Robert Woollard, MC, CCFP, FCFP, LM, DHC (Laval)

Dr. Woollard is Emeritus Professor of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. He has extensive national and international experience in the fields of medical education, social accountability of medical schools, ecosystem approaches to health, poverty reduction and sustainable development. In this he has or is holding leadership roles in the CFPC, CMA, AFMC, AMEE, and The Network TUFH. He is actively involved in Nepal with a national medical school, school of public health and a nursing school founded on the principles of social accountability established through his initial feasibility study. He currently chairs the International Advisory Board (composed of senior academics from universities around the world) working with Nepali policy makers and academics towards the establishment of the University of Nepal—a new public liberal arts university. His work in East Africa and Asia is centered on matters of social accountability, primary care, rural health and accreditation systems.

Dr. Woollard co-chairs the Global Consensus on Social Accountability for Medical Schools (GCSA) and does extensive work in this area with many international bodies. He was a lead organizer for the World Summit on Social Accountability that led to the Tunis Declaration and recently chaired the Scientific Committee for TUFH2022 the annual conference (here in Vancouver) of this network devoted to social justice and health. The concept of Indigenous ways of knowing was embedded in the conference and scientific program. This is expressed in the Vancouver Vision TUFH 2022 Declaration: and he is working to animate this Vision.

His primary research focus is the study of complex adaptive systems as they apply to the intersection between human and environmental health. His book, “Fatal Consumption: Rethinking Sustainable Development” details some of his work in this regard. Since finishing his stint as Department Head he has engaged in a range of grant supported work (CIHR, SSHRC/MCRI, IDRC, Michael Smith, TLEF, Atlantic Philanthropies, PHAC, Vancouver Foundation, Peter Wall Inst for Advanced Research, etc) including the establishment of CoPEH-Canada and the five year ECHO project on watershed scale integration of environmental, community and health. He has contributed tmentorship and supervision of numerous Masters and PhD students around the world. As an Associate Director of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) he provided central leadership in the development of a Canadian national strategy for addressing educational and service needs for surgical and obstetrical services in rural Canada–in particular Aboriginal service access for birthing. With the RCCbc he co-chairs the RISE initiative seeking to vivify and effect the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the Missing and Murdered Women,  and the In Plain Sight reports on racism in BC’s health system. He serves on several relevant boards including Inspire Health and the Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability as well as a number of national and international committees for the CFPC and AFMC including chairing the AMEE/ASPIRE Panel on Social Accountability. Dr. Woollard was instrumental in establishing a mobile clinic for agricultural workers. Above all he is a husband, father, and grandfather.