Congratulations to first graduate from the PHDA program

Date posted: 
Thursday, February 13, 2014


Gina Martin has just become the first graduate from the Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health (PHDA) program delivered in partnership by Population Data BC and the University of Victoria, Division of Continuing Studies and Dept of Geography.

With a Masters in Health Geography from the University of Victoria, Gina has worked for the Centre for Addictions Research of BC for the past three years. 

“It was really good for me to gain more experience working with large data sets and use a secure research environment to get used to the complexities of various kinds of datasets we come across daily. The spatial data and network analysis work, applied longitudinal analysis techniques and foundational SAS skills I learned really benefitted my research work. Now when I am faced with new problems, I feel better equipped and much more confident to handle them”, said Gina.

 “I have done some online courses before. I felt the courses in this program were well organized. The labs were very useful and very applied, instructors were always available to answer questions and the weekly or biweekly course modules provided structure but also some flexibility”.

When asked about the biggest benefit the program has given to advancing her career in Population Health Gina replied, “Learning analytic skills and then applying them using training data that’s similar to real data I come across in my day-to-day work has been invaluable. I think what you can get from the program is a greater ability to analyze health data. It really gives you a good idea about all the statistical methods that are commonly used when analyzing data.”

“Advancing health research and informing health policy requires a specialized skill set,” said Ann Greenwood, PopData’s Education and Training Lead. “We launched the PHDA program three years ago and believe it provides a unique opportunity to learn a diverse set of skills from multiple disciplines to examine, analyze and evaluate health data.

Maxine Reitsma, Program Coordinator, University of Victoria, Division of Continuing Studies agrees. “We are thrilled with the level of interest and diverse group of students our new program is attracting. The fully online format really caters to the needs of researchers, graduate students and working professionals, like Gina, who are looking to upgrade their analytic skills within busy work schedules.”


In the video below Gina talks about studying for the PHDA.

Page last revised: June 21, 2018