Award from Health Promotion Canada

An assistant professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, McWhirter focuses her research on the use of effective communication, education, and policy for cancer prevention. 

She received the award at the Health Promotion Canada’s annual general meeting on December 13, 2018.

“Jennifer has become a leader in protecting youth from harmful tanning bed-generated UV through her work in identifying industry-led marketing techniques and effective policy,” Prof. Andrew Papadopoulos, Coordinator for OVC’s MPH program. 

The Rising Star Award recognizes health promoters who have an exceptional track record of professional achievements, display exemplary personal leadership qualities, and exhibit strong potential for making future contributions to health promotion in Canada or globally.

“I’m honoured to receive the award, and grateful to Health Promotion Canada for the recognition and the important work they do,” says McWhirter.

McWhirter is interested in the dissemination of health information and misinformation and how visual images influence people’s health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. Through teaching health communication and health promotion in the Master of Public Health program at OVC, McWhirter instills in the next generation of health promoters how to make health information helpful and the healthy choice the easy choice.

She received her PhD from the University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. In addition to teaching and research, she also serves as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Cancer Education and as the co-chair of the Ontario Sun Safety Working Group, an award-wining group known for education, research, and advocacy initiatives in connection to UV radiation and human health.

Health Promotion Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting health promoters from every province and territory in Canada, sharing tools, resources and strategies to practice health promotion effectively, ethically and comprehensively.